Joe worked with and was good friends with Ronnie French when they started together in the Old Covent Garden in the early 1950s, with Joe employed first as a porter for J.H. Pardoe Ltd and later working for Paige's and William Newton & Sons Limited, where he was on his retirement from New Covent Garden Flower Market in 1997.
Joe’s daughter Lynn Maher remembers: “Dad worked in the Market all his life, getting to work at 2am in the morning Monday to Saturday. He was married to my mum, Gloria for some 25 years and had three children, Lynda, Steven & Raymond and later separated and married Ann, who he was married to for some 27 years. Ann sadly predeceased Dad.
“Whilst at Covent Garden, Dad bought a caravan at Plucks Gutter near Ramsgate (much nicer than the name suggests) and spent the majority of his spare time there enjoying the river, countryside and seaside. Until the last year, Dad was independent and reasonably well and carried on enjoying life to the full. He did a lot of traveling with Ann to the US, Israel, Egypt, Malta, Bahamas to name a few and also when widowed he came away with myself and my husband Peter to the South of France, Brittany, Loire Valley, Switzerland, Norfolk Broads, Wales, Devon and Cornwall,” says Lynn.
“Dad was always cheerful and loved a party. He had a witty sense of humour and made others laugh. His favourite party piece was Show Me The Way To Go Home, which he sung loudly at the end of the night and did a little dance to ... What's not to smile about when remembering My Dad?”
Joe leaves behind Lynn, Peter and grandson Chris, as well as Steve, Katie and their 3 children Sarah, Lily and Sam. On his second marriage, he became stepdad to Keith and Jeanette and had a wonderful relationship with them and their children Jason, Johanne, Darren and Lisa.
His funeral takes place on Tuesday, August 3, and Lynn came to the Flower Market to buy roses for the occasion from Darren French, son of Ronnie. “Darren remembered my Dad, so we had a good catch up and reminisced old times,” Lynn says.
Condolences from everyone at the Market go to the entire family.