Joe Mell, a veteran of the Korean War, founder of Leo’s Boys, community benefactor and proud Irishman has died, age 86.

According to the Montreal Gazette, “Joe Mell was a figure of near mythic proportions in The Point. He served in the Special Forces during the Korean War, graduated from McGill University, he’d been a procedures analyst at Canadian Pacific railroad, a car salesman, a failed candidate for political office and the owner of Mell Motors Registered — a used-car lot on Bridge St.”

Here is my caricature of Joe Mell as Montreal's Irishman of the Year in 2014. Joe died last week. The founder of Leo's Boys club supporting youth through sports, Mel was thought of as the unofficial mayor of Point-St-Charles… pic.twitter.com/sRZJ9PiW1x

— Terry Mosher (@TerryMosher1) June 27, 2018

Joe was best known as the founder of “Leo’s Boys”, a sporting organization in the Montreal Irish neighbourhood of “The Point” (Pointe St. Charles) that, since 1952 has provided 1,000s of poor kids in the community the means to participate in organized sports (hockey, baseball, boxing, football) at little or no cost to themselves or their families. 

Joe Mell really was the heart and soul of The Point. RIP to a local legend who helped thousands of kids, believed in giving convicts a second chance and gave his neighbourhood something to be proud of.https://t.co/8kLoTWksaC

— christopher curtis (@titocurtis) June 27, 2018

Up until his death, Joe also contributed to community service organizations such as Maison Crossroads and the Waseskun Healing Centre responsible for re-integrating individuals who had been in conflict with the law back into the community.   

Joe Mell was named Irishman of the Year in 2014 for his lifelong contribution to the Irish community in Montreal.  A celebration of Joe's life will be held at St. Gabriel's Parish, 2157 Centre Street,  in Montreal, on Thursday, June 28, 2018, at noon.

You can read more about Joe Mell, his life and his legacy here and about Leo's Boy's here.

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Joseph John Mell, 1932-2018