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Lee Cearnal

Lee Cearnal

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July 25, 2014
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July 25, 2014
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February 01, 2013
Lee ("Sonny" to me)was my brother and my idol. Whatever he did, I wanted to or tried to do: He was a lifeguard, I was a lifeguard; he was a reporter, he convinced me I could be a reporter. I always wished I could have been as good a journalist as he. All these memories from his friends describe him perfectly -- someone who loved to have fun but who also had a serious side. I was so proud of his service in Vietnam (even though he never talked about it) and especially his winning the Pulitzer. Tell me that wasn't a hard act to follow. And he did love his girls -- Gretchen, Ellie and Grace -- and welcoming to Gretchen's husband Mario. We didn't see each other much, since we lived so far apart. I'm going to try to think that he is just over in Houston busy with his family and not no longer here.
January 28, 2013
This was not an ordinary man. Other than my father no other man meant as much. I knew him the day he was born. From then on we shared cousinship. I was a year older than he but never as clever, courageous, generous or kind. We were playmates who spent many Christmases, Thanksgivings, summer beach trips together. In tree tops, branch streams, old sheds, sea walls, boardwalk, marshes, zoos, swimming, skating, theater matinees, exploring and pretending.

Thru Jr. Hi, high school, driving, drive-in movies, his friends, my friends, Fla.
St. graduation, Un. Fla., then letters from Vietnam. After that just
A few Thanksgivings, river trips, a P.C. beach trip, Lee's funeral, and then my Dads funeral ten years ago. Since then we spent time on e-mail and every year or two he came here for 4 to 5 days on trips to and from Fla. He came not just to visit but to do repairs for us. To help. Time before last he and my daughter, namesake Sunny Lee, built a new foundation for the shed. Always time for the library though, in search of books.

He was my cousin, my brother, my best friend, my hero, my Peter Pan, my Spiderman from beginning to the end……and beyond.
January 28, 2013
My friendship with Lee spanned 40 years, beginning in the "hot type" early 1970s when we were cutting our teeth working a few feet away from each other in a Deep South newsroom. Lee Cearnal defined "one of a kind." If ever there was an affable, horrifically serious, no-frills, straight-shooting bulldog of a sheepdog, it was Lee Cearnal. His laugh was as contagious as a head cold. His work ethic was inviolate. His attention to detail was that of an American eagle. When called for, he could pull out his steel stare in a nanno-second and hit you right between the eyes with his eyes, every time, and reduce you to humble paper pulp. He didn't own a white towel to throw, ever, in any situation -- but he could put up a red flag in a heartbeat. You've got to think that if there is a sit-down coffee shop in the after-life, Lee is there every morning, probably sitting next to and chatting with the likes of Marion R. Morrison, whom most of us knew as John Wayne. Lee, we hardly knew ya.
January 26, 2013
I first met LeRoy at Terry Parker high school in Jacksonville in 1962. He was truly a good friend and I had the honor of attending the senior prom with him. He had many friends and a wonderful family. Although we did not stay in contact he will always be remembered as a part of my life. God bless you LeRoy.
January 24, 2013
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