Adrian Frater, News Editor
Montego Bay business-man Joseph 'Joe' Whitter, arguably the western city's most accomplished land developer and philanthropist, is dead.
Whitter, 81, died at the Cornwall Regional Hospital shortly after 8:30 p.m. on Monday night, succumbing to a two-year battle with kidney disease
"He was an astute businessman who had a gift for developing lands," said his widow, Angella, who he had been with for 32 years. "He was a fantastic family man, a generous man, who contributed significantly to the nation's economy."
While he started his adult life as a baker and a grocery shop operator, it was in the field of real estate that he became accomplished, especially in the more than 40 years he spent in England and in the years since he returned to Jamaica in the 1970s.
"When he bought Ironshore from the Canadians in the 1970s, confidence in Jamaica was low at the time … . Very few persons were investing," said Mrs Whitter. "However, being the visionary he was, … he threw himself into the development of the area, and you can see what Ironshore has become today."
Whitter, who was awarded membership in the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government in 2011, was the consummate philanthropist, regularly opening his heart and pocket to assist the community in many ways.
"He was a giving man …
Banker Theo Golding, who counted the late businessman as a special friend, said Jamaica has lost a true stalwart who made an indelible mark in the field of real estate.
"I was his friend, his banker, and the best man at his wedding," said Golding. "He was a good soul, a kind heart … . He understood money and the real-estate business both here in Jamaica and in the United Kingdom … . I have lost a great friend."
In addition to his wife, Whitter is survived by five children.