Joe Albi

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Joe Albi
Born Joseph Aloysius Albi
(1892-10-05)October 5, 1892
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Died May 8, 1962(1962-05-08) (aged 69)
Spokane, Washington
Cause of death Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
Resting place Fairmount Memorial Park, Spokane, Washington
Monuments Joe Albi Stadium (& statue)[1]
Residence 523 E. 12th Ave.,[2] Spokane
901 E. Sharp Ave. (teen)[3]
Ethnicity Italian American
Alma mater Georgetown University Law
J.D. 1915
Gonzaga College, 1911 [4]
Occupation Attorney, & seved in
U.S. Army flying corps
(1917–19)
Known for civic leader, Joe Albi Stadium
Title President, ART (1920–62)
Political party Republican[5]
Board member of Athletic Round Table
founder, president
(1920–62)
Religion Catholic
Spouse(s) Mazie (Lyons) Albi
1895–1967)
(m.1918–1962, his death)
Children 2 sons, 1 daughter[6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13]
Parent(s) Garibaldi Albi (1861–1923)
Louise (Ottoboni) Albi[2] (1871–1934)[14][15]

Joseph Aloysius "Joe" Albi (October 5, 1892 – May 8, 1962) was an attorney and civic leader in Spokane, Washington.[2][16]

Early years[edit]

Born in Spokane, he was the son of Garibaldi and Louise (Ottoboni) Albi,[15] immigrants from Italy who arrived in the city several years earlier.[2] Garibaldi (1861–1923) was a railroad contractor, banker, and one of the founders of the Italian colony in the city.[3] [17] He and three brothers (James, John, William) arrived in Spokane in 1887.[18][19][20]

The eldest of seven children,[17][21] Joe Albi was educated in Spokane schools and graduated from Gonzaga College in 1911. He was accepted to the Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C., and graduated in 1915. He returned home to Spokane where he continuously practiced law until his illness, except for two years of military service in the U.S. Army flying corps during World War I.[16]

Athletic Round Table[edit]

Albi was a founder of the Athletic Round Table (ART),[22] which led the effort to expand the presence of sports in the Spokane area.[23] The fun-loving group[24][25] was launched in 1920 (the start of Prohibition) and the fast-talking 5 ft 6 in (1.68 m) Albi was its continuing president for 42 years.[1][26] The ART was best known for funding the construction of Memorial Stadium,[22] built in 1950 in under four months,[27][28] and renamed Joe Albi Stadium by the city council in the spring of 1962, several weeks before his death.[1][29][30][31]

In golf, the ART brought the PGA Championship to Spokane in 1944 at Manito Country Club and the Esmeralda Open, which debuted in 1943 at Downriver[32] and was a PGA Tour event at Indian Canyon in 1945[33] and 1947.[34] It also helped establish the U.S. Women’s Open, the first edition was played at the Spokane Country Club in 1946, won by Patty Berg. The ART was also key to the construction of the Esmeralda Golf Course; it bought the land in east Spokane and deeded it back to the City of Spokane.[29] The Spokane Women's Open on the LPGA Tour was held at the new course. The group also promoted senior golf, paving the way for the future U.S. Senior Open and Champions Tour.

Congressional primary[edit]

In 1942, the 5th congressional seat was vacant, following the resignation of Democrat Charles H. Leavy on August 1 to become a judge on the U.S. District Court in western Washington. Albi, 49, announced his candidacy in late July.[35] In the three-man Republican primary in September, he was runner-up to Wenatchee fruit rancher Walt Horan,[5] who went on to serve 22 years in Congress. Horan's victory in the general election was the first by a Republican in the district in twenty years.[36]

Personal[edit]

Albi married the former Mazie Lyons (1895–1967) of Washington D.C. in 1918 in San Antonio, Texas, while he was in the Army. They had three children, Joseph A. Albi, Jr. (1920–1932), Jaclyn Albi Flaherty (c.1923– ), and Jean Joseph (J.J) Albi (1927–2011). At the time of his death, Albi had eight grandchildren and his five surviving siblings all lived in Spokane.[16] He was the Italian consul agent for Idaho and eastern Washington from 1929 to 1941,[37] and was active in many local organizations including the American Legion, Kiwanis, Elks, and Knights of Columbus.[29]

Death[edit]

Albi was afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease." He was hospitalized for his last seven weeks at Sacred Heart Hospital, and died at age 69.[16] His widow Mazie died less than five years later in 1967; they are buried in Spokane in the family plot at Fairmount Memorial Park,[20] adjacent to the west side of Joe Albi Stadium.

Statue[edit]

A bronze statue of Joe Albi as a sports fan was unveiled 18 years ago in 1997 at Joe Albi Stadium.[1][38] Seated several rows above the field in the southwest corner bleachers (47°42′18″N 117°29′00″W / 47.70506°N 117.48342°W / 47.70506; -117.48342), the 600-pound (270 kg) slightly-larger-than-life Joe is often adorned in the school colors of competing teams.[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sullivan, Julie (May 1, 1997). "Albi would love fanning statue debate". Spokesman-Review. p. A1. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Nomination: Joe & Mazie Albi House" (PDF). Historic Spokane. Spokane Register of Historic Places. 2001. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Historic Albi home to be torn down". Spokesman-Review. September 13, 1953. p. 1. 
  4. ^ "Gonzaga College student magazine Vol. 2, no. 6". Gonzaga University Digital Collections. March 1911. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Albi assures Horan of his support (photo)". Spokane Daily Chronicle. September 16, 1942. p. 6. 
  6. ^ "Joseph Albi Jr. victim of death". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 24, 1932. p. 3. 
  7. ^ "Jaclyn Albi to be feted". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 23, 1952. p. 8. 
  8. ^ "Miss Albi named to college staff". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 12, 1950. p. 14. 
  9. ^ "She's a 90 year old hero!". Fox News U Report. November 5, 2012. Retrieved February 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Joseph Albi sees son enter Navy". Spokesman-Review. December 1, 1944. p. 6. 
  11. ^ Wright, Jeff (May 25, 2010). "Reaching high". Eugene Register-Guard. p. A1. 
  12. ^ "Jean Albi last man going to Farragut". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 2, 1944. p. 1. 
  13. ^ "Deaths: Jean Joseph (J.J.) Albi". Eugene Register-Guard. December 23, 2011. p. B2. 
  14. ^ "Garibaldi Albi". Find a Grave. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b "Mrs. Louise Albi taken by death". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 14, 1934. p. 1. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Death claims ART leader, Joseph A. Albi". Spokane Daily Chronicle. May 8, 1962. p. 1. 
  17. ^ a b "Garibaldi Albi estate divided". Spokane Daily Chronicle. January 17, 1934. p. 2. 
  18. ^ "Expects Albi back". Spokane Daily Chronicle. January 26, 1916. p. 3. 
  19. ^ "Ship database: La Touraine". EllisIsland.org. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  20. ^ a b "Mrs. Joseph Albi dies, widow of civic leader". Spokesman-Review. January 29, 1967. p. 26. 
  21. ^ "Birth list: Spokane, WA". Roots Web.com. Retrieved February 23, 2012. 
  22. ^ a b Tinsley, Jesse (April 28, 2014). "Then and Now: Athletic Round Table". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved August 31, 2014. 
  23. ^ Hewins, Jack (March 23, 1942). "Anything for a laugh is the motto of this dizzy club". Milwaukee Journal. Wide World News Service. p. 1-green sheet. 
  24. ^ "They have their nonsense but they do many good turns, too, in year". Spokesman-Review. September 5, 1937. p. 3-features. 
  25. ^ Missildine, Harry (February 3, 1972). "Esmeralda is laughing again". Spokesman-Review. p. 14. 
  26. ^ "Death takes Joseph Albi, civic leader". Spokesman-Review. May 9, 1962. p. 1. 
  27. ^ Ferguson, Frank C. (September 9, 1950). "Spokane Stadium". Spokesman-Review. p. 3-This Week. 
  28. ^ "Stadium committee lets contract". Spokane Daily Chronicle. April 21, 1950. p. 1. 
  29. ^ a b c "What he began, he completed". Spokesman-Review. May 9, 1962. p. 14. 
  30. ^ "Stadium is renamed for Joe Albi". Spokesman-Review. March 28, 1962. p. 9. 
  31. ^ Missildine, Harry (March 28, 1962). "A heartwarming logical move". Spokesman-Review. p. 12. 
  32. ^ "Esmeralda golf tournament lures season's biggest field". Spokane Daily Chronicle. September 16, 1943. p. 12. Retrieved February 20, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Nelson's 266 wins Esmeralda tourney". Spokesman-Review. September 24, 1945. p. 1. 
  34. ^ "Keiser's putting wins him golf title; champ heads for Portland". Spokane Daily Chronicle. August 11, 1947. p. 13. 
  35. ^ "Joseph Albi seeks congressional seat". Spokane Daily Chronicle. July 30, 1942. p. 5. 
  36. ^ "Walt Horan is elected Congressman from the fifth district by big margin". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 4, 1942. p. 1. 
  37. ^ "Joe Albi resigns as Italian agent". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. June 20, 1941. p. 8. 
  38. ^ "City Council transforms 'Joe Fan' into 'Joe Albi'". Spokesman-Review. April 22, 1997. p. B1. 
  39. ^ Pettit, Stefanie (November 13, 2008). "Albi Stadium’s Joe a fan for the ages". Spokesman-Review. 

External links[edit]