Joe was born on the 29th December 1930 in Lackloun, Lyre to a farming family. He was an only child and had no first cousin on either his mother or father’s side, so Joe was very special from day one. He grew up in a household of great hospitality and music as his mother Katherine played the piano and Joe was gifted with great vocal ability, so he learned many old songs, the most famous of his party pieces being “The Old Refrain.”
Joe was educated at Lyre National School and Rockwell College, Co. Tipperary.
During his time in Rockwell he excelled at rugby and athletics and made many lifelong friends.
Farming was his chosen career and with no restrictions on production in the early fifties he began introducing the latest best practice, with the advice and guidance of his great friend Tom Wall RIP who was in charge of agriculture in the County at the time.
Silage was made for the first time and he was one of the first to transport milk to Glen South Creamery in a bulk milk tank, thus making the churn redundant.
He was an active member of Lyre Macra na Feirme where his many talents added to the success of the Club.
He married Mary Francis Mulcahy from Annagloor, Millstreet on the 30th September 1954 and they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2014.
The co – operative movement was his life long interest as he believed that people working together to better their business and improve their quality of life was best achieved under the co–operative structure. He was a board member of North Cork Co-op for many years and never had any doubt but that the small co-op could deliver as much for its members as any large co– op and it gave him great satisfaction to see that proven in recent years. He also served as a member of ICOS where he represented the southern co- ops.
The other great interest he had in life was politics. He became a member of Cork County Council in the seventies and as his grand uncle Jeremiah Howard was the first chairman of the council he saw himself continuing a tradition. He used that term in office to great effect, on behalf of the people he represented and was ahead of his time on many of the issues of the day.
In recent years he got a great opportunity to travel as visiting grandchildren required visits to Australia and Canada. On his return he gave humorous accounts of his travels comparing the Rockies and the Blue Mountains to the Boggeraghs which were on his doorstep.
When asked what the view was like from Banff high up on the Rockies, Joe said “ Twas nearly as good as the view from the Eagles Nest on a clear day!”
His good humor stayed with him to the very end and the esteem with which he was held by everyone who knew him was conveyed to the family by the large attendance at his funeral.
Joe died peacefully, in the great care of Nuala and staff at Teach Altra Nursing Home, Newmarket, surrounded by his family, on the 3rd May 2015.
HOWARD (Lyre, Banteer): On May 3, 2015, peacefully, in the care of Nuala and staff of Teach Altra, Newmarket, MICHAEL JOSEPH (JOE), beloved husband of Mary Frances (nee Mulcahy) and dear father of Donie, James, Catherine, Helen, Nora and Mary. Deeply regretted by his loving wife, family, grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers- in-law, relatives and friends.
Reposing at McCarthy’s Funeral Home, Banteer on this Monday evening from 6pm, followed by removal at 8pm to St Joseph’s Church, Lyre. Requiem Mass on tomorrow, Tuesday, at 2pm. Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.