Durham, Lee P. Beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, friend, and mentor, died Friday, July 12, 2013 at 89 years of age surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his dear wife, Kimiko. Lee is survived by their three sons: Douglas Bull (Judith) Durham, David (Madonna) Durham, and Paul (Ruth) Durham; eight grandchildren and four greatgrandchildren; his sister Eleanor (Hans) Spiegel and brother David (Kathy) Durham. The son of a Methodist minister, Lee was dedicated to his faith and service for peace and justice. He was a conscientious objector during WWII and performed alternative service as a forest firefighter in the Pacific Northwest. At the close of the war, Lee met his wife Kimiko, a Japanese-American working for the War Dept. in San Francisco. They quickly fell in love and moved to Illinois, one of the few states where it was legal for them to marry. Lee worked in a variety of roles for civic organizations, which brought them to St. Louis. In his retirement, Lee, a lifelong railroad enthusiast, created Mokei Imports, a model-railroad import business. He continued to work, even shipping trains to loyal customers in his final days. Lee loved to travel; he and Kimiko were widely known for supporting and organizing international cultural exchanges. For many years, they guided groups of Americans to Japan and throughout Asia and hosted foreign representatives in their home. Lee was a longtime member of University United Methodist Church, People-to-People, Friends of Nagano, Sister Cities Program, and the Japanese American Citizens League. He was a long-time supporter of the Missouri Botanical Garden, the St. Louis Science Center, and the St. Louis Zoo. Services: A memorial celebration will be held on Sunday, September 22, 2013, at 1:00 p.m., at University United Methodist Church, 6901 Washington Ave., St. Louis, MO 63130. In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to University United Methodist Church or to the Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110.
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Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Sept. 15, 2013