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William Laverne "Bill" Lee


1943 - 2019
William Laverne "Bill" Lee Obituary
William "Bill" Laverne Lee

Pensacola - William "Bill" Laverne Lee, 76, born September 2, 1943 passed peacefully at home on Wednesday, November 20, 2019 surrounded by those he loved.

Bill was a Pensacola native who spent his early years split between the family home in Myrtle Grove and his grandparent's farm in Gateswood, AL. After graduating from Escambia High School in 1961, he followed in his brother, Delvin's footsteps and, at age 18, enlisted in the United States Army where he served in the Army Security Agency with distinction at various duty locations in Vietnam, Turkey, Africa, Europe, and the United States. During those 21 years in the Army, he met and married Juanita, his wife of 54 years, and they had 4 children before he retired at the rank of Master Sergeant in 1983.

In "retirement", Bill worked various jobs and eventually spent another 21 years serving his fellow veterans while working for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Pensacola. Also, he sparked wonder in the eyes of many children by serving as a mall Santa for several years. Additionally, Bill spent many years supporting his family and community through his various efforts volunteering and supporting the Pine Forest High School Band Boosters; Las Brisas Neighborhood Watch; Myrtle Grove Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary; the Escambia County Sheriff's Department; his church home, Crown Church; and more recently as an amateur radio operator with Five Flags Amateur Radio Club and Escambia Search and Rescue (ESAR).

Bill is preceded in death by his son, William "Billy" Lee; his brother, Delvin Lee (Barbara); and his parents, Lloyd Lee and Mary Lou Lee.

He is survived by his wife, Juanita Lee; sisters, Joyce Dean (Peter) and Elizabeth O'Brien (Patrick); sister-in-law, Barbara Lee; children, Carole Strong (Christopher), Leonard Lee (Tammy), and Noel Lee (Cynthia); 8 grandchildren, Dane, Billy, Mikayla, Kaitlynn, Miranda, Erin, Greta, and Anna; and 2 great-grandchildren, Leilani and Quinn. Additionally, his extended family of cousins and in-laws is large and spread across the United States.

Visitation will be held 4-6pm Sunday, November 24, 2019 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel. Funeral Service will be held 11:30am Monday, November 25, 2019 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel with Pastor Johnnie Franklin officiating. Interment will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery with full Army Honors.

Even through a prolonged fight with various cancers over the last 30 years, Bill always strived to stay positive and enjoy his time with family and friends to the fullest. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ronald McDonald House, , or to Crown Church, Pensacola, FL.
Published in Pensacola News Journal from Nov. 21 to Nov. 24, 2019
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