A Life of Service

While I am responsible for what I do as a Lion there are a few people that have played a significant part in placing me and keeping me on my path of Service. One of these Lions was my sponsor, there are my friends and fellow Lions from my Club and all around, and those role models who have taken leadership and service roles above to levels above and beyond. I am talking about those people who, in their Service, motivate us to be better Lions. My Club lost a member this past month, and I lost one of those members that I am talking about. That member was my friend, Joe Ulisse.


Joe passed away on October 15th at the age of 93. He has

been in my thoughts a lot lately. What I am writing here is some

of those thoughts and some are from the Necrology Service that

we held in Joe’s honor.


Lion Joe was a Charter member of the Slickville Lions Club

helping form the group back in 1985. During his 36 years of

Service with the Club he held offices of Club President, he

served for many years as our Club’s secretary, and in recent

years as a director on our board.


Joe was involved with every activity we did as a Club. He spent many mornings cleaning and selling chicken. He helped sell Christmas trees years ago and until very recently he chaired our broom sales. He served as our Club’s prayer leader at meetings, and he made sure that our members were aware of those other members that were sick or recovering and he sent cards to let them know that our members were thinking about them. As recent as last year he helped plan one of our most recent projects in helping provide chicken for the local meals on wheels delivery.


For every hour Lion Joe spent in doing hands on service for the Club, he spent countless hours thinking about how to make our Club better and constantly relevant in the community. We talked a lot about ideas that he had and things he hoped to see happen. How to get more members? How to involve our members in doing more? Who could help us do things better? What should we do different? How do we make a bigger impact? Even this last year when he was unable to attend certain Club functions he never failed to call within a day or two to see how things went.


At each meeting Joe’s opinion and ideas were so valued that he held a spot on our agenda. The Club president would always take time to ask Joe if he had anything he would like to share.


His influence as a Lion extended beyond our Lions Club into the Lions District. By attending District meetings, he had friends from Clubs throughout Westmoreland County and beyond. Several years back the New Alexandria Lions Club celebrated a milestone Charter Night. Past District Governor Rich Danesi was a member of the New Alexandria Lions but he was also a Guiding Lion of the Slickville Lions Club. PDG Rich was living in a personal care home at the time. Lion Joe made arrangements, and he and I went and picked up PDG Rich so that he was able to celebrate the Charter Night with his Club even though he could not be with them as regularly for other Club functions as he would have liked.


Joe did what a Lion should do when working with a newer Lions – he mentored members about what it meant to be a Lion. He made sure we were aware of Club and District functions and in his time, he attended District functions, oftentimes bringing fellow members with him. His mentoring helped the Slickville Lions Club to see one of our members become the Club’s first District Governor. I know he was proud to have the Slickville Lions represented in that way. Joe accepted a role on the District Cabinet that year as the District Chaplain to support his Club’s Governor. For his leadership and support he was recognized with a Lions International Presidents Certificate of Appreciation. Lion Joe was named a Melvin Jones Fellow, he is a Lions of Pennsylvania Foundation Fellow, and was named a PA Distinguished Counsellor. After many years of serving our Club as Secretary, Joe decided to resign that role. That year the Club named Joe our first ever Slickville Lions Club Lion of the Year. Since that time the Club has presented that award annually in Joe’s name.


He was always looking for ways to impact the community. He not only cared for and worried about those in need, but he also shared that same care for the members of our Lions Club. Those who knew Joe can all think of those little personal relationships that he had with us. Whether it was sharing his extensive gardening knowledge, or talking sports, or just asking about family, and people’s jobs, Joe took time to have a special relationship with all of us. Joe loved gardening and he was a seed salesman for part of his life. Being a seed salesman was so symbolic to how Joe was to us. A packet of seeds contains dozens of seeds and over his time I’m sure Joe sold 1000s of packets of seeds. Those seeds had the ability to grow into whatever plant with some care and maintenance providing the fruits and vegetables for the grower to enjoy. Joe planted seeds with everyone he knew.


I’ve not known many better people than Lion Joe. He was never negative when we tried something, and I never heard him say something bad about a person. He always found the good in us. He often brought out the best of us. Seeing what Joe did, even in the later years of his life, he was an example that motivated us all. Joe was a deeply religious man and I know he believed in the rewards of Heaven. There are few of us more deserving of those rewards than Joe. I am sure he is there now reuniting with his family and friends. I hope he will soon see and have his hands back in the dirt of his new gardens. Then after that I am sure he will take some time to find out when Heaven’s Lions Club meets. If there is anyone that has some ideas that can make a place like Heaven better than what it is, that person is our friend Joe.


As Lion Joe’s health struggled and declined over the last several months, he called to many of his friends, Lions and non-Lions, me included, to thank us for what we have done. It was touching to hear the appreciation and respect that our friend had for us. I just hope he knew how much we appreciated, respected, and loved him.


I do not think there is a Lion among us that cannot speak the same of a Lion that has helped motivate them. I encourage you to take some time and think about that member or members now. If they are not with us today, I am sorry for your loss and am thankful for what they have done making you the Lion that you are. If they are still with you make this your opportunity to let them know what they have done for you and how grateful you are to have your relationship with them. Joe Ulisse lived to our motto of “We Serve” by helping those in need. Though we must go on without him hopefully our Service will be in the spirt of Lionism that he helped build in everyone that he knew.

Yours in Service,

PDG Lance H. Remic

Global Service Team Chairperson, District 14-E


PDG Lance Remic

GST Chairperson