Randolph Murray Lee|
April 19, 1955 - December 16, 2013
Resident of Orinda
Randolph Murray Lee passed away on December 16, 2013 after losing his battle with cancer. The world has lost a unique individual with an intelligence that would accept no impediments to imagining what was possible. Randy lived a life of complexity, with ups and downs, and he chose his own path through it.
Following his diagnosis in 2012, our dear Randy made the decision to opt for unconventional treatments in pursuit of recovery. Good or bad, right or wrong, Randy rarely did anything conventionally. But until his illness finally overcame him, his unwavering belief that he could "beat it" won him many admirers, and a good, long year being active and doing things which brought him happiness.
He was born in Hartford, Connecticut and moved with his parents, the late Thomas Edward Cameron Lee and the late Barbara Gill Lee, and his siblings Elizabeth and Thomas, from Hartford to Kalamazoo, Michigan, then to St. Louis, Missouri, and finally to Lafayette, California when he was 13.
Instead of attending Acalanes High School in Lafayette, Randy chose to go the Cate School in Ojai, an academically rigorous all-boys school. Randy was on of the intellectual standard-bearers in a group of young men at Cate who went on to pursue successful careers in many fields. Since it was 1969, Randy, like so many others, embraced counterculture. He became and remained a loyal fan of The Who and The Grateful Dead, as well as becoming an avid reader of science fiction, for the rest of his life. Even as a young man, and throughout his life, his friendliness and love of incisive, analytical conversation allowed him to make and keep a large group of diverse friends. Throughout high school and afterward, he enjoyed tennis, skiing, and going to Grateful Dead concerts with not only his Cate friends but also his old Lafayette pals whom he saw when he was home for breaks and summers.
After graduation from Cate, Randy attended Cal Berkeley before dropping out in 1974. 25 years passed, and after a long period of struggle with addiction, Randy wisely recognized he needed to change his life. He decided to commit to Delancey Street for recovery. It was a lifesaving decision and Randy stayed there for 5 years, living and working in Espanola, New Mexico.
Recovery allowed him to reconnect with his family, obtain an Honors Degree in Computer Science, and begin an exciting career in I.T. at Sierra Sciences, a biotech firm working on extending human life spans. He lived in Reno, but often visited his family members and friends in the Bay Area, as well as others who had settled in Grass Valley, Alaska and elsewhere. In his last years, Randy indulged himself in one main area: cars. While he owned a collection of Alfa Romeos, a Porsche and a Ferrari, he spent most of his time behind the wheel of his beloved green Audi.
Unlike most of his buddies, Randy never married or had any children. Regardless, he was a caring and fun loving uncle to his siblings' children, niece Laura Delahaye, and nephews Thomas Delahaye, and Dane and Seth Lee. He joyfully spent time skiing, hanging out, fixing computers and helping these lucky kids to grow up and make smart choices. Uncle Randy had been through a lot, and remained a reliable source of helpful guidance, interesting conversation, and plenty of lively debate.
Randy is survived by his loving siblings, their respective spouses, John Delahaye and Katherine Lee, his niece and nephews, all mentioned above. They all miss him very dearly. He is also survived by a vast and treasured brotherhood of Cate friends. Thankfully, he was able to enjoy a reunion with most of them a few months ago, when he was still feeling healthy. Even after so many years, Randy felt a strong kinship and bond with his school friends, as they in turn appreciated his natural inquisitiveness, wide-ranging interests and strong opinions. His friends and colleagues at Sierra Sciences mourn his loss, as does a network of fellow Delancey Street recoverees. Finally, his steadfast Lafayette buddies, with whom he shared the carefree years of his youth all the way through to adulthood, also grieve for him.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation in Randy's name to the Delancey Street Foundation, 600 Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94107. Randy will be laid to rest with his parents at the Oakmonst Cemetary in Pleasant Hill, and a private life celebration honoring him will be held at a future date in January, to be decided.
Published in Contra Costa Times on Dec. 27, 2013