Obituary of Thomas J. Lee
There will be graveside services for Thomas J. Lee and Patricia Lee at Leatherwood Cemetery on Saturday, April 23rd, at 1:00 p.m, with military rites accorded by members of the American Legion. Day Carter Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Thomas J. Lee, a resident of the Terraces Retirement Community in Boise, ID, passed from this life on Saturday, December 18, 2021, in Boise. Born on February 26, 1924, in Bedford, IN, Tom was the son of Gordon Box Lee and Mary (Quackenbush) Lee. He is survived by two daughters, Elizabeth Leonardson and Lisa Ellis, both of Boise, ID; 4 grandchildren: Nicholas and Erin Leonardson and Kristina and Thomas Ellis; one great-granddaughter; two nieces, Judith Asbell McMillen and Julia Asbell Hale and their families, and close family friend, Debbie Grillo. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wives, Joan Wiley and Patricia Kibler; his sister, Frances Lee Asbell; his brother, William Spencer Lee; and 3 cousins, Robert M. Lee, Jean Powell, and Ann Rittmeyer. Tom grew up during the Depression and a time when community bands were a very popular activity that served as a pastime as well entertainment for the community through parades and concerts. Tom’s family were active participants, his dad as a trombonist and baritone singer. He taught Tom to play trombone at an early age, and fostered an ability that defined many of Tom’s lifetime activities thereafter and one that he continued to develop until the end of his life. His favorites were Sousa marches, big band, Dixieland, and jazz. He played piano as well. Early in his college life at Wabash College he was drafted, and during his service in World War II he suffered a combat wound in the Battle of the Bulge. Many years in military hospitals and multiple surgeries failed to save his injured leg. He completed his degree at Wabash College and a Master’s Degree at the University of Denver. He then contributed many years to the field of education as a teacher, administrator, and developer of curricula in schools in Divernon, IL, at The Colorado Academy in Denver, at The Ojai Valley School in Ojai, CA, and at the Idaho Department of Correction in Boise. His family enriched his personal and professional life. When he was seventy-six years of age he married Patty Lee, a friend since grade school, and together they enjoyed music offerings in the Hendersonville, NC, area, as well as participation in the First Presbyterian Church, and the Faith Fellowship Church at Ardenwoods Retirement Community where they resided. It was during this time that Patty led him to write and publish his autobiography, Depression, War, Disability Be Damned: Praise God. After Patty's death he relocated to Boise to be with his family there and to enjoy activities at the Terraces Retirement Community, where he was instrumental in organizing Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances, as well as Sunday morning church services for the residents of the Terraces. As a result of his Christian faith, he continued to write and publish for friends and family: Spiritual Reflections of Tom Lee; Seeds of Spiritual Reflections, Vols 1, 2, 3; and Snippets. During his lifetime Tom touched many lives encompassing multiple generations--family, friends and students--through challenging conversations, teaching, and writing. He was a lifetime member of The Military Order of the Purple Heart and the Disabled American Veterans.