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ACR-224 Joe Cox Memorial Highway.(2017-2018)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 224

Relative to Joe Cox Memorial Highway.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  August 17, 2018. ]


ACR 224, Gray. Joe Cox Memorial Highway.
This measure would designate a specified portion of State Highway Route 152 in the County of Merced as the Joe Cox Memorial Highway. The measure would also request the Department of Transportation to determine the cost of appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, to erect those signs.
Fiscal Committee:
WHEREAS, His family landed in Reedley in the County of Fresno, where a cousin of Joe’s lived in a tent. The Cox family moved into the next tent over. They lived in tents for the following year before Joe’s dad found a place to rent in Reedley; and
WHEREAS, After graduating from Wahtoke Grammar School, Joe went to Reedley High. But he wasn’t through moving as his family relocated to Parlier. Joe enrolled in Parlier High School where he was active in sports, including football, basketball, and track, and stayed until he graduated in December of 1944; and
WHEREAS, By then Joe was 18, it was World War II, and he was eligible for the draft. He decided to enlist in the Navy; and
WHEREAS, While in the Navy, Joe went to submarine school and was assigned to a tender ship, the U.S.S. Orion, which served as a repair station for subs. Later he was assigned to submarine U.S.S. Batfish, patrolling off the coasts of Japan, with the particular mission of “lifeguarding,” finding pilots whose planes had been shot down and who had parachuted into the sea; and
WHEREAS, After the war and after he was discharged, Joe returned to Reedley, where he saw a newspaper advertisement for radio operators to work for Pan American Airways in Fairbanks, Alaska. Joe applied, got the job, and worked in Alaska for two years; and
WHEREAS, After working and living in Alaska, Joe returned to Reedley and joined his brother-in-law who had gone into farming. After several years of farming in the Central Valley, from Reedley to Madera, Joe enrolled in Reedley College, graduated with an associate of arts degree, and then transferred to California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) in San Luis Obispo; and
WHEREAS, Joe, who had earlier signed up for the Naval Reserve, was in his first quarter at Cal Poly when he was called up to active duty to serve in the Korean War. He was assigned to the U.S.S. McDermut, a destroyer that was positioned off the shores of Korea and shelled coastal cities; and
WHEREAS, After two years of wartime service, Joe returned to Cal Poly and completed his degree. He continued there to complete his teaching credential, including a semester as an intern or “cadet” at Strathmore High School near Porterville; and
WHEREAS, Later, Joe accepted an agriculture science teaching position at Los Banos High School and later became the agriculture department chair. He turned the agriculture department, which had not been doing well, into a highly respected program; and
WHEREAS, In the spring of 1963, Joe led the Los Banos High School team to a first place finish in the state dairy judging contest, and then on to Waterloo, Iowa, where the team won the national dairy judging contest; and
WHEREAS, Meanwhile, Joe continued to take summer classes to prepare for other job opportunities in education. He earned a master’s degree in education from Cal Poly in 1957. Later, in 1981, he earned his doctoral degree in education from the University of Southern California; and
WHEREAS, In the summer of 1963, Joe was named assistant principal of Los Banos High School. One of Joe’s many jobs was to direct the adult education program. When Merced College replaced Modesto Junior College in offering college classes locally, Joe was hired by Merced College to run the evening program. Joe helped set the stage for the first complete campus when the Los Banos Campus of Merced College opened its doors in 1971; and
WHEREAS, In 1969, Joe was named principal of Los Banos High School. He served as principal there until 1982, when he was transferred to the junior high school. Joe retired in 1988, ran for the school board, was elected, and then served on the school board for 12 years; and
WHEREAS, After his retirement Joe was active in many different organizations. In each case Joe became a leader: President of the Los Banos Golden Agers, Chairman of the Board of the Los Banos Unified School District, District Governor in Rotary, Chair of the California Senior Legislature, and National President of the U.S. Submarine Veterans of World War II; and
WHEREAS, Joe believed that the motto of every retired person should be “Stay Active. Get Involved.” In that way, Joe said, “They are not only helping others, they are keeping themselves healthy”; and
WHEREAS, Over the years Joe stayed active, stayed healthy, and used his talents to help organizations stay healthy too. His life was one of service to others, from the days on a submarine in World War II right up to his passing on January 22, 2018, as a result of a car crash on State Highway 152; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the portion of State Highway Route 152 that runs through the City of Los Banos, from the entrance of the Los Banos Campus of Merced College to San Luis Street in the County of Merced, as the Joe Cox Memorial Highway; and be it further
Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate signs consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources sufficient to cover that cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Director of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.