There was so much to love and admire about George Lee. From his friendly personality to his uncanny sense of humor, George delighted all with his fun-loving nature. Foremost in George’s life was the family he loved and the friendships he fostered along life’s way. Gone yet never to be forgotten, the heart of George lives on in the lives of all who came to know and love him.
A time of innovation, the year 1957 found the U.S. economy booming. The need for consumer goods rose as manufacturing attempted to keep up with demand. It was the peak of the “baby boomer” era, and a time when families prayed, played, and sat at the dinner table together. American Bandstand made its debut while Elvis Presley recorded numerous hits, and the introduction of the Frisbee and Tonka trucks became the delight of children everywhere. Yet for George Lee and Patricia (Macke) Lee, nothing was more exciting around the Thanksgiving holiday that year than the blessed birth of their little boy, George Michael Lee, born on November 23, 1957. George was one of six children including his brothers, Jerry, Dan and Jeff; his sisters, Susie, and Debbie who died as an infant.
A typical boy of his generation, George was born and raised in Ft. Wayne, Indiana until he began living with his father in Ohio following his parent’s divorce. When George was 14, his father sadly passed away and he returned to the area to live with his mother. An adventurous young man, George was always easy-going and made friends easily. He grew up playing hockey, but never one for school, he left Northrup High School and his schooling behind during his senior year. George’s adventurous spirit was evident as he enjoyed traveling, even if it meant hitchhiking with no particular destination in mind. And during his teenage years he experienced much doing just that across the country. He hitchhiked to California and back and he even lived in Florida for a period of time.
For a brief time, George married and welcomed into the world his daughter, Patricia. Proud to be a father, George counted Patricia as one of his greatest joys and he was forever grateful for her.
George was a hard worker from his earliest years and began doing so at the age of 14. Throughout the years he worked at various jobs including Stucky Brothers and Peerless Cleaners where he remained for 13 years at each. Since 2009 he drove for R&B Car Company, and also worked At Triple A, G&D along with working at Eel River Liquor Store, Low Bobs and Liquid Assets in North Manchester. Yet it was while working at Precision Plastics when George met the woman with whom he would spend the rest of his life with. Lisa Reid was the love of George’s life. They loved spending time together and shared many of the same interests. Lisa had a way of keeping George grounded. She believed in him, and encouraged him to be the best he could be. Having dated for a while and falling deeply in love, the two were happily married on August 11, 1984 at Westpoint Church.
The couple soon welcomed the birth of their baby boy, George Michael II or known by his family as "Gmike" and George could not have been happier. As his son grew older he helped coach him in baseball and taught him how to golf and fish. They also enjoyed bowling together. George even took a part-time job at Magic Hills Golf Course and it was not uncommon for George and his son to stay late after they closed the course, often watching the stars in the night sky while witnessing some of the most spectacular sights and lights. These treasured times will no doubt remain a precious memory in the heart of George’s beloved son.
George was an avid bowler in his younger years, and for over ten years he held the highest series in Columbia City with an 825. An avid hockey fan, he was a Fort Wayne Komets hockey fan and on several occasions he even had the opportunity to practice and play with several of the players. He also played softball, enjoyed watching the Colts, the Cubs, and Jeff Gordon during the NASCAR races. Over the years George and his family took in several memorable times traveling. They visited the wondrous Niagara Falls, the sights in Colorado, the Dells in Wisconsin, and time spent in Minneapolis, Minnesota. George’s job enabled him to fly all over the United States and he especially loved taking photos out the aircraft windows.
George Lee was an easy-going, likable man. Quite personable, he was a friend of many and never met a stranger. He worked hard his whole life through for those entrusted to his care, always giving his all. His genuine kindness and caring demeanor was a testament to his integrity, and his sense of humor found many who loved sharing his company. A wonderful husband, good father, loving grandfather, and a good friend, life will never be the same for those George loved and cared about. He will be deeply missed and remembered.
George Michael Lee, 59, of Columbia City, passed away Friday morning, September 29, 2017 at his home. Survivors include his wife, Lisa Lee; son, George Michael “Gmike” (Ashley) Lee II, of Columbia City; daughter, Patricia Lee of South Whitley; grandsons, Corbin, Chase and Evan; brothers, Dan Rupert and Jeff Lee, both of Ft. Wayne; sister, Susie (Gary) Tackett, of Wolf Lake; and sisters-in-law, Linda (Toby) Green and Lana Reid, both of Columbia City. He was preceded in death by his father, George Lee; mother, Patricia Melton; step-father, Leon Melton; brother, Jerry Rupert; and infant sister, Debbie Rupert.
Visitation is 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, October 3, 2017 at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with funeral celebrant, Sharon Brockhaus officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made toward his final expense, I.C.O. DeMoney-Grimes. To share a favorite memory or photo of George, to sign his online guest book and to leave his family condolences, please visit www.demoneygrimes.com.