Former Moneymore GP was 'a remarkable man'
Dr Josef was born in Kerala, Malabar Coast, India. His mother died when he was very young, and he became very independent at a young age, caring for his younger siblings Liz, Ann, and Fr Thomas.
A popular sportsman and bright student, he attended University in Madras where he played cricket and football for the university.
Soon after graduation, he moved to Northern Ireland, meeting his wife Mary when working in Craigavon Area Hospital. His almost photographic memory led to qualification both as a hospital physician and GP.
His GP training took him to Stewartstown, under the training of Dr Tom Dowdall. The former introduced him, along with another Past Captain, Dr McConnell, to the game of golf, joining The Killymoon Golf Club around 1991.
He subsequently moved to Magherafelt and built the new health Centre in Moneymore around the same time. Often working 24/7 he also filled in as Hospital Physician in the Mid-Ulster Hospital, working alongside Drs Bertie McConnell, Naresh Chaturvedi, and Ernest Hunter. His two sons Adam and Richard came along, and they lived a busy life.
Tragedy struck in October 2000, with the death of Mary, aged just 40. His work with patients in Moneymore and beyond led to his reputation as a caring GP and friend to may. A doctor genuinely loved by patients and fellow health care workers alike.
Josef dedicated himself to raising his boys and his work using his limited spare time to play golf, bridge and read. He was well versed in Astrophysics and Medicine as well as literature and poetry.
A winner of many bridge tournaments, he would often be seen at many local Bridge Club meetings.
He was also a winner of all the major tournaments in The Killymoon Golf Club and beyond.
In 2012, he again found happiness and married Dr Sinead Fitzpatrick. They emigrated to Tasmania Australia in 2016. Dr. Joe however returned “home” for most summers to work and renew old friendships.
He was chosen to be Captain of Killymoon in 2020 and 2021 during “Covid” years. His advice and help during that difficult time was invaluable steering the Club through difficult times.
In May 2022, on relaxation of Covid rules, he was finally allowed to return to Tasmania and his wife, after 15 months in N. Ireland. His health gradually deteriorated and he died peacefully on Good Friday, due to Pulmonary fibrosis.
His death has come as a shock to his may friends. We extend our condolences to Sinead, Adam, Richard and all his large circle of family and friends.
Mid Ulster has lost a remarkable man, friend to all, generous with his time and advice. He will be sorely missed.