JAMES HAROLD LEE, 89
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Prudential Insurance Co.
LAKELAND - James Harold Lee, 89 of Lakeland, Florida passed away at home on Monday, September 30, 2013, after a prolonged struggle with cancer.
Born in DeFuniak Springs, Florida, March 28, 1924, his family returned to Lakeland shortly thereafter, where he has remained. He attended Lakeland High School where he distinguished himself on the football field, and as an all-around sportsman. After graduation in 1943, he was drafted for service during WWII in the United States Navy. Trained at the naval base in Norfolk, Virginia as a PT-Boat Gunner's Mate, he was deployed to England to Atlantic Squadron 35 which took part in the D-Day invasion of France. His PT-Boat, #516, was cited by the Navy with the sinking of a German U-Boat. Eventually, serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters of Operations, his final deployment was in the Japanese Islands aboard PT- Boat 321 preparing for the invasion of the Japan mainland when the atomic bomb brought the war to a quick end.
Following the war, he returned to Lakeland and attended Florida Southern College one year where he was inducted into Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity. He transferred to Florida State University and was a founding member of Lambda Chi Alpha on that campus. Graduating in 1950, he returned to Lakeland where he married his college sweetheart, Mary Ann Ivey, and they enjoyed 63 years together. He was employed as manager of Commercial Credit Corporation for 9 years before associating with Prudential Insurance Company for a 30 year career as special agent.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, their three children, James H. Lee, Jr. (Jeanette) of Ocala, John E. (Jack) Lee (Cindy) of Lakeland, Virginia (Ginny) Lee Roberts (Gregg) of Lakeland; two grandchildren, Travis Jason Lee of Dunnellon, and Mary Anne Roberts of Lakeland; his sister, Mrs. Curtis A. (Lenora Lee) Greene, of Lake Mary. He was preceded in death by his father and mother, John N. Lee and Anna L. White Lee; brother John N. Lee, Jr. and sister Mrs. Grady (Martha Lu Lee) Judd, Sr.
He was a Mason, a founding member of the Sertoma Club of Lakeland, a member of P. T. Boats, Inc., Blinded Veterans Association, Florida State University Alumni Association, and a charter member of Lakeside Baptist Church.
His greatest pleasures were fishing, boating, and relaxing with his family at his vacation home in Cedar Key, FL, watching his Florida State Seminoles play football, and travel with Mary Ann. His fondest reminiscences regard playing football at Lakeland High School and his sea-faring adventures in the Navy during World War II.
A gathering of family and friends will begin at 1 p.m., with a graveside service to follow at 2 p.m., on Friday, October 4, 2013, at Lakeland Funeral Home & Memorial Gardens.
Memorial donations may be made to: Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Avenue, Auburndale, FL 33823-3229.
Published in Ledger from Oct. 4 to Oct. 5, 2013