On the April 2nd, 2018 ,Jeet Kune Do instructor Chris Kent reported, the sad news that Bruce Lee’s friend and Student Allen Joe the last of “The Four Musketeers”, had passed away that morning. His sincere condolences went to Annie his wife, the rest of Allen Joe’s family, and to his friends. The funeral was on the 18th April in Freemont California, only family and a few guests were present at the funeral.
Shannon Lee daughter of Bruce Lee tweeted,
“it is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Allen. He was a kind, gracious, uplifting and beautiful soul. His love was palpable, and we will miss him. Rest In Peace, Uncle Allen, and say hi to my dad and brother. They will be waiting with open arms. With all our love-the Lee Family.”
She added that it was amazing some people thought he was Bruce’s brother.
Allen first met Bruce Lee in Seattle during the World’s fair in 1962. Bruce spoke with Allen at lengths, but when the topic turned to Gung Fu, he recalled that Bruce became very relaxed and really opened up.
During the course of that initial meeting Bruce asked Allen to show him some of Martial Arts techniques, “I did a form and Bruce suddenly reached in and lop-sao’d me all over the place,” he recalls.
Later Bruce met James Lee who was in Allen’s words “very impressed”. Allen had a grocery store and after Bruce moved to Oakland, Allen and James tried to help him out financially. After moving to Los Angeles every time Bruce came to Oakland, James Lee would call Allen and say, “Hey, the Master is here!” This meant that Allen had to go and pick Bruce up from the Airport.
Allen says, “You can never forget Bruce, once you have met him,” and carried a picture a picture of Bruce in his pocket always.
Allen wrote a book called, The Last of the Four Musketeers: Allen Joe’s Life & Friendship with Bruce Lee which tells an extraordinary personal story of his family, true love, triumph, heartbreaks, and his best friends.
In the book he takes, you inside his family in Oakland is Chinatown before World War II and shares his experience of war and meeting his best friend, Bruce Lee. When Bruce and Linda were married in 1964, they moved to Oakland and lived with James Lee, his wife, and 2 children. The book reveals Allen’s long-time friendship with James led to a meeting with Bruce in Seattle and how James Yimm Lee, Bruce Lee, Allen Joe, and George Lee, became the Four Musketeers in Oakland.
Achieving Against All Odds
Linda, Bruce Lee’s widow, said,
“she knew how Allen’s story would help people better understand Bruce Lee’s story-the story of achieving excellence against all odds. That is what this book is about.”
It is sad to see the first generation of Bruce Lee’s students sadly fade away but as long as we remember them and their memories of Bruce neither will ever be forgotten.
Rest In Peace