SIOUX FALLS WALL OF NOTABILITy
SIOUX FALLS WALL OF NOTABILITy
The Sioux Falls Wall of Notability is 12 foot tall by 20 foot wide mural that we created as an ode to notable local figures of the past and present. Many of these people have made their mark both locally, regionally and nationally. Things change. Landscapes change. People change. But with a project like 'The Sioux Falls Wall of Notability', these notable figures will live on forever. We are excited to share our mural with the public and to highlight local notable figures that worked to make Sioux Falls what it is today! Artist Wyatt Dickson did an amazing job bringing this mural to life, as the finished product flawlessly matches the concept. Keep scrolling to find information about each member of the Wall of Notability and to learn why they hold a place in Sioux Falls folklore.
SIOUX FALLS WALL OF NOTABILITY MEMBERS
ANNE KING is a longtime Sioux Falls resident who grew up in the area and attended Northern Arizona University before becoming a school teacher. She owns and operates a landscaping business and she has made an impact on the Sioux Falls community through her volunteer work, most notably with the Center for Active Generations. Those that know King personally celebrate her for her kindness and her spirit of giving and those that don’t know her personally may recognize her due to one of her hobbies: walking. King is widely recognized around the city for walking the streets while reading, a hobby that she does to meditate and ruminate on spiritual topics.
SCOTT HOY was raised in Sioux Falls and has been a plaintiffs lawyer for over 35 years. Over the years, Hoy has developed a reputation as one of the top attorneys in the Sioux Falls area. In 2014, Hoy received nationwide attention when his "please stop" campaign went viral online and even made it on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. The campaign was in response to a rash of incidents where young people had went extreme speeds in town, letting go of the steering wheel just to frighten passengers - a trend that left some young people badly maimed. The campaign was met with confusion, but the people of Sioux Falls stood up for Hoy and he continues his successful practice in the heart of the city.
DONN CLENDENON was a first baseman who enjoyed a storied 12-year career in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburg Pirates, Montreal Expos, St. Louis Cardinals and, most famously, the New York Mets. In the 1969 World Series, Clendenon batted .357 with 3 home runs and 4 RBIs to help “The Miracle Mets” defeat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles, earning him the World Series MVP trophy. After his pro baseball career, Clendenon became a lawyer, earning his juris doctorate from Duquesne University, before settling down in Sioux Falls, where he’d enjoy the final 18 years of his life.
JANUARY JONES is an actress, model and Sioux Falls native who is perhaps best remembered as Betty Draper from the hit AMC series Mad Men. Jones begun her acting career in the year 2000 and has appeared in several big time productions including Anger Management, Love Actually, American Wedding, We Are Marshall and The Last Man on Earth, to name a few. In 2009, she even hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live, the first and only Sioux Falls native to ever bestow that honor.
JAMES ABOUREZK is an attorney and politician from South Dakota who was the first US Senator of Arab-American descent. Abourezk was instrumental in passing legislation that fought to preserve Native American families and culture. He was the author of the Indian Child Welfare Act, or ICWA, a landmark policy that still plays a huge part in keeping Native American families together. In 1974, TIME Magazine named Abourezk one of the ‘200 Faces for the Future’. Abourezk retired from politics in 1980 and founded the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a grassroots civil rights organization and he has continued to fight for the rights and equity of marginalized populations in South Dakota and beyond.
SANAA ABOUREZK is a gourmet chef, restauranteur, author and nutritionist that attended Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School in France and owns and operates Sanaa’s Gourmet Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Sioux Falls. She has worked as a nutrition advisor for the South Dakota Department of Health and she is one of Sioux Falls’ foremost experts on healthy eating. In 2016, Abourezk had the opportunity to try and ‘Beat Bobby Flay’ on his popular competitive cooking show on the Food Network, an opportunity afforded to only the best chefs in the country. Abourezk is the author of several cookbooks on healthy eating and she uses her platform as a locally famous chef and restauranteur to help raise money for good causes.
CJ HAM is a professional football player and captain for the Minnesota Vikings. Ham was a four-year letterwinner in football at Augustana University and a three-year starter at running back. In his senior season, he finished 1 touchdown and 71 yards shy of breaking the school’s single season records for touchdowns and rushing yards. Ham was also a two-time All-NSIC honoree in the shot put at Augustana and he currently holds the school record in the indoor weight throw and outdoor hammer throw. After college, he joined the Minnesota Vikings after a tryout at rookie camp, as the Vikings switched Ham to fullback and he made the 53-man roster during the 2017 season, a position he still holds to this day. As an Augie legend, Ham is immortalized at Sunny’s Pizzeria with the ‘CJ Hammer Pizza’.
MR. BENDO has been a Sioux Falls icon since 1965, when he arrived at Buck’s Muffler Shop to advertise the Huth Tube Bender that Buck’s had purchased. The piece of machinery was a big deal for the local muffler shop, as it allowed Buck’s to create mufflers from a single metal pipe rather than piece it together from multiple pipes, which led to less maintenance and emissions. Mr. Bendo sat outside of Buck’s on Phillips until 1967, when the business moved to south Cliff Avenue, where Mr. Bendo would call home until 2017. Mr. Bendo was purchased by Automotive Break and Exhaust at 33rd and Cliff avenue, where he still stands to this day!
STOMP has been the official mascot of the Sioux Falls Stampede Hockey Club since 1999. He embodies the tough and resilient demeanor of the upper Midwest. When he is not cheering on the team at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center, you might find him eating a Muskie sandwich or practicing on his drum. On the ice, Stomp is strong and ferocious – but off the ice he loves hugs and fist bumps. Just be careful, he is known to pull a prank every once in a while!
MARY HART is a television personality and actress who is best known for her time as the longest running host of Entertainment Tonight, as she hosted the show from 1982-2011. Hart is an Augustana alumni and former Miss South Dakota. She got her start by producing and anchoring her own talk show on KSFY while teaching at Washington High School. After several years as a local news anchor, Hart landed a role on Days of Our Lives before co-hosting Regis Philbin's first syndicated talk show and she never looked back!
JOE FOSS is perhaps the most decorated and celebrated person to ever have been born and raised in our great city. As a leading Marine fighter ace in World War II, Foss received the Medal of Honor as he ascended to the rank of Major in the Marine Corps before becoming a Brigadier General in the Air National Guard, President and Board Chairman of the Air Force Association and Director of the US Air Force Academy. However, Foss made a huge mark in civilian life as well, becoming South Dakota’s youngest Governor ever at age 39 before becoming the first Commissioner of the American Football League and hosting ABC’s The American Sportsman. Later in life, Foss became the President of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1984.
CAPTAIN 11 was a fictional character played by longtime KELO-TV weatherman Dave Dedrick for over 41 years from 1955-1996. The Captain 11 show was a locally-produced after-school children’s television program that showcased cartoons and involved a live television audience of local children. It was the longest-running children’s television program in the United States and a big part of local culture for children of the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The Captain 11 show officially ended in 1996, when Dave Dedrick retired from broadcasting. He was inducted into the South Dakota Broadcasting Hall of Fame the very next year and the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1999. Pieces of memorabilia and a portion of the set from the show are displayed at the State Historical Museum in Pierre.
PAT O'BRIEN is a Sioux Falls born television personality and musician who is perhaps best known as a sportscaster. O’Brien came to national prominence during his 16-year run with CBS Sports in the 80’s and 90’s covering America’s Biggest Sporting events like the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, NBA Draft, NCAA Football Championship, NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and even the Olympic Games. After leaving CBS, O’Brien was the co-host of Access Hollywood from 1997-2004 and The Insider from 2004-2008. During his youth, O’Brien was a member of the Sioux Falls band Dale Gregory and the Shouters and was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.
BLITZ was born in the remote Stormy Creek Hospital in Nunavut, Canada. He was homeschooled by his parents who taught him the arts of bipedal movement, interpretive dance and putting on pants two legs at a time. After graduating from home school, Blitz discovered the world of mascots and set his sights on a dream, to be a team's official mascot! Hearing of a mighty football team with a history of mascots that looks similar to himself, Blitz migrated south to Sioux Falls. After arriving he settled into a cave at Falls Park where he was introduced to Drizzle, who was conveniently nearing retirement. After spending a year studying the ins and outs of being a mascot, Blitz took the reins in 2021 as the official mascot of the Sioux Falls Storm indoor football team.
DAVID is a replica of Michaelangelo’s Statue of David that was donated to the city of Sioux Falls by legendary Sioux Falls inventor Thomas Fawick. Fawick famously invented ‘The Fawick Flyer’, one of America’s first automobiles, in 1908 and held the patents to over 300 inventions including America’s first rubber golf club grips. David now stands in Fawick Park in downtown Sioux Falls, which is only fitting, but his nakedness was once at the center of major controversy. When the 18-foot bronze replica was unveiled in 1973, a local minister started a crusade against the statue, but art won out over conservative idealism and David stands tall downtown as a landmark of Sioux Falls.
OLE THE VIKING is a Nordic warrior that has stood guard over the quad at Augustana University as their official mascot since 1939. Ole is an homage to the school’s Scandanavian roots and traditions and he personifies the Augie school spirit. A statue of Ole can be found on Augustana’s campus and it was sculpted by Augie grad Peter Eide in 1966. He serves as a rallying point for student activities and an inspiration for school spirit to students, alumni, friends and future Vikings on game days, cheering Augie’s student-athletes and coaches to victory.
THUNDER, the Sioux Falls Skyforce mascot, has been prancing around the Sioux Falls Arena and Sanford Pentagon for 29 seasons. Not only is he a mainstay in-game, but he's also probably made an appearance at either your local school, or an event throughout Sioux Falls. He did not join the Force when the team was founded in 1989. After a few different mascots, even an aardvark, Skyforce owner Greg Heineman felt it was time for a change. When Heineman purchased the team in the early 1990's, one of the first things he updated was the team mascot. The birth of Thunder came about. The suit was inspired by the northern winters and the name was created by a fan vote. 29 years later, through many changes within the community and the Skyforce, Thunder still stands.
SUNNY is the inspiration behind Sunny’s Pizzeria, a small, locally-owned neighborhood pizzeria right in the heart of Sioux Falls. He has touched the hearts of most everyone he’s met, especially his owners Jon and Katy Oppold, who identified this location as a potentially perfect spot for a pizzeria during dog walks through the neighborhood in 2012. At the time, this location was a laundromat that had seen better days and was in need of a refresh. Little did they know that in just seven short years, this space would be up for lease and that they would em-bark on a life-changing adventure with their best friend Sunny as the focal point. Sunny is a gentle little French Bulldog that loves to eat things he shouldn’t, go on walks around the neighborhood, loaf around on the coach and, occasionally, sniff a butt or two.
WILBUR is a crazy coyote that captivated the hearts of children around the Sioux Empire as the face and pizza delivery coyote at Gigglebees Arcade and Pizzeria in central Sioux Falls. From the late 80’s until Gigglebees closed in 2008, Wilbur would deliver pizzas in the restaurant on a tricycle and talk to the kids and parents as he rode. Gigglebees was a staple in the city for children for over 20 years and Wilbur will always be remembered fondly by Sioux Falls children from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000s.
COOPER is the official mascot for the University of Sioux Falls and a lifelong student at USF. He has not missed a single home or away event since joining USF and holds the longest streak of consecutive USF games watched and it’s not even close. Cooper is a lifelong learner and he embodies the spirit of the USF alumni and student body and he has been a staple of Sioux Falls culture and will continue to be for many years to come.
CAGEY has been the spirit and soul of the Sioux Falls Canaries independent league baseball team since the club was re-introduced in 1993. Cagey lives in northcentral Sioux Falls at ‘The Birdcage’ and is a Sioux Falls legend who spends the off-season with family in the Canary Islands. During the season, Cagey stolls ‘The Birdcage’ throughout the season making mischief, being silly and delighting Canary fans young and old. Cagey was retired for a few years when a previous ownership group made a bird brained decision to rename the team ‘The Sioux Falls Pheasants’, but wiser folks changed the name back to ‘The Canaries’ in a moment of clarity and Cagey was back and better than ever!