Lee Thomas Hanley

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Lee Thomas Hanley August 25, 1941 – August 5, 2012 Lee Thomas Hanley, adoring husband, loving father, doting grandfather, accomplished businessman and philanthropist, passed away in his home surrounded by family on August 5, 2012 at the age of 70 from pancreatic cancer. Throughout his journey, Lee never doubted the Lord's plan for him. His strong faith gave him strength and courage. Born in Los Angeles to parents Ture and Virginia Hanley, Lee lived in Long Beach until age 6 when his family moved to Phoenix. He attended West Phoenix High School and the University of Arizona, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting. Lee joined and made lifelong friends as a member of Phi Gamma Delta (Fiji) Fraternity. Shortly before graduation, Lee married the love of his life, Nancy Hobbs. Upon graduation, Lee was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps and reported for duty at Quantico, Virginia. While at Quantico, son Lee Randall (Randy) was born. Following a year of duty at Camp Pendleton, Lee was deployed to Vietnam for 13 months in 1966 and 1967. Daughter Lisa Marie was born during that time. Lee was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1967. Returning to Phoenix, Lee began his business career with Xerox Corporation where he remained for five years, selling the new technology of photocopying machines to law firms. Daughter Michelle Lynn (Shelley) was born and the family was complete. Lee changed careers to real estate and began working for Coldwell Banker where he specialized in retail leasing. Five years later, Lee began his development career when he joined the Estes Company to head up commercial development, primarily focusing on neighborhood retail centers around Estes's residential housing developments. During the 12 years at Estes, Lee assembled one of the most dynamic, creative and ambitious development teams known to Phoenix, who would later become the partners at Vestar. He became the Chairman and CEO of Vestar in 1989, following a managed buyout of the commercial division of Estes. Since that time, Vestar has become one of the largest privately held real estate acquisition, development and property management firms in the country, with over 22 million square feet of shopping centers developed and managed. Lee was also actively involved in promoting and developing his industry. He was a Trustee, a member of Executive Committee and the current Western Division Vice President of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He was also a former Trustee of the Urban Land Institute and a ULI Foundation Governor. Giving back to the community was of paramount importance to Lee. He served on the boards of Translational Genomics Institute, Barrow Neurological Foundation, Celebrity Fight Night, Greater Phoenix Leadership, the Patrons UMOM Homeless Shelter, Valley of the Sun United Way Foundation, Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation, and the National Committee for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Valley Partnership (former chairman) and Paradise Valley Country Club. Among several awards, Lee was named Father of the Year in 2010 by the American Diabetes Association, and recognized as one of the Valley's 10 Most Powerful Men byArizona Foothills Magazine. Most recently he received theArizona Diamondbacks Foundation Community Leadership Award for his philanthropic endeavors to assist Arizona charities throughout the Valley, as well as the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. Family life was always the centerpiece for Lee, and he most enjoyed planning elaborate family vacations, whether to the plains of Africa or the hills of Tuscany. He knew that a family that traveled together grew closer and it brought him great joy to experience the world with those most precious to him by his side. Lee's 7 grandchildren were the apples of his eye. His humor, intelligence and patience mahim the center of family gatherings. Everyone loved Grandpa. Lee is survived by Nancy, his wife of 48 years, son Randy (Lyubasha) Hanley, daughters Lisa (John) Mansour and Shelley (Bill) Jacoby, brother Terry (Kate) Hanley, sister Jeanne (Mike) Kullik, niece Megan Hanley, nephew Hunter Hanley, and his grandchildren: Chloe (17), Tessa (14) and Isabel (12) Mansour; Liam (12) and Graham (10) Jacoby; and Elias (3) and Leah (8 months) Hanley. Lee's Memorial Service is scheduled for Friday, August 17 at 10:00 a.m. at Scottsdale Bible Church, 7601 E. Shea Blvd, Scottsdale,AZ 85253. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lee T. Hanley Fund for Pancreatic Cancer Research at www.tgenfoundation.org, or mailed to TGen Foundation, 400 E. Van Buren St., Suite 850, Phoenix,AZ 85004. Arrangements entrusted to Hansen Desert Hills Mortuary. Please visit http://memorialwebsites.legacy.com/leehanley/homepage.aspx to place online condolences.

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Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 12, 2012
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