Joseph "Joe" LeChaix, well-known Ahwatukee Foothillls personality, passed away Aug. 8. He will be sorely missed by many of us. LeChaix and his beloved wife, Barb, were a driving force behind many Ahwatukee Recreation Center programs.
What a privilege it was for me, personally to become friends with Joe LeChaix, who lived to be 91 years young. I say, "91 years young," because that was his attitude. Shortly after I published the first copy of this newspaper in 1978, LeChaix approached me with the idea of writing a monthly column featuring members of Ahwatukee's retirement community. It was his idea, to call the column "Hot Flashes." Joe explained to me that header could have a dual meaning. A hot news story is sometimes referred to as a "news flash," and he said, "sometimes older folks actually do get hot flashes." That is a classic example of Joe LeChaix's sense of humor.
His column became an instant hit with Ahwatukee residents. LeChaix would write stories about whose grandkids were in town visiting who, what band would contribute music for Friday night dances, graduation announcements, birth announcements, etc. He made it his habit to put names in bold print and all capitals so one could easily scan his columns to see who might be mentioned in each installment. As I took the newspaper from once-a-month to twice-a-month, then once-a-week and, eventually, twice-a-week, Joe LeChaix was a constant contributor.
I owned the Ahwatukee Foothills News for 20 years and Joe LeChaix was always a part of the content. To say, "I couldn't have done it without him," would be an understatement.
A "Celebration of Life" ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 26 at the Ahwatukee Rec Center, 5001 E. Cheyenne Drive, to honor the life of Joe LeChaix. Donations may be sent to Hospice of the Valley Dobson Home, 1188 N. Dobson Road, Chandler, 85224-4004 or to the Ahwatukee Recreation Center in his memory.
Clay Schad is founder and former publisher of the Ahwatukee Foothills News. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.