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Lee Posey

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Lee Posey Lee Posey, a nationally-recognized businessman, philanthropist and activist, lost his courageous four year battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 73 while resting at home with his beloved family on Friday, February 29, 2008. A man of strong Christian faith, passion, compassion and commitment, Lee believed in service to others and leadership based on moral values. He was a lifelong learner, difference maker and teacher to all who knew him. Lee is survived by his wife, partner and soulmate of 52 years, Sally Souders Posey; daughters, Jill Posey and Jenny Ahearn; son-in-law, Dan Ahearn; two grandchildren, Rowan and Finley Ahearn; his brother-in-law and wife, Bill and Jackie Souders, and many friends and co-workers who loved him and were enriched by knowing him. Born in 1934 in Detroit, Michigan, Lee graduated magna cum laude from Alma College, in Alma, Michigan, in 1956. Over the years, Lee remained involved in the programs and progress of the college as an active alumnus and contributor. In 2004, Alma College granted him an honorary doctoral degree. After graduation, Lee worked with Redman Homes, where he began working to provide affordable homes built in factories for increased efficiency and value. At the age of 33, Lee was named president and returned the company to profitability over the next 10 years. In 1977, Lee refocused his enormous energy and leadership on founding Palm Harbor Homes, Inc., a Dallas-based manufactured home builder. There he cultivated a company culture that continues to appreciate each associate and gives them an opportunity to achieve their maximum potential. A leader by example, Lee maintained an active, healthy lifestyle and served the company as Chairman until 2005. He then assumed the role of Chairman Emeritus, a role he faithfully carried out during his long battle against cancer. He credited his amazing vitality throughout his illness to his healthy habits, strong positive mental outlook, the prayers of others and the love of his supportive family. Over the years, Lee energetically lived out his servant leadership through his involvement in many businesses and civic organizations. These included the Board of the Dallas Habitat for Humanity, the Board of Governors of the Dallas Symphony, the President's Advisory Board at Austin College, the Cooper Institute Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board - Dallas Achieves, to name a few. He was a longtime member and supporter of Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. Lee and Sally were also contributors to Austin College in Sherman, Texas, establishing the Posey Leadership Institute at the college. In 2006, Austin College awarded Lee an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for his significant work in education. Bishop Dunne awarded Lee their Voyager Award in 2007 for outstanding involvement in promoting educational opportunities for at-risk students throughout Dallas and the nation. Lee's life was consistently driven by his commitment to improving the life situations of disadvantaged young women through education and leadership training. He and Sally founded the Posey Family Foundation which is focused on providing educational opportunities for at-risk students. Inspired by the Young Women's Leadership School of New York, an all-female public school in Harlem that reported a high college attendance rate, Lee led a trail blazing effort to promote single-gender public education in Texas. Lee partnered with local school districts to provide single-gender education to young women throughout the state and in August 2004, the Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School opened its doors in Dallas as the first pubic single-gender school in Texas. As a result of his efforts, the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders opened in Austin in August 2007 and two additional schools will open in August 2008 in San Antonio and Lubbock. In 2002, Lee and Sally established the Foundation for the Education of Young Women to provide financial support to every young woman graduating from these single-gender schools who is accepted to college. For the last six years, Lee has worked tirelessly to provide educational opportunities to more young female students by creating additional single-gender schools in the urban public school systems. During his illness, Lee was often overwhelmed by the support and strength of his friends. While he will be greatly missed here on Earth, the Heavenly angels are rejoicing his arrival. Memorials in Lee's honor may be made to the Foundation for the Education for Young Women (attn: Carmyn Neely), 15303 Dallas Parkway, Suite 999, Addison, TX 75001, www.feyw.org. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 10, 2008, at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church, Main Sanctuary, 9800 Preston Road in Dallas. Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home Dallas, TX 214.363.5401
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Mar. 2 to Mar. 7, 2008
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