August 1923 – January 2010
Joseph “Joe” Lema, 86, of Denair passed away on Monday, January 25 at Memorial Medical Center. He was born in Dos Palos, CA to Manuel and Emilia Lema in 1923. At the age of one, Joe’s family moved to the Azores, returning when he was five years old. From then on, he lived in the Denair/Turlock area. Joe served in the Army during WWII. After returning home, besides being a dairyman, he was an owner/operator of a milk transport company for 40 years. He hauled milk cans for Golden State and Carnation creameries, among others. Joe also worked for Denair Unified School District and Foster Farms Dairies. Joe was a member of the SEC, UPPEC, Church of the Resurrection and the American Legion. He enjoyed animals, but most of all, he loved his family.
Joe is survived by his children Tony (Melody) Lema and June (Mike) Hannaford both of Turlock; his first wife Joyce Lema-Runyan of Turlock; six grandchildren, sixteen great grandchildren and many nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his second wife Phyllis Santos; children Josephine Hake and Joseph M. Lema; sisters Margaret Homen and Josephine Lema.
Arrangements are entrusted to Allen Mortuary. A visitation will be at Allen Mortuary on Sunday, January 31 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. A funeral service will be at Allen Mortuary on Monday, February 1 at 10 a.m. The burial will follow at Turlock Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice.