The community of Fountain Hills has lost one of its iconic business and volunteer leaders with the passing of Joe Goyena on Nov. 22, 2021.
Joe was born June 29, 1935. He was a professional singer for many years, going by the name "Joe Chambers" at one time in Brooklyn.
Two years he served in the Army with an honorable discharge. While in Germany, his duty was in the Armored Cavalry East/West border patrol, Honor Guard, Special Police, Special Service & Entertainment Singer and M.C. Believe it or not, he received the Good Conduct Medal.
In Brooklyn Joe had worked for Global Van Lines, Dahill-Mayflower, North American Van Lines and was their top salesman. He moved to Arizona December 1980, ripped out the yellow pages and began calling moving companies. He chose North American and worked with them for four years. Then, he interviewed with MCO Realty in 1984 and immediately became an MCO Realty salesman, earning many awards. Soon thereafter he was known as "JOE GO" from MCO. He and his wife were named Chamber Business Persons of the Year in 1995 and he was inducted into the Lower Verde River Valley Hall of Fame in 2008.
At one time he had joined and participated in every service club in Fountain Hills. He founded the Fountain of Youth Club. He and Father Tot formed the first AA group in Fountain Hills. Joe was a proud member of AA for 58 years. He was named one of the town’s outstanding volunteers for the first 20 years of the community.
One of the town’s most successful real estate sales agents, Joe made it a practice to give back to the community that provided so much for himself and his family team of realtors. They were named Sales Team of the Year at MCO Realty nearly 20 times.
Joe believed in conducting business ethically and delivering good customer service long after the sale. For many years he hosted an annual dinner party for clients at the Community Center and was the first to host an event in that facility.
He initiated The Goyena Team to sponsor the Eggstravaganza, which the family has continued. He was a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors, so he dressed in his red jacket, white pants and hat to march in the Thanksgiving Day Parade, then when they reached the end of the parade, he immediately changed into his Santa Claus suit. He made the best Santa with his "HO, HO, HO" and chatting with spectators the entire parade. Years later he and his wife were announcers for the Thanksgiving Day Parade for many years.
Because he didn't know any Western songs, and he had wanted to sing with Jeff Dayton, he learned El Paso and sang with Jeff Dayton at the Club Mirage. He also sang with Bill Conti playing piano.
He continued singing at many weddings, funerals, confirmations, bar mitzvah and many gatherings. Recently he even sang to the nurses at the hospital and assisted living.
Joe loved to travel and went on numerous cruises. At one of the fundraisers, he purchased tickets for an African safari, and he said it was the best trip he ever had.
Joe met the movie actor, Dennis Farina, at one of the model homes years ago. Joe’s “office” was his car and the model homes in his early real estate years. He and his family were at the octagonal building at Lakeside Village (current location of Plaza Fountainside) selling real estate.
The Goyena Team was the first real estate company and first tenant in Plaza Fountainside and became very good friends with Merita at Euro Pizza when she opened the restaurant a short time later.
Joe was a very generous, caring, loving person filled with gratitude. He will be sorely missed. He attended Church of Ascension regularly. Services for Joe will be held Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Ascension, 12615 N. Fountain Hills Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
Family members who have passed before him include his parents, Isabella and Joseph M. Goyena; brother, Donald; sister, Doreen. Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Carol; son, Joe of Scottsdale and daughter, Kimberly of Fountain Hills, and his younger brother, Bob Goyena from Maryland, and his “Main Man” Gage Joseph, his 14-year-old grandson of Scottsdale.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting contributions to a charity of the donor's choice. Later on, the family may have a sculpture of Joe GO with the "thumbs up" placed in Fountain Park.