Margaret R Proctor Redondo (1920-2006)

Margaret R Proctor was born January 1920. Like her brothers, Margaret went to school at Continental, Tucson High School (’40) and the University of Arizona. Margaret was creative and her ingenuity started early.

“Most children had inventive minds and knew how to entertain themselves. We made most of our toys out of whatever was available. The boys took pride in being able to use their pocket knives to make playthings like slingshots. They even built little wagons out of sardine cans. The girls learned how to sew and make dolls. Sometimes we girls would get together with the boys to build forms for making small adobe bricks. We would then construct little houses and fences. We dug tiny wells and fixed them up with stork (windlass) and all. To locate the water, we used water-witches, just as we had seen the grownups do before they dug their wells.” [1]

Her small statue gave her the nickname “Ita”. Being small did not stop her, in fact it may have lead to her fitting or crawling to spaces others couldn’t access.

During WWII she worked for Consolidated Aircraft Corporation. She is pictured in the Tucson Citizen using a modified knife sharpener for burring. [2]

In the mid 1950s Margaret married Cristobal Redondo and they lived in Tucson where Chris was a machinist/mechanic. Both were not satisfied with the city life and often found themselves trekking around Southern Arizona.

In 1965 they acquired land from Ita’s father (Charles Roque Proctor). It was their weekend escape as they cleared the land and built their custom hand crafted home. Ita became a master craftswoman. The Arizona Daily Star has a feature on their accomplishment. [3] Ita and Chris welcomed everyone and mixed their good humor with humility.  It was a place all nieces, nephews and cousins have fond memories: from camping on their land to history or nature lessons to the mini zipline at the creek.

Ita collected…everything. She had found an old spinning wheel that had a couple missing wood parts. Using her gifted engineering mind, she widdled down replica parts and the wheel is now on display at the Historic Canoa Ranch.

She received the outstanding historical article award in 1993 from the Arizona Historical Society, The Journal of Arizona History: Valley of Iron.

Margaret “Ita” Proctor Redondo passed away April 2006.

[1] Margaret Proctor Redondo and James S. Griffith, The Journal of Arizona History. Vol. 34, No. 3 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 233-274. Arizona Historical Society
[2] Tucson Citizen – 02/22/1943
[3] Arizona Daily Star – 09/16/1984


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