Joseph A. Salz


Joe, age 90, known far and wide for his good humor and his pure singing voice, passed away October 25, in Gilbert, Arizona. Joe was a loving husband to Jean for 62 years, until her death in 2014. Together they had eight children, who were raised to know that family is everything, to live with honesty and integrity, and that it is best not to sweat the small stuff.
Joe was born in 1930 in Dubuque, Iowa and moved to Arizona in 1950. He lived in the Phoenix area most of his life, with a few years in Southern California and later, Sacramento.
His career successes included sales and managing credit unions.
Joe was a 72-year member of the SPEBSQSA, now known as the Barbershop Harmony Society. He sang lead in several outstanding quartets and choruses, including the Coastliners, the Stage Four and the Phoenicians. Most well-known was the popular comedy quartet The Desert Knights, who sang together for 50 years. Joe was also a lifelong, card-carrying Diehard Cubs Fan.
Joe was never happier than when surrounded by family and friends, playing cards, enjoying a martini, and woodshedding with other barber shoppers. This past January, he was able to do just that as many turned out for his 90th birthday party. The only thing that would have made the day better would be having Jean at his side.
Joe is survived by his children, Sandy Salz-Johnson, Don (Rosye) Salz, Kathy Dean, Rick (Aly) Salz, Laurie (Jim) Hopkins, Jay Salz and Annette Lien. He was preceded in death by his wife, Jean, and daughter Beverly (Charlie) Cunningham. Joe has 20 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 10 great-great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Evie (Jerry) Miller and Phyllis Martin.
A celebration of life is being planned for January. Memorial donations can be made in Joe’s name to the Harmony Foundation International ( Messages to the family may be left at
Joe was always ready with a smile, a joke and a song. In Joe’s memory, please do something unusually nice for yourself: have a top-shelf drink, tee it up at a great golf course, enjoy a meal at a fine restaurant, or have a macadamia nut banana split for dinner! Your happiness is the best way to honor Joe’s memory.