Joe Leary, longtime Irish American Partnership chief, dies at 90

FUNERAL HOME Dolan Funeral Homes and Cremation Services 460 Granite Avenue Milton, Massachusetts UPCOMING SERVICE Visitation Sep. 24, 2023 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Dolan Funeral Homes and Cremation Services

Joseph F. (Joe) Leary, of Canton, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on September 18, 2023, at 90 years of age.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Eileen (Sullivan) Leary in 1981. He is survived by his two children, Joseph of South Boston and Eileen and her husband Thomas Johnson of Boston and Harwich Port. He was the beloved "Gramps" of Nicole and Ryan Johnson of Boston as well uncle and great uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Joe was born in Boston and grew up in Milton with his three siblings, sisters Pat Dowling and Betty Horrigan and his late brother Kevin Leary. Joe was a double eagle attending both BC High and Boston College (Class of 1958). Prior to attending college, Joe served in the US Army as a Military Policeman out of Fort Jay in New York City. He began his career in sales with the Gillette Company where he worked for nearly 30 years. After many years of success, he was offered the opportunity to lead the French luxury brand subsidiary of Gillette, S.T. Dupont which he took on with boundless energy.

In 1988, he was named President and CEO of the Irish American Partnership where he served for 28 years until his retirement in 2016, when he became President Emeritus. The Partnership has raised over $50 million in support of educational and community organizations within Ireland. Beyond the boardroom, Joe was an avid traveler, with a particular love for France and Ireland. He found solace and inspiration in the rich cultures and histories of these lands, which he cherished and celebrated throughout his life. He served as a notable contributor to the Boston Irish Reporter, where he was able to share his gift for writing in a monthly column.

Joe also never forgot his Boston roots. He was an avid Boston sports fan, often watching multiple TV's if more than one team was playing at the same time. He enjoyed sparring over local and national politics. He loved Cape Cod, particularly spending time with his family and swimming at the beaches in Chatham.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Our Lady of the Visitation Parish, Saint Elizabeth Church, 350 Reedsdale Road, Milton, Monday September 25 at 10:00 am. Visiting hours at Dolan Funeral Home, 460 Granite Avenue, EAST MILTON SQUARE, Sunday 3-6 PM. Interment Saint Mary's Cemetery, Canton. Relatives and friends invited.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Irish American Partnership or the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Joe's memory. To send the Leary family a condolence message, please visit