Joe Dew: A Glorious Life

by Elaine Briggs, his daughter

Book Description

Joe Dew’s inspiring story is one of hard work, adventure, and family. Raised in rural Iowa in the 1920s, the son of a struggling blacksmith during the Great Depression, he learned to survive and thrive. After graduation, he traveled the country, riding the rails and finding work in the wheat fields of the Great Plains, and panning for gold in Idaho.

Helping in the war effort from Alaska to the European Theater of WWII, he fought with the 741st Tank Battalion. Joe risked his life to break through the Siegfried Line crossing into Germany and earned the Distinguished Service Cross for his heroic effort. During the Battle of the Bulge, he took out five German Panzers and earned the Bronze Star.

Joe returned to Iowa to marry, finish college, and join the work force for General Motors in Flint, Michigan. Elaine Briggs brings her father’s journey to life and tells his story as only a daughter could.


About the Author

Elaine Briggs got her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education and a Master’s degree in Reading from Eastern Michigan University. She had a variety of teaching experiences and taught at Milan High School. She is retired and lives with her husband on the farm near Milan, Michigan.

My Thoughts

The story of an amazing man who grew up during the Depression Era, who had such drive and determination to travel however he could to look for work. My mother graduated from Dexter, Iowa, two years before Joe Dew graduated from Redfield, both small rival towns, so really enjoyed learning about earlier years of Redfield, Dexter, and Stuart.

Joe’s WWII years are especially amazing, and that he survived combat and the Battle of the Bulge–with a Purple Heart, Distinguished Service Cross, and Bronze Star. The G.I. Bill enabled him to finish college in Ames, then work for General Motors. The Appendices include photos and genealogy, but also patents that Joe Dew has on file in the U.S. Patent Office.

Indeed one of America’s Greatest Generation.

Briggs finishes book about father

Interview from July 1, 2020, with the Milan (Wisconsin) Public Library about Joe Dew: a Glorious Life, and her second book about her fascinating history of unusual teaching situations.

Elaine Briggs has been a valuable cheerleader for me as I pursue publishing a book of my own.


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