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Joseph Anthony Lema
August 1923 January 2010
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Joseph “Joe” Lema, 86, of Denair, passed away on Monday, Jan. 25 at Memorial Medical Center. He was born in Dos Palos, Calif. to Manuel and Emilia Lema in 1923. At the age of 1, Joe’s family moved to the Azores, returning when he was 5 years old. From then on, he lived in the Denair/Turlock area. Joe served in the Army during WW II. After returning home, along with 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; 16 great grandchildren; and many nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his second wife, Phyllis Santos; children, Josephine Hake and Joseph M. Lema; and sisters, Margaret Homen and Josephine Lema.
Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31 at Allen Mortuary. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 1 at Allen Mortuary. Burial will follow at Turlock Memorial Park.
Memorial contributions may be made to the donor’s choice. Arrangements are entrusted to Allen Mortuary. Please share your memories at