Lee Roy Kafer peacefully passed away on January 30, 2014. Lee was a resident of the Bartlesville Health and Rehab Community for many years and was so grateful for the love and care of all at the Community who helped him.
He was born December 15, 1919 in Henrietta, TX to George and Dolly Kafer, the 5th of nine children.
Lee joined the US Navy
in 1939 after high school and served aboard 'Tin Cans'; first doing convoy escort service in the Atlantic and then aboard the newly commissioned USS Meredith, built in the Boston shipyard.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 'DD 434' escorted the Hornet Task Force from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii. The USS Meredith escorted Doolittle's Enterprise carrier raid on the Japanese homeland soon after arriving. The ship continued to serve in the Pacific Theater and while enroute to the South Pacific escorting tankers attempting to bring fuel supplies during the Guadalcanal Campaign, was attacked by an overwhelming Japanese convoy.
Of the 300 sailors aboard, less than 100 survived the attack and subsequent several days lost at sea. Many were taken by sharks as they clung to debris and 'took turns' hanging off the few overloaded rafts floating in the sea. The ordeal left the survivors with years of healing and recuperation. Lee was a 'lifetime' member of the DAV and proud of all they did for wounded veterans.
Lee was a 65 year member of the Plumbers and Pipe Fitters Local 162 out of Dayton, OH and he helped to build much of the in-ground gas lines in the Eastern part of the US. He did work at the Wright-Patterson AFB for years as well. Local 162 always was there for Lee while working and during his years of retirement. He was grateful for their years of support.
Lee was a member of several Baptist Churches over the years and did his best to live the life inspired by his Savior, Jesus Christ.
Lee was predeceased by each of his three wives, Gladys (Baxter), Lois (Rea) and 'Connie' (Hatfield). He is survived by his only child, Lee R. Kafer, Jr. and wife Sheila and granddaughter, LeeAnn Kafer, all of Plymouth, VT, his dear sister, Frances Proctor of Oklahoma City, OK and many, many relatives he cherished. He loved us all.
Interment in perpetual peace will be at a later date in Dayton, OH where he will rejoin his second wife of 34 years, Lois Kafer in Harshman Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to your local chapter of the DAV, VFW
, American Legion or to the wonderful facility he shared as his home the past decade, the Bartlesville Health and Rehab Community, 3434 Kentucky Place, Bartlesville, OK 74006.
Arrangements are under the direction of Walker-Brown Funeral Home. Online condolences for the family can be left at www.walkerbrownfuneralhome.com.