Obituary for Lyle “Lefty” Angle

Lyle “Lefty” Angle, a longtime resident of the Gila Valley, passed from this life, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022, with his daughter, Roberta Angle-Milligan, at his side.

Lyle was born Sept. 18, 1930, to Robert Angle and Alice York in Artesia, Arizona. He had seven siblings – six sisters and one brother, Eddie Sherman, who could be labeled as Lefty’s BFF.  Over the years, Lyle picked up two nicknames that stuck with him – from his childhood he was called “Lefty” because he was left-handed and then once he had grandchildren, the grandchildren called him “Papa” and then this nickname evolved to “Pops” which then became a name used by family, friends and extended family members as well.  

Lyle married Lavell Wilkins in 1950. Together, they had three children, Linda, Roberta, and Robert. Lefty and “Vell” would spend the next 48 years working together and raising their family.  Together, the two enjoyed retirement until Lavell’s passing in 1998. In 1999, Lefty married Nellie Holly, a long-time friend of the Angle family. Lyle and Nellie had 23 wonderful years together.

Lyle attended Safford schools until he discovered earning a living was much more appealing to him than sitting in a classroom.  At a young age, Lefty traveled to Gila Valley farms and ranches where he would be hired for a time and then he would move on to the next job traveling throughout Southeast Arizona and Western New Mexico.

Lyle “Lefty” Angle

Pops was a giant of a man both in personality and stature. Work opportunities and life experiences eventually led him to his chosen vocation-underground mining- where he quickly discovered the industry to be a natural fit for his personality, physical stature, and interests. He had a natural knack for his craft and the pay was nothing to turn your nose up at either.   He was a hard rock, underground, tramp miner specializing in explosives. Lefty worked for numerous mining companies over his long mining career, mining companies such as Magma Copper Co., Kennecott Mines, Ray Mines, and Inspiration Consolidated Copper Company. Eventually, Lyle ended his mining career retiring from Phelps Dodge Morenci Mine.

Pops was a skilled gardener even figuring out how to grow robust crops in Cactus, Arizona, no small feat. Growing all types of produce; chili, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, beets, eggplant, squash, pumpkins, watermelon, and cucumber. You name it. He could grow it!  For years, Lyle and Nellie could be found every Saturday at Safford’s local farmers’ market as one of the vendors. Shoppers were never disappointed with any produce from ‘Lyle and Nell Angle’s, Garden of Eatin’, Organic Vegetables.

Lyle leaves behind his wife, Nellie; daughter, Roberta Milligan (Ray); brother, Ed Sherman (Melissa); stepchildren, Karen Bailey, Loretta Bond (David), Jeanette Gordon (Tim), Connie Foreman (Andy), and Steve Holly (Heather), and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.

Lyle was preceded in death by his first wife, Lavell; daughter, Linda, and son, Robert; granddaughter, Tasha Angle; grandson, Andrew Taylor, and great-granddaughter, Julia Baxter.

Lyle is not only missed by his family but many friends as well.