Joseph Choate League, Jr.

joseph league, jr.

July 17, 1944 ~ September 24, 2018

Born in: Laredo, TX
Resided in: Atlanta, GA

Joseph Choate League, Jr. (Joe) was born on July 17, 1944, in Laredo, TX, and passed away peacefully on September 24, 2018, at home in Atlanta. He will be remembered by his family and friends for his adoring devotion to his loved ones, his strength of character, and his infectious laughter.

The oldest child of the late Joseph Choate League and Mary Jane Proebstle League, Joe grew up in Macon, GA, and graduated from Lanier High School. As a teenager, he enjoyed the mentorship and companionship of his aunt, Jean League Newton and grandmother, Ellamae Ellis League, who inspired his interest and career in architecture. He earned a bachelors degree in Architecture from Georgia Tech, spending summers as an intern in his grandmother’s firm. After college, he joined the Atlanta architectural firm, Jova/Daniels/Busby (J/D/B), where he quickly attained the roles of associate and principal, developing particular specialties in marketing and management of higher education and adaptive re-use projects.

At J/D/B, Joe also met his beloved wife, Karen Darby Lanier, a young designer from Waycross, GA. The two married on November 27, 1971. Joe managed the architectural practice at J/D/B until 2001, when he joined the S/L/A/M Collaborative as Managing Principal and board member. Joe was admired by his colleagues and clients for his sense of humor, personal ethic, generosity, and devotion to the profession. He was proud of the many projects he led, but as a lifelong lover of learning, he especially enjoyed those that advanced higher education. Among his many notable projects were the renovation and restoration of Emory University’s iconic Candler Library; the Health Sciences Education Building for the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, GA; the Medical Education Building for the Emory School of Medicine; the Claudia Nance Rollins Building for the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University; the University of Georgia Wilson School of Pharmacy; and most recently, the large Multi-Disciplinary Science Teaching and Research Building at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. Joe also faithfully served several organizations in which he believed, including AIA Georgia, Midtown Alliance, and the Cathedral of St Philip.

Despite his numerous professional accomplishments, Joe’s greatest source of pride and joy was his family. Fiercely devoted to Karen, his daughter Elisabeth, and her family, he let neither the busyness of life nor sickness stand in the way of supporting and celebrating the people he loved most. His hearty laugh and warm kindness were a blessing to many, and his grandchildren will remember him as much for his snuggles, storytelling, and tablecloth drawings as for his sharp intellect and stubborn determination to keep cancer from disrupting the life for which he was so grateful.

Joe is predeceased by his wife of 45 years, Karen Darby Lanier League, and his parents. He is survived by his daughter, Elisabeth Ellis League Irwin and son-in-law, James William Irwin; grandchildren, James Ellis Irwin, Joseph Andrew Irwin and Sara Darby Irwin; beloved sisters Cheryl League Dennis (Dr. Donald Dennis) and Meredith League Pretzie (David Mitchusson), and his nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was lovingly cared for in sickness by the team at McClinton Cares, nurses who became dear friends. His life will be celebrated at the Cathedral of St. Philip on Monday, October 1st at 10 AM. The family will receive friends immediately following the service in Child Hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Cathedral of St. Philip, 2744 Peachtree Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305.

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  1. Jackie Moses says:

    Harry and I are both sad and glad at Joe’s passing. He will be missed, but now is suffering and pain is over.
    Sending caring thoughts,
    Jackie and Harry Moses
    Vidalia, GA

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