Remembering Joe LeeApr 2nd, 2013 | By Jay Long | Category: OP ED
The news came quickly that recently retired City of Newburgh Sergeant Joseph Lee had passed away Easter Sunday morning from apparent natural causes. It was not the phone call I’d hope to have received on a day that for many represents renewal and a time for change.
As friends gathered at local area taverns and eateries to share their own memories Sunday, it was quite clear that Joe had left a lasting impression on each and every one of us. We tossed around little stories and anecdotes and toasted the man we all called friend.
Although Joe worked for a city, that at times, could turn even the kindest heart cold, he never was without a smile and he never had a bad word for anyone. He spoke to me last week about looking forward to his retirement, enjoying times with friends and hoping to find a couple good running horses – just because he had a ‘hunch’.
Joe was a diehard Mets fan and had recently asked “what is everyone doing on Monday at about 1:00 PM?”, referring to the Mets 2013 season opener on Monday April 1. I like to think that Joe had a birdseye view over Citi Field as his beloved Mets took the field and won the game 11-2. Along with the Mets, he rooted for the Jets and did his best to keep the 80’s alive with his selections on the jukebox during happy hour.
On Wednesday we will all once again gather, say our goodbyes and offer each other comfort. Death is never is easy, especially when the one who has passed is so full of life.
Joe Lee served our country in the US Navy. He served the community he grew up in for 22 years as a proud member of the City of Newburgh Police Department. Now he’ll serve as an eternal light for all that knew him because whatever and wherever heaven is, Joe Lee is certainly there.
Visitation will be held from 4-8 pm on Wednesday, April 3 at Brooks Funeral Home, 481 Gidney Ave., Newburgh. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 am on Thursday, April 4 in St. Francis of Assisi Church, Newburgh, with burial following. To view Joe Lee’s full obituary please visit Brook’s Funeral Home online