Obituary for John Rios

John A. Rios, of Safford, quietly passed away May 17, 2019, at his home with loved ones near at the age of 93. He was born May 23, 1925, in Willcox, to Faustino Rios and Gregoria Arrellin Rios. John’s siblings included Ignacio, Luis, Lola, Juana, Jesus, Maria, Andres, and Francisca.

John married Dolores Alvarado in Safford on May 4, 1944, before joining the U.S. Army, serving in WWII. After his return they were blessed with 15 children; Priscilla, Kate, Georgia, Johnny, Raymond, Eleanor, Martin, Marvin, Dolores, Nanci, Albert “Bob”, Kenneth, Gabriel, Marie, and Michael.  

John was a carpenter by trade and became a foreman in the building of the volunteer hall and the parish offices, along with numerous other projects at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. He also completed numerous projects on Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Solomon and the Catholic Mission in Pima. John also worked in several major bridges and projects throughout the state of Arizona. In his spare time, he built his own casket in 1996.

John Rios

He was a member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Local Union #408, Beneficio Propio and Cursillistas. John enjoyed fishing, hunting, woodworking, gardening and most of all, spending time with his family. He was loving, kind, caring and giving and will be dearly missed by his family and all who came to call him friend.

John is survived by his loving children Kate (Judy) Rios, Georgia (Manuel) Perea, John (Corina) Rios, Jr., Marvin (Claudia) Rios, Dolores (Lee) Thomas, Nanci (Fred) Abalos, Albert “Bob” Rios, Gabriel (Felice) Rios, Marie (Keith) Fabian, and Michael Rios; 36 grandchildren; 104 great-grandchildren; and 37 great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years, Dolores A. Rios; his parents, Faustino and Gregoria Rios; his daughters, Eleanor Rios and Priscilla Romero; his sons, Raymond, Kenneth, and Martin J. Rios; and all of his brothers and sisters.

A viewing and Rosary will be held Thursday, May 23, at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church, beginning at 6 p.m., with the Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, May 24, at 11 a.m.  Interment will be in the Safford Cemetery following services.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made for Xavier “TJ” Rios-Bingham, John’s great-grandson by clicking here.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel & Gila Valley Crematory.  Online condolences may be extended at