Residents of the Town of Fountain Hills paid their final respects to a number of prominent citizens this past year and The Times is remembering four here for their special place in town history.
Walter W. Dunne passed away on June 25, 2019. “Walt,” as he was known to most, was a life-long educator and served as superintendent of the Fountain Hills Unified School District from 1987 until retiring in 1998.
It was during this time that voters approved a bond for construction of the Fountain Hills High School.
Walt loved Fountain Hills and was very much involved in the community. He was a member and officer of Noon Kiwanis, on the board for Senior Services as well as the L. Alan Cruikshank River of Time Museum. He was an inductee to the Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame.
His obituary noted a quote from Theodore Gisele (Dr. Seuss) – “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Sharon Elaine Morgan, the first woman to serve as mayor for the Town of Fountain Hills, passed away on Dec. 16, 2019.
Morgan came to Fountain Hills in 1989 and immediately became involved in the community as a founder of the Women’s Club.
She was the special event chairperson for the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce overseeing more than 50 of the arts and craft fairs the town is known for. She believed that more than 8 million people were introduced to the community by attending one of the fairs.
As mayor she became instrumental in developing the Sister Cities program and signed the documents officially becoming a Sister City to Kasterlee, Belgium. After leaving office she remained active with Sister Cities helping bring three more communities into an international partnership with Fountain Hills.
Michael Petrone passed away on May 24, 2019. He and his family became residents of Fountain Hills in 1979.
A Marine who had served in the Vietnam Era as a fighter pilot, Petrone was very civic minded and took action to make the community better than he found it.
He was president of the Civic Association (now FHCCA), active with the Little League and member of the Fountain Hills 20th Anniversary Committee. He also served on the selection committee for inductees into the Lower Verde Valley Hall of Fame, an honor he received himself in 2007.
Petrone also led the Sunridge Foundation from its beginning as a charitable force in Fountain Hills to its transition to the Fountain Hills Community Foundation. Under his leadership the foundation raised more than $1 million to provide financial help to local organizations.
Judge Stuart J. Shoob passed away Oct. 6, 2019 following a long military and legal career that included serving as the first magistrate to the Fountain Hills Municipal Court in 1990.
An Arizona resident since age 9, Shoob earned a degree from Arizona State University (1954) and served in the Army as an artillery officer before attending the University of Arizona College of Law obtaining his JD in 1959.
Shoob continued his military career with the National Guard and retired as a brigadier general. He went to work for the City of Phoenix in the prosecutor’s office and rose to become the city prosecutor.
While serving with the Town of Fountain Hills, Shoob created one of the most efficient municipal courts in the state and mentored many other magistrates in the process.