Johnny J. Pyeatt


September 16, 1933 to April 23, 2020

John J. Pyeatt, 86, died on Thursday, April 23, 2020 after a long battle with cancer. John was known as “Johnny”, “Man” and “Big John”. No matter how you knew him he was larger than life.

John was born and raised in Florence, AZ. He was born to Seth and Annie Pyeatt. He lived his life as a member of the U.S. Navy, police officer, Professional Football Player for the Canadian Football League and the Denver Broncos, ranch cowboy, rodeo cowboy and construction foreman. His most recent job was with Ace Hardware (previously True Value) in Queen Creek for the last 7 years. The staff here at this store were more than co-workers, they cared for John very much.

John never retired. Until about 6 months ago John would show up two days a week for 2-3 hours a day. In the last few months, he was too weak to go into work. John continued to call into work until about 3 weeks ago, saying he was not feeling well and would not be in. He was that kind of man. The owner of Ace continued to let John work and accepted the call-ins, saying “we will see you next week”.

In Semi-retirement John lived in Gilbert, AZ. He enjoyed dining at Skippy’s where they made him feel like a movie star; he enjoyed watching football, talking football, reading the newspaper, being outdoors, cleaning, raking, irrigating, taking care of the vegetable garden, feeding the cows, cruising to Florence for “old times sake” and loving his two dogs, Molly and Gracie. He enjoyed his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He lived in a neighborhood in Gilbert that embraced him as his health declined. He made amazing friends who visited frequently and watched out for him.

John died at home in his casita surrounded by family and a steady stream of friends who visited until the last minute. The family shared prayers and stories which brought laughter and tears. Mixed with many hours of quiet time just sitting holding his hand with Country Gold music playing in the background.

John never met a stranger. He always made you feel like you were special, like your story was the only one that mattered. Many times, it was said by his friends, “John came into my life at a very dark time, I do not know what I would have done without him”.

John is the last of the Pyeatt family in Florence, AZ. He is preceded in death by his sisters Vangie, Luella, Annie and brother Frank.

He is survived by six adult children, Karen Rise, John Pyeatt, Artemisa Cordova, Lynn Tonozzi, Robin Marlowe and Hannah Pyeatt.

His grandchildren which brought him great joy and pride: Jessie Hill, Jacob Cordova, Devin Cordova, Seth Pyeatt, Kinsey Pyeatt, Anthony Rozema, John Michael Rozema, Mark Marlowe, Teno Tonozzi, Neko Tonozzi, Tia Tonozzi and Nina Tonozzi. His great grandchildren who called him “Big Tata”, Oakley Rozema, Cora Hill and Nolan Hill. Plus, a new baby girl due later this summer; John always said, I can hardly wait to meet Indy Joy Rozema.

Memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of the Valley. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.