July 13, 1929 - December 23, 2016
Austin, Texas | Age 87
This is the first time that Lee's picture has appeared in the Austin American Statesman and he doesn't get to see it. Lee was born, along with his twin sister Mary, in Amery, Wisconsin. He grew up in Cornell, Wisconsin, where his dad, Bill, owned a hardware store and his mother, Ruth, made the best popovers in the whole county. Cornell was named after Ezra Cornell, a lumber baron, who contributed to the founding of Cornell University and white pine tree stumps in Wisconsin. The favorite spring time sport in Cornell was to see who would be first to go skinny dipping in the Chippewa River after the ice went out. The three most influential men in Lee's growing up were his dad, his Scoutmaster, Helge Grotte, and Walker Wyman, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls. Lee's accolades and recognitions are too numerous to mention except for three. His Hereford bull calf got a blue ribbon at the fair (only one entered); he was first place at an FFA (Future Farmers of America) talent contest (modern dance) and placed second in a cow-milking contest. Lee was drafted into the Army during the Korean War period. He was a model soldier, especially apt at military expression, which he still uses today – you know words like gosh and darn. Lee was a professional scouter, Boy Scouts of America, for 36 years. He served in many location including Samoa, Micronesia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Texas and Hawaii. It was in Hawaii that he met his wife, Yuri. After only three months of dating Yuri asked Lee for his hand in marriage. Those who know Yuri always remark how nice she is – translated: how did she end up with you!! Lee found heaven on earth at the Sons of Hermman and the Elgin SPJST dance halls as well as the 29th street dances at the Senior Activity center and Tejano bands at the Moose Club. Lee was a multi-billionaire in the greatest treasure of all – his family (Texas, Hawaii and Wisconsin), and his friends at the dance halls, the St. David's fitness center, Rotary Club of Austin, Genesis Presbyterian Church and his neighbors. Being a Presbyterian, Lee is predestined. This, however, is questionable when talking with Lee's friends. His direction is not necessarily up through the clouds. In fact, some of his friends suggest that Lee be wrapped in asbestos. Lee was preceded in death by is parents and his best friend and brother, Jerry. Lee is survived by his wife of 55 years, Yuri; sons Ward and Bill; and sisters Kathy and Mary. Lee will be cremated and his ashes taken to the family plot in Cornell, Wisconsin. A memorial service will be held at Genesis Presbyterian Church, 1507 Wilshire Blvd, Austin, Texas, at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 29, 2016. Those who wish a memorial contribution may designate Hospice Austin or the Capitol Area Council Boy Scouts of America.