March 1, 1950 – September 2, 2020
Born on March 1, 1950 in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, Joseph (Joe) John Lehane passed peacefully at his home on September 2, after living courageously with a difficult illness. At his side were his beloved wife, Lynn Lehane, his children, Shelan Lehane (Garry), Lisa Layden (Brett), Jonathan Lehane, Katie Lehane (Ryan) and Molly Varga (Chris). The legacy of “Papa Joe” will live on in the lives of Joe’s nine grandchildren, Grady, Amelia, Ella, Tegegn, Chanelle, Vance, Sunny, Charlie and Vaughn. Also remembering Joe with great love are his three sisters, Mary-Ellen Kavanagh, twin Shelagh Gutsche (Ken), and Patricia Smith (Andy). Additionally, in the hearts and souls of his many nieces and nephews, Joe leaves a lifetime of beautiful memories.
As the son of Depression-era parents, Joe learned at an early age to work hard, achieve greatly and always to reach out to those in need. An active member and past president of the Innisfail Rotary Club, Joe spearheaded the Innisfail initiative to eradicate polio worldwide, inspired by his mother who never let polio hold her back.
After earning his law degree from the University of Alberta in 1976, Joe joined a firm in Innisfail, Alberta. He soon became a partner in Miller, Lehane and Wild, where he worked until his retirement in 2015. In 1994 he was honoured with the designation of Queen’s Counsel.
In 1976 Joe married the love of his life, Lynn Thompson. Lynn worked side by side with Joe in his law practice until their retirement. Together, they raised their five children in a country lifestyle.
Joe contributed as a member of the following boards and organizations: past member of the Innisfail Christmas Bureau; President of the Innisfail Jaycees; President/Executive Member of Innisfail Rotary Club- 2008-2009; contributor to Polio Plus; Governor for the Olds College Board of Governors; Director for the Olds College Foundation; President/Executive Member of the Central Alberta Bar Association; member of the Criminal Injuries Appeal/Review Board – May 2000-June 2002; member of the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission – 1995-1996; President/Executive Member of the Innisfail P.C. Association; Director for the Freehold Mineral Association, as well as Lecturer for Estate Planning for Freehold Mineral Association.
In his retirement years, Joe enjoyed wintering in Palm Springs where he pursued his passion for golf, and with his family sponsored an annual Christmas party to aid the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission for women and children. In earlier years, Joe enjoyed raising Arabian horses, taking trail rides to Ya Ha Tinda Ranch and ski trips with family and friends. Joe’s children as well as his sisters, brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews will long remember the tinkling of sleigh bells as they took Christmas runs on the hay wagon while Joe drove his favourite Arabian, Talataza, across the snow-driven fields of that Innisfail acreage.
Joe’s family wish to thank Lynn Lehane for her extraordinary care, love and devotion to Joe throughout his illness.
Condolence messages can be sent to Heartland Funeral Home, Innisfail Alberta, who are entrusted with the arrangements. Due to COVID restrictions, a celebration of life will be announced in 2021.
Donations in memory of Joe can be made to his favorite charity, Polio Plus, by cheque payable to Rotary Club of Innisfail, Box #6040, Innisfail Ab T4G 1S7 with a request to forward to Rotary International Polio Foundation or online at endpolio.org.
To honour Joe, teach your children well, respect nature, stand up for something you believe in, and hold your loved ones near.Obituary
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