JUNE LIVING LEGEND: SALT RIVER PIMA-MARICOPA INDIAN COMMUNITY

This sesquicentennial year offers a unique opportunity to honor the special relationship between the City of Tempe and its neighbor to the northeast, The Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community (SRP-MIC).  While our two communities regularly work together overcoming common challenges and pursuing shared values and goals, this relationship also serves as a continuing reminder of the rich local …

IN MEMORIAM: LUIS BURGOS (1927-2021)

Luis G. Burgos passed away in hospice care in Tempe, Arizona, the city where he was born, after a short illness on April 5, 2021. He was 93. He was born into a very loving and close family. His parents Juliana Gonzales Burgos and Francisco Burgos raised him and his siblings in the historical San Pablo area of Tempe, which …

MAY HISTORIC LEGEND: LARRY WILSON

Valley artist Larry Wilson spread his love of the arts across the Phoenix Valley. His devotion to drawing can be especially seen in his beautiful and colorful pictures of the desert landscape.    Looking to enhance his natural talent as an artist, Larry attended Arizona State University, where he studied painting and drawing in the bachelor’s degree program. That art …

MAY LIVING LEGEND: JOAN COOKS

JoAn Cooks puts her whole being into the work and causes that motivate her. It has been a journey of eclectic involvements from community college teaching in the field of textiles, retail management, serving in roles in the African-American community, and serving on the Tempe History Society board.     Myrale JoAn Cooks was born in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, and graduated …

APRIL HISTORICAL LEGEND: TOM, HELEN, & SUSAN HARTER

The Harters of Tempe left an endurable mark in art and historic preservation.    Tom Harter taught art for 38 years at Arizona State University while producing a remarkable body of work as a painter.  His wife, Helen Harter, a member of a Tempe pioneer family, was an accomplished artist, who taught art for decades in Valley public schools. Their …

APRIL LIVING LEGEND: PEN JOHNSON

Pen Johnson has devoted his life to hospitality and civic involvement. Most identified with his 35 years in the hotel lodging industry, Pen has been a major force in establishing Tempe’s tourism footprint. From 1970 to 2000, he was owner-operator and general manager of the iconic Holiday Inn of Tempe at the southeast corner of Rural Road and Apache Boulevard.  …

MARCH HISTORICAL LEGEND: JAN YOUNG

   Jan Young saw so much of Tempe through her trusty camera’s lens. She would have full confidence that taking just one single picture would satisfy each photo assignment. Then she could move on to her next photo assignment for the Tempe Daily News. Once Arizona’s first and only full-time female newspaper photographer, Jan was an unmistakable fixture in the …

MARCH LIVING LEGEND: IRA FULTON

At 89, iconic Arizona homebuilder Ira Fulton proclaims he proudly makes money because the more he makes, the more he can give away. The Tempe-born philanthropist, best known for his Fulton Homes empire of new homes – about 1,500 home constructions a year – especially likes to challenge the benefactors of his largess to raise big dollars on their own so …

FEBRUARY LEGEND: BETTY GREATHOUSE

Betty Greathouse has been a paragon of education for more than a half-century.   The onetime dean of the College of Education at Arizona State University was born in Mesa and graduated from Tempe High School. She went on to earn an associate degree from Phoenix College, then a bachelor’s degree in education from Arizona State in 1963. In 1972, …

FEBRUARY LEGEND: EDWARD SMITH

Edward “Ed” Smith was well-trained in race relations.  He devoted much of his life to the National Urban League, the 110-year-old civil rights and urban advocacy organization tasked with helping African Americans achieve economic empowerment, equality, and social justice. His skills were employed by the Phoenix Police Department to find and recruit black police officers and firemen. Ed served on the City …