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In Memory of Joe Lim

April 21, 1941–September 24, 2018

By Leilani Lim-Villegas

Joe Lim was born in Manila, Philippines. His journey brought him to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, along with his wife, Antonette Lim, who preceded his death in 2016. Joe was a multi–talented man. He played the piano, guitar, and drums. Joe kept physically active by practicing Kung Fu, boxing, Tai chi, and was a master of self–defense in nunchuks. He loved to dance and could perform the steps to all musical genres from hip hop, to salsa, the waltz, swing, and quickstep. A devoted and loving father who taught his daughters how to play the piano, Joe fully enjoyed the presence of a crowd. As a lively entertainer, he was popularly known as “El Mago Chino” (the Chinese Magician). Joe performed on stage Las Vegas style with the most mind-blowing and cutting-edge magic tricks. During the summer, he taught magic classes to the local boys and girls orphanages. In the last two years of his life, Joe focused in conquering the Argentine tango. He enrolled in dance lessons and quickly mastered the art. In October 2017, his family boarded a cruise vacation to the Caribbean Islands and Joe participated at every dance competition possible. He was crowned “Carnival Cruise Dance Champion” through a unanimous decision. In March 2018, at 76 years old, he entered an international dance competition in Dallas, Texas, and won first place in the jitterbug category. The motto he instilled in his four daughters was “practice makes perfect.”

Along with his late wife Antonette, Joe was the owner of the first spa in San Miguel de Allende—“The Spa Since 1984.” Most importantly, he was co-founder of SOME. in 1989, which stands for So Others May Eat. Every Wednesday at noon, a soup kitchen for the elderly is hosted by volunteers at the downtown square courtyard behind the Parroquia Church. Twenty percent of the proceeds from the hotel and spa are devoted to SOME. This charitable organization began in his native country of the Philippines. When Joe married Antonette, he became a partner in this family tradition and this cause traveled with them from the Philippines, to Canada, and finally to San Miguel de Allende where he lived for the past 34 years. In 2011, Joe and Antonette Lim received the “Citizens of the Year Award” from Rotary Club Mid-Day of San Miguel de Allende for service above self, and an honorable mention by “CNN Heroes of the Year” in 2012. With the departure of Joe and Antonette, SOME will continue under the direction of the youngest daughter and board president, Dra Grace Joanne Lim.

Joe has touched thousands of lives all over the world. His colorful personality and devotion to community service have been the legacy he leaves his family and the people of San Miguel de Allende. He was laid to rest at the Jardines Nueva Vida Cemetery, and is survived by his four daughters: Maria Lizette Lim Lee, Marilyn Lim-Carreon, Leilani Lim-Villegas, and Grace Joanne Lim; sons-in-law Edwin Goldstein Carreon and Dr. Francisco Meléndez; and his five beloved grandsons: Sean Lee Lim, Ethan Matthew Carreon, Eadrian Mark Carreon, Leizandre D’Angelo Villegas Lim, and Estéfano Dominic Villegas Lim. A sixth grandson is on the way to be named Lucas Meléndez Lim

 

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