THE family of businessman Joseph ‘Joe’ Lee have paid tribute to the “loving” and “caring” father of three following his death, aged 76.
The Co. Clare native, who was born in Clooncerna, Boston on September 2, 1943, died on Monday, March 23.
Developing a strong work ethic in his youth, Joe left Boston for London at the age of 16.
He found work in all aspects of the construction industry across the capital as he paved his way to fulfil his life goals.
In 1964 he met the love of his life Hannah (known to family and friends as ‘Ciss’).
The pair went on to marry in 1967 and had three sons - Joseph, Thomas and Bernard.
In 1972 Joe established his company L&B Haulage & Civil Engineering Contractors Ltd in north west London.
With the support of his wife, the firm grew to become one of the larger contractors based in the area, carrying out major civil engineering and demolition projects.
Those projects were all serviced by Joe’s main construction waste recycling facility based in Wembley.
Although a dedicated family man, Joe’s hard-working ethics and entrepreneurial sense never left him.
After establishing his successful contracting business in London, he ventured back to Ireland where he also became a hotel proprietor when he took over Glynn’s Hotel in Gort, Co Galway.
His other passion in life was horse racing.
Rather than just attending race meetings, Joe was determined to train National Hunt Horses and in the late nineties he built his own professional horse training facilities in Gort.
Again, with the support of his devoted wife Ciss, who became a licensed trainer, together they bred, reared and trained horses and had many successful wins on the Irish racecourse circuits.
Following his death last week, his family told The Irish Post: “Joe was a pure force of nature and with his immense personality was able to brighten up the show on any occasion. His ability to engage with young or old and give advice and guidance will be greatly missed by many.”
They added: “Joe will be forever remembered for his beautiful smile, gentle eyes, caring heart, loving embrace and unconditional love.
“Although our hearts are heavy, we will celebrate his life and find comfort that he is in heaven watching over us.”
Joe is survived by his beloved wife Ciss, sons Joseph, Thomas and Bernard and grandchildren Sammy, Callum, JJ, Molly, Megan, Bobbi, Frankie and Charlie.