The Rev. Joel R. Lieb, O.S.B., 81, a monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, died Friday, June 8, 2001, after a long illness.
Father Joel was born June 2, 1920, in Spangler, a son of the late Reuben and Viola (Dumm) Lieb, and was one of eight children.
He attended Spangler High School in Spangler and graduated from Saint Vincent Preparatory School, Unity Township, in 1938. He received a bachelor of arts degree from Saint Vincent College in 1943 and a master of arts degree from Saint Vincent Seminary in 1946.
He also received a master of science degree in biology from Fordham University in 1949 and a Ph.D. in biology from Saint Louis University in 1953. He also did postdoctoral studies at the Marine Biology Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass., in 1950.
Father Joel entered Saint Vincent Archabbey in 1940, making simple profession of vows July 2, 1941, and solemn profession of vows July 11, 1944. He was ordained a priest June 15, 1946.
Father Joel served the monastic community primarily in its educational apostolates, teaching biology at Saint Vincent College for several decades. He was chair of the biology department from 1958 to 1963. He also taught botany in an extension program from Bristow, Virginia, and physiology and anatomy at the Latrobe Hospital School of Nursing.
In 1989 he was named professor emeritus of Saint Vincent College.
Father Joel’s other ministries included many years as chaplain of the Jeannette Council of the Knights of Columbus, Fourth Degree, and director of the Right-to-Life Program of the Diocese of Greensburg. He was a member of the advisory board of Pennsylvanians for Human Life and People Concerned for the Unborn, and he frequently spoke on right-to-life topics before area groups and on local radio and television.
Father Joel also served as pastor of Forty Martyrs Church in Trauger from 1971 until 2000.
He is survived by three sisters, Lucille Duman of Ebensburg, Julia Lantzy of Patton and Theresa Lieb of Nicktown, and by four brothers, Charles, Chester and Mark, all of Nicktown, and Dr. Ronald of Indiana, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Benedictine Health and Welfare Fund at Saint Vincent Archabbey, 300 Fraser Purchase Road, Latrobe, PA 15650-2690.