Carolyn Rhoton Reidhead passed away on February 16, 2022, after a short battle with cancer. She died at home, cared for by her three surviving children: daughter Amber Lopez and sons Kelly and Brandon Reidhead. She had the opportunity to say goodbye to her beloved granddaughters Breanna Knaresboro, Serena Lopez, Ashlyn and Hastings Reidhead and great-granddaughter Evelyn Knaresboro. Her son Monty Reidhead died in 2005.
Carolyn was one of Dow and Lila Rhoton's eight children. She and her identical twin Marilyn were born in 1938 in the house next to her family’s old barn on the highway in Lakeside. Two brothers survive her: Kent and Tim Rhoton of Lakeside.
In addition to her surviving brothers, the following siblings predeceased Carolyn: brothers Verl, Rex, and Tommy Rhoton; and sisters Colleen Harris and Marilyn Heal. She also leaves behind a host of extended family members, including in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, and grandson Riese Doyle.
The Rhoton twins were enthusiastic cheerleaders for Lakeside High School, and went on to ASU following graduation. Not fond of the heat and the lack of air conditioning in the dorms at the time, the sisters transferred to NAU to continue their education.
When Carolyn was only 29 her first husband, Pete Reidhead, was tragically killed on Christmas day in a ranch accident during the record-breaking snowstorm of 1967. With two young children to support, she returned to NAU within two weeks of Pete's death to complete her final semester and earn her teaching certification. Settling in Taylor, she taught home economics for five years in the Snowflake high school and junior high. She remarried, moved to Pinetop, had her second set of children, and subsequently divorced. Carolyn eventually returned to teaching -- this time sixth-grade science in the Whiteriver school district -- retiring in 2002 after 21 years in the classroom.
Although she endured more than her share of challenges, Carolyn was a survivor -- and her resilience and toughness set a remarkable example for her family and friends. She had a terrific sense of humor and loved having fun; she was always game for another adventure. Her sudden illness and quick decline was a shock to everyone who knew her. Carolyn was beloved by her students, friends, and community, but most of all by her children and grandchildren, who will miss her terribly.
A graveside service will be held on Friday, February 25 at 2 p.m. at the Lakeside cemetery.