I first met Lee when I began dating his sister, Sallie (now my wife) back in 1988. From the first time I met him, he accepted me completely, and we were great friends ever since. You hear a lot of people complain about their in-laws, but I was fortunate that Sallie's family treated me as one of their own from the start. You couldn't have asked for better relatives all around. I will miss him terribly, just as I do his and Sallie's parents. He was very much the brother I always wanted.
Lee was literally the most brilliant person I've ever known. He was what I call "Mr. Spock smart." He was a terrific electrical engineer and worked in the radio industry for many years. He could fix pretty much anything - I can't count the times he repaired my amps or other gear, or explained how to fix something. He studied and understood so many areas of science, especially radio, computers, telecommunication, physics, scientific theories... He was geek cool before being a geek was cool and had the brains to back it up.
A lot of times really brilliant people are not very personable, but he was not that way at all. He had a quick wit and loved to laugh. He was a loving husband and father. He was interested in more than just science - he read voraciously about history, politics, economics, and other topics in an attempt to understand "how the world works" and what motivates people. He was an unabashed progressive. He truly believed in social justice and that "ALL men are created equal," no matter their race, religion, gender, or orientation. He liked science fiction and a good pint of beer, although Myers's Rum was his drink of choice. He introduced us to so many out-of-the way places that he discovered in his travels - he'd take us to a BBQ or seafood place in the middle of nowhere.
Some of my fondest memories of Lee are going to see The Eagles in Austin and R.E.M. in Houston, spending big family time at Lake Livingston, family vacations in Rockport and Port Aransas, and many, many great discussions about science, engineering, music, history, politics, and other topics. His technical support and advice over the decades was invaluable. I am so thankful for his friendship.
I always said that after the impending zombie apocalypse/natural disaster/alien invasion, I wanted Lee on my team. He'd have electricity, air conditioning, and internet back on in a week, tops.