During his lifetime, the Joe Foss way included patriotism and civic involvement. Now, Scottsdale has its own Joe Foss Way.
General Dynamics Decision Systems renamed a private road on its south Scottsdale campus "Joe Foss Way" Tuesday morning in honor of the longtime Paradise Valley and Scottsdale resident.
The defense contractor’s management believed it was appropriate to honor a true U.S. military hero so close to Memorial Day, said Denny Wisely, a retired General Dynamics executive. "Joe Foss is my personal hero," Wisely said.
About 50 people, including Scottsdale dignitaries and General Dynamics employees, came out to pay tribute to a man who "was simply a wonderful human being," Scottsdale Mayor Mary Manross said.
Foss was recognized for his accomplishments as a World War II fighter pilot, politician, athlete and sports executive, television pioneer, Second Amendment advocate and motivational speaker. Foss died Jan. 1 at age 87.
"Every endeavor Joe pursued, he was truly successful," Manross said. "He turned everything he touched to gold because of his optimism. He wasn’t naive, just incredibly positive."
Manross declared May 20 "Joe Foss Day" in Scottsdale in honor of a "true American patriot."
Foss’ widow, Didi, led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance and discussed Foss’ life and legacy before unveiling the sign that marks Joe Foss Way.
"Joe bled red, white and blue and he was a proud American," she said. Didi Foss attributed her husband’s success to a love of country that was taught to him by his parents.
Foss joined the armed services as a Marine Corps aviation cadet at the onset of World War II. He went on to fight at Guadalcanal and was awarded the Medal of Honor.
"Joe came of age when fighting for your country was not a choice, but an honor and a duty," Didi Foss said. "He knew about dedication, character and courage."
For more information about Joe Foss, visit