We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Hamel-Lydon Chapel & Cremation Service of Massachusetts
Joseph Edward Poirier Jr, 72, of Gloucester, died with a peaceful heart at home on May 15, 2022 in the company of his beloved wife, Jane Poirier. Joe, who was born in Rockport in 1950, graduated from Rockport High in 1968, then served in the Navy during the Vietnam War. Although this was a difficult time, he had happy memories of traveling throughout Southeast Asia. He attended North Shore Community College, then Montserrat College of Art, eventually studying with several North Shore artists. His professional career spanned 40 years as property superintendent at Central Grammar Apartments in Gloucester, where he retired in 2017. Joe considered its residents valued neighbors and, in many cases, extended family members.
Joe was a true extrovert who never stopped moving, creating, and connecting with others. An accomplished landscape painter, he also helped with home and gardening projects for family and friends, beautifying several properties in downtown Gloucester. Sports have included windsurfing, mountain-biking, and dory rowing with Jane and their dogs. Joe’s lifelong passion was dance, and he was a long-time student of African dance and drumming. Joe would often join musicians and dancers on stage, and because his exuberance came from joy, he was always welcome. He will be fondly remembered in his roles of Tom Jones, Elvis, and Pitbull in the Bananas shows at City Hall.
Joe was the dedicated and loving father of Lani Heath of Manchester, MA, and the “cool Papa” of Maya and Lelia Heath. His granddaughters plan tattoos of his trademark sign-off on his hand crafted cards: “LUV YA, PAPA.” Joe is also survived by close family members Marilyn and Kim Poirier, his son-in-law Justin Heath, Maya’s partner, Ely Koufman, his sisters and brothers in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends. He is predeceased by his parents, Joseph E. Poirier, Sr. and Mary Horton, and his cherished grandmother, Annie Poirier. He leaves behind his good dogs Vixen and Quincy. Their predecessors were Skipper, Jake, Nora, Dermot, and Bridie.
During his four years of living with cancer, Joe faced his challenges with grace and dignity. His family is grateful to Dr. Mark Pomerantz, Noam Shabani, and Kathy Theodore at Dana Farber, the Connors 7 staff at Brigham & Women’s, the Care Dimensions team led by Sybil and Kathy, and the many healthcare professionals that helped him on his journey.
“I’m so lucky,” Joe said in his final days, as were all who knew him. A private celebration will be held at a later date. To honor his memory, connect with someone, be joyful, or dance with abandon. Gifts in his memory may be made to Dana Farber Cancer Institute (dana-farber.org/how-you-can-help) or the Dance Complex (dancecomplex.org/donate).