'Joe’s Mission:' Joe Garagiola Sr. Was Dedicated To Gila River Indian Community School

By Casey Kuhn
Published: Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 5:05am
Updated: Thursday, March 24, 2016 - 8:11am
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Sister Martha Carpenter and the six other nuns living and working at the St. Peter Indiana Mission School.
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Joe Garagiola donated the library and computer lab, giving the nuns naming rights. They said they had to name it after him.
(Photo by Casey Kuhn - KJZZ)
Garagiola would come to St. Peter's every week, nuns said.

Baseball legend and former Arizona Diamondbacks announcer Joe Garagiola Sr. died Wednesday at the age of 90. His legacy reached beyond baseball and into a small mission school on the Gila River Indian Community.

Seven nuns recite "Joe’s Prayer," an invocation Garagiola would lead when he came to visit the 230 students of the St. Peter Indian Mission School.

Sister Martha Carpenter said the longtime broadcaster was a constant presence at the school.

“Every week he was down here. Joe’s footprints are all over this mission. This is Joe’s mission," said Sister Carpenter.

Garagiola was given a Native American name, Awesome Fox, and signs around the campus pay tribute to the former ballplayer.

His contributed a 5,000-square-foot library and computer lab, a soccer field, feast house, school buses and vans, all for the school.

“We love him and miss him but we know he’s at bat up in heaven, cheering us on, like he always did," Sister Carpenter said.

Family asked that donations be made to St. Peter’s in lieu of flowers.

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