Donald Ralph Lee (1925 - 2018)

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Donald Ralph Lee, 93, Red Oak, formerly of Emerson, passed away Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Society.
Don was born March 24, 1925, in Mystic, the son of Ralph and Sylvia (Browning) Lee. He was raised in Seymour and graduated from Seymour High School in the class of 1943. He then entered the U.S. Navy, serving during World War II upon the battleship USS Colorado. He received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained during a kamikaze attack while in the Philippines. Upon his return from the war, Donald attended college in Centerville and graduated with a teaching degree from Iowa State Teachers College. He later earned his Masters Degree from University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Don was united in marriage to Charlotte Phillips on Jan. 6, 1951, in Unionville, Mo. Don's career took him to many different schools including Sewal, Ellston, Cromwell, Wales-Lincoln, and Tri Center before moving to Nishna Valley in 1973 as principal and athletic director. He taught and coached for many years, retiring in 1987. His coaching career was filled with many championship teams, including an undefeated basketball team while teaching at Wales-Lincoln. He also had championship teams while teaching at Neola-Tri Center. Don was very involved in his community, where he was a life member of both the American Legion and the DAV and served on the Emerson City Council. Don's hobbies included fishing, golfing, and visiting with friends. He was a longtime member of the Red Oak Country Club.
Preceding him in death were his parents; son, Donald Craig Lee; sisters, Marjorie Vickroy, Frances Bauer, Ramona Baxter, and Corrine Gitchell; brother, Ronald Gitchell; and brother-in-law, Max Bauer.
Survivors include his wife, Charlotte Lee of Red Oak; daughter, Connie Bowen of Emerson; son, Michael Lee of Glenwood; grandchildren, Joshua Bowen and wife Laura of Imogene; Nathan Bowen and wife Bailey of Hastings; Bryan Bowen and wife Kylie of Red Oak; Craig Lee and fiancée Cyndy Ingraham of Omaha; and Heather Brown of Clarinda; great grandchildren, Molly and Emma Bowen; Zane Bowen; and Payton and Devin Brown; brother, Frank Gitchell of Rockford, Ill.; and many other relatives and friends.
A celebration of life service was held Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at the Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel. Burial of the cremated remains will take place in the Emerson Cemetery. Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral Home
Nelson-Boylan-Lerette Funeral Chapel
410 N 6th St
Red Oak, IA 51566
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Published in The Red Oak Express on Oct. 23, 2018
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