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McKusick, Charmion

(1931 - 2022 Mar 26): Age 90

Charmion Fay (Fitz) Randolph McKusick, of Globe, Arizona, was born to Sylvia Miller and Frederick Travis Randolph on July 16, 1931, in Waukegan, Illinois. Her childhood caregivers were the Frank Gustishas, an Austrian farm family, where she learned farming and dairying. She grew up sailing on Lake Michigan, and graduated as Valedictorian of the 1949 Waukegan Township High. In high school in the 1940s, she single-handedly integrated both the Prom Committee, and the Dolphins, a girls' swimming club.

In September of 1949 her journey began studying anthropology at the University of Arizona at 7 in the morning. At 7 that evening, she met Robert T. McKusick at the Freshman Mixer. They were married two years later. Charmion began working in the family ceramic business, where she worked at least part time for the rest of her life. She designed and decorated over 300 different Southwestern bird and animal designs. The business, along with baby daughter Kathleen and a herd of milk goats, was moved to Kellner Canyon in April 1950’s. Stephani and Robert joined the family in the mid to late 50’s.

In 1960 Charmion began working for Dale Stewart King Publishing as an editorial assistant, where she learned book layout. She then worked for archaeologist Lyndon L. Hargrave as a contract laboratory assistant at Gila Pueblo, where she received her training in avian identification. She was hired as a permanent employee of the National Park Service in 1968 and received her training in mammalian identification under Thomas W. Mathews. When the Western Archaeological Center moved to Tucson, she remained at Gila Pueblo College as an instructor in anthropology and archaeology for about 19 years. Her happiest hours were spent in archaeological research, which resulted in three books on the Upland Salado, and numerous chapters in archaeological publications. She loved teaching, and took great joy in the success of her students.

Charmion was active in St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Cobre Valley Center for the Arts, the Gila County Historical Society, the Bullion Plaza Museum, and the Gila Pueblo Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. She was a Paul Harris Fellow of the Globe Rotary. Charmion was preceded in in death by her parents, her loving husband of many years and two son -in- laws. She is survived by a brother and his wife, two daughters and their families, a son and his wife, six grandchildren and two great grandsons.

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