Judge (ret.) James N. Lee
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Services for Judge (ret.) James Nelson Lee of Bunkie, will be held Saturday, August 9 at 12:00 noon, at First Baptist Church, 203 S. Lexington Ave., Bunkie, under the direction of Hixson-Ducote Funeral Home, immediately followed by graveside services at Bayou Rouge Cemetery in Evergreen. Visitation will be in the church sanctuary from 10:00 a.m. until the time of services.
Judge Lee died peacefully August 3, 2014, at the age of 90 in his adopted home of 66 years. He served as district judge in Avoyelles Parish from his election in 1978 until his retirement in December 1985.
Judge Lee was born and raised in Lake Providence, La., and graduated from Louisiana College in 1943, followed by service in the United States Army through the end of WWII in 1945 and afterward, during the reconstruction effort. He remained a member of the U. S. Army Reserve for many years, and graduated from LSU Law School in 1948. He began his law practice in Bunkie the same year and soon became a board member and attorney for the Avoyelles Trust and Savings Bank.
In 1956, he ushered a bill through the Louisiana Legislature to establish a city court for Bunkie and Ward 10 in Avoyelles Parish. He ran and was elected the first of only two judges to serve that court thus far, and went on to win election as District Judge. He began and continued his law practice, for a long while with attorney Thomas A. Durham, and later with his son Nelson M. Lee, then returned to practice there after his retirement from the bench. He left his law practice in the early 1990s to faithfully care for his loving wife, Martha, during a long period of disability. He was honored in December 2011 by the City Council and Mayor of Bunkie for his efforts in founding and serving on the Bunkie City Court by re-naming Pecan St. in Bunkie "Judge Lee Oaks".
Judge Lee was active in the Louisiana and Southern Baptist Conventions, and served a long tenure on the Southern Baptist Annuity Board. He served First Baptist Church, Bunkie, as a deacon, youth Sunday School teacher, and in numerous committee assignments. He was also a member of the Bunkie Masonic Lodge, F&AM, and a Shriner. He was honored by the Louisiana State Bar Association in 1998 and 2008 as a 50- and 60-year member of the state bar.
Judge Lee was preceded in death by his wife of 44 years, Martha Managan Lee, and is survived by his children, Nelson Managan Lee of Bunkie, Adrienne Lee McKay and husband Dan of Bunkie, and Stuart Rogers Lee, Dallas, Tx., by six grandchildren, Martha Ann Lee, Jane Jarrell Lee, Nelson M. Lee, Jr., Holly M. Descant and husband Paul, Managan M. Johnson and husband Mason, and Dan B. McKay, III and wife Anna (Wolff), by two great-grandchildren, Teddy and Henry Johnson; his brother, Albert "Alan" M. Lee and wife Dorothy of Sarasota, FL; and his sister, Joy Christina Lee Black Turner of El Paso, TX. He was preceded in death by his parents, James Christopher Lee and Meriam Christina Nelson Lee.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church of Bunkie, P. O. Box 508, Bunkie, LA 71322, to the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home, P. O. Box 4196, Monroe, LA 71211, or to a
The family wishes to thank especially the staff and management of Bayou Vista Community Care Center, Bailey Place (Bailey House) Assisted Living, and Bunkie General Hospital.
Hixson-Ducote Funeral Home - Bunkie
302 St John St. Bunkie, LA 71322
Published in The Town Talk on Aug. 6, 2014