Joe Alderette, USAF (Retired)

September 21, 1930 – March 30, 2021

Phoenix – On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Joe Alderette, loving husband of over 66 years to “Sally” and father of three daughters, passed away in Phoenix, AZ at the age of 90.

Joe was born on September 21, 1930 in Hondo, Texas. He spent his childhood there until he graduated from high school where he excelled and lettered in football and baseball. Joe joined the United States Air Force in 1950, retiring in 1971. His career provided him the educational opportunities and cultural experiences he embraced. Joe’s assignments in medicine included helicopter air rescue, medical emergency and general family medicine. In addition, his passion for baseball allowed him to continue to play competitively (“Special Operations Forces”) throughout his military career.

On October 16, 1954, Joe married Arcelia “Sally” Cavazos in Vacaville, CA, whom he had known since they were 10. Although her family moved to California when she was 14, they wrote and occasionally visited until they married. They moved many times in the next 17 years of military life. Joe then spent the next chapter of his career as a PA (Physician’s Assistant) for the Department of Defense after relocating to Safford, AZ. In all, Joe devoted 45 years to his career to medicine. Although he retired professionally, his love of medicine continued.

While Joe had a talent for baseball, he was extremely passionate about learning and expanding his knowledge of many languages. In a similar vein, Joe particularly relished archaeology classes and site lessons in college, referring to them in subsequent travels. He also loved music of all kinds as well as dancing. Joe and Sally could be found on any dance floor whether at upscale high rises in San Francisco or local restaurant bars. He enjoyed working outdoors to ensure his yard would pass military inspecting, even though he had been out of the service for decades. In addition, Joe was a movie buff, his favorites being old movies and classic Westerns.

Joe is survived by his wife, Sally; three daughters, Lydia (Mike), Delia (Keith), and Melva (Jim); three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren as well as many beloved nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by a granddaughter and his three brothers, Reyes, Felix and Luis “Willie”.

Joe will be most remembered for his devotion to Sally and love of family, as well as his quick wit, humor, his faith and kindness. He made friends easily and had many lasting friendships. Joe (and Sally) exuded positivity in all aspects of life. Laughter was a constant in their home. Joe was recently described as a “sophisticated gentleman,” which he was.

He will be at rest at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona. The family would like to thank those instrumental in his health and well-being during the last many years including Hospice of the Valley in Phoenix and Peoria, Ironwood Cancer Center in Glendale and Specialty Orthopedic Surgery in Scottsdale.

Keep dancing, Dad. Your Jodelos will be kept cold for you.

Te queremos, domo arigato – ate’ logo, avedazen, adieu, namaste, Ciao!

AND as Joe would say “…and that’s all I know.”

Integrity, Honor, and Respect
Some of the best things cannot be bought, they must be earned

©2020 USAF Rotorheads   All Rights Reserved   |    Privacy Policy   |    Financial Statement