Obituary: Joseph F. Herbert, 78

by | Nov 18, 2014

Joseph F. Herbert, of East Greenwich, died on November 14, after a hard-fought battle with cancer. His lifelong tenacity, humor, and optimism that defined him to so many remained unbroken throughout his final days.
He was 78 years of age. The eldest of two siblings, Joe was born in Providence, on August 12, 1936, to Leo and Alice Herbert (later Gorman) of Warwick.
He is a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, having achieved the rank of captain. After the Marine Corps, Joe was employed by the Bostich and then Berol Corporations in San Diego, Calif., Chicago, Ill., and Newtown, Conn. Joe later returned to Rhode Island and purchased Lee Engineering Company and then Farber, Inc., both based in Pawtucket, and manufactured Presto manual lifts and stackers. He grew those companies substantially and sold them upon his retirement in 1998.
Joe dedicated much of his time to family, friends and his various hobbies including his love of gardening and salt water fly fishing. He kept close ties with the University of Maine, serving on several boards at the university.
With his passing, he leaves his beloved wife of 30 years, Kim (Powers) Herbert, his step-daughters, Wynne Smith of Greenville, S.C., Kimber Gibson and her husband Thomas of Ridgewood, N.J., Robin Murdock and her husband Ron of Portsmouth, his five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Additionally he leaves his sister, Mary Elizabeth Mainelli and her husband Hugo of Narragansett, Jane Auger and husband Raymond of South Kingstown and Florida, his many nieces and nephews, their children, and other close family members, as well as the countless wonderful friends whom Joe made throughout his many years. All who were fortunate enough to have known him will miss his spirited outlook, good will, and kindness.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Joe’s honor on Saturday, November 22, at 1 p.m., at Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main Street, East Greenwich. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, gifts in his memory may be made to the Special Olympics, Save the Bay, or any state Coastal Conservation Association.


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