Joel L. Lennen

November 05, 1957 - September 05, 2022

Visitation: Friday 3-7p.m.; Devlin Funeral Home of Cranberry Twp.

Service: Saturday,10:30 a.m.; Hope Lutheran Church. Everyone please meet at Church.

Age 64 passed away on September 5, 2022, at his home surrounded by his loved ones, after a courageous three yearbattle with neuroendocrine pancreatic cancer. Joel was born on November 5, 1957 in Greenville, OH to (the late) C. Leroy Lennen and Barbara Wolfe Lennen. In addition to his mother, Joel is survived by his wife of 31 years, Kate Cleary Lennen and his beloved children, Joel P. Lennen, Dillon O. Lennen, Kerry A. Lennen and Molly K. Lennen all of Pittsburgh. Joel is also survived by his brother, Kevin L. Lennen (Kelly) of Dayton, OH, his mother-in-law, Judith S. Cleary, his sister-in-law, Jill C. Mackey, his brother-in-law, Ted Cleary, all of Fairfax, Vermont, and his brother-in-law Tom Cleary (Kim) of Pembroke, NH. Uncle to Kyle, (Meg), Karlee, and Keegan Lennen, JJ, Nico and Montana Mackey, Devin (Patrick) McCormack, Abby Cleary and Katie (John-Luc) Landry. Also, many great-nieces and nephews, uncles and aunts. Joel was preceded in death by his father-in-law, James M. Cleary and nephew, Hunter Mackey.

Joel graduated from Bowling Green University, cum laude, in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in Legal Studies. He received his J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law, magna cum laude, in 1983. While at Syracuse, Joel was chosen for Law Review and served as editor. After law school Joel clerked for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. In 1986, Joel joined Eckert Seamans where he became a Partner/Member in 1994 and continued working there until the time of his retirement in January 2022. Joel shared mutual respect with so many of his wonderful colleagues.

Joel worked as a corporate litigator for most of his career and many Pittsburgh attorneys, as well as others across the nation in both state and Federal courts, rued being his opposing counsel.His attention to detail and organizational skills served his clients well, not to mention his well-founded belief that his position was always the correct one. Joel was involved in construction litigation, environmental Superfund matters, class action defense, and many other contract disputes. He was also involved with several municipal law issues including Act 47 compliance for New Castle, PA. His most beloved role was serving as General Counsel to the Port Authority Board, a position he was involved with from early on in his career and where he assumed the official title in 2007. Port Authority honored him with a proclamation in January of 2022 when he stepped down due to his illness. The day he was honored was the day the Fern Hill bridge collapsed; perhaps some karmic involvement occurred on that day.

Joel loved to travel, a tradition he inherited from his father, and instilled that love in his family. He visited 48 states and 25countries throughout his life. In addition to travel and reading,Joel loved sports and was a decades long fan of Syracuse Basketball, the Cleveland Browns and anything his children participated in. His loyalty to the Browns, despite living in the belly of the beast for thirty-six years, is legendary.

Joel and Kate spent most of their married life in Mars, PA and only recently relocated to Freedom. They developed lifelong friendships there and he will be missed by many. We are blessed to live in Pittsburgh with its wonderful medical community and their commitment to Joel’s treatment allowed him to make it this far. Thank you to all the wonderful physicians and staff that cared for him.

Family and friends are welcome from 3-7 Friday, September 9, 2022 at Devlin Funeral Home of Cranberry, 2678 Rochester Road, Cranberry Township, PA 16066. A funeral service will be held at 10:30 am at Hope Lutheran Church Cranberry, 8070 Rowan Road, Cranberry Twp., PA 16066, Rev. Ronald A. Brown officiating on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh, 10 Children’s Way, #300 Pittsburgh, PA 15212, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Memory of Joel Lennen or Mars Public Library, 107 Grand Ave., Mars, PA 16046

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Guest Book Signatures

  • Peggy Joy

    Joel was a real gentleman, a terrific lawyer, and always the most fun guy in the room. Kate, you had a truly great one and I hope you can gain comfort from the many fun and loving memories you two created. No one loved his family more than Joel. Rest In Peace, my friend.

  • Rick Rinaldo

    Farewell to the Reigning Champion of the 41st Draft. Thank you for 40 years of amusements. You will be missed.
    From the AC, the ACA and All the Participants.

  • Bryan Campbell

    So sorry for this loss and my prayers to his family. I was privileged to work with Joel over 10 years when I was at Port Authority. His patience with my ineptitude was remarkable. The only time I ever came close to winning an argument with him was when he conceded I was right but for the wrong reasons. Three things I knew him to be passionate about (1) what ever significant or trivial issue he was pressing at the time (2) his wife and kids, and (3) travel. He didn’t waste life. Rest In Peace Joel.

  • Debbie Schunk

    I worked with Joel over 20 years ago at ESCM. I remember when he was made Partner. Unlike many, he did not allow his new position to change him. He remained the kind, funny man I had met when he started at the Firm. My sympathy to his family. He is truly someone who touched many who will miss him greatly.

  • Lisa and Larry Grubb

    Such an amazing man, as evidenced by his wonderful family and his life’s achievements!
    Loved his dry humor and his wry smile!
    Our heartfelt condolences to you, Kate, JP, Kerry, Dillon and Molly, and all of his family, friends and colleagues, for your profound loss.
    He will be missed by all who knew him.

  • peggy sunseri

    I knew and admired Joel for all of my 30 years at the firm. What a smart, kind, caring individual he was. It has been said that to have impacted just one life is a life worth living…well just think of the many lives Joel impacted over the years. He can surely rest in peace knowing his was a job well done, a life well lived.

  • Hadiza Buhari

    My Condolences!

  • Michael Cetra

    Joel was a dear colleague, friend and mentor. He will be greatly missed by never forgotten. My sincerest sympathies to Kate and his children. Regards, Mike Cetra

  • James Birmingham

    Condolences and deepest sympathy from Jim & Mam. Joel lived life to the fullest and accomplished much. He leaves behind many wonderful memories and is an inspiration to all. May he Rest In Peace.

  • Michael Borasky

    Joel was a great lawyer, a loyal law partner and an even better friend (despite our respective, serious devotions to “bitter” competing NFL and college basketball rivals). Most of all, though, it is his devotion to his loving family that I admired more than anything. He will be missed!

  • Debbie Parah

    Katie so sorry for the loss of your husband.. may he Rest In Peace 🙏 your family are in my thoughts and prayers ❤️
    Went to school with you Katie 1978…

  • Michael Straub

    Condolences to all of the Lennon family. A classmate and childhood friend, I have nothing but fond memories of Joel and his wry smile.

  • Carol and Bill Knox

    Sending our deepest condolences. You and your family will continue to be in our prayers.

  • Heidi Fawber and Bob Ferguson

    Our most heart-filled condolences go out to the wonderful family of Joel. He will be missed by all.

  • Carol Sinatra

    I worked with Joel at Eckert. He was always the smartest person in the room, and the most fun.

    Gone too soon, but most certainly a life well lived. Deepest sympathy to Kate, his children, extended family and all who loved him. May his memory be eternal.

    Carol Sinatra

  • Bob Hurley

    Kate, Dillion and family, I’m so sorry to hear of your husband and father’s passing. Joel was undoubtedly one of the kindest and special people I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. I served as the Chairman of the Port Authority Board and valued each and every conversation I shared with Joel. Not only was he an expert in all things related to Public Transit, but he had the best interests of our employees and customers at heart in all of his deliberations. I’m a better person for having known Joel and the world is a much better place because of the kind advice and support he provided. Be at peace knowing he will not be forgotten.

  • Glenna Broomhall

    What a difference Joel has made in many peoples lives. Even though I may have only met him once or twice I could tell he had it all. Brains, character, humor and a huge heart full of love to share. Anyone who knew him was a blessed individual. Many prayers to Kate and the kids, Barb, and Kevin/ Kelly. Joel ran a long hard fight and now he is whole again. Briefly gone but never forgotten.
    He was one of the good ones.
    Love to all,

  • Bill and Lisa Feathers

    Our deepest sympathies. We have so many fond memories of our time with Joel. He will never be forgotten.


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