1933 Norman 2015

Norman Lee

July 9, 1933 — October 11, 2015

Norman Leslie Lee, III July 9 1933 - October 11, 2015 Norman Leslie Lee, III passed away on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at sunset, surrounded by his loving family on the Long Beach Peninsula after a lengthy battle with leukemia. Born July 9, 1933 to Clare Aily Lee and Phyllis Day Tisdale Lee in Salem, Oregon, he was the youngest of three children. His elder brother Palmer Griggs "Bob", and sister Mary Louise Lee Burum both preceded him in death. A 5th generation Oregonian whose ancestors traveled to Oregon on the Oregon trail where they were settlors in the Willamette Valley, Norm took great pride in his family, and enjoyed a close relationship with his cousins the Cheadles, and was particularly close to Richard and Norman. He attended school in Salem, and remained close friends with a number of his classmates throughout his life.. Upon graduation he enrolled in Oregon State College (Oregon State University), joined Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and was active in campus life. He played the role of "Harvey" in the play of the same name, where he met his first wife, Nancy Jean Halladay, while performing together. Shortly thereafter he joined the United States Army where he became an Airborne Ranger, and a 1st Lt. stationed in Augsburg Germany. He was very proud of his military service and spoke of it often. In 1957 Norm married Nancy and the two lived in Germany for several years and explored most of western Europe. They returned to Portland and Norm finished college at Portland State University earning his B.S. in Political Science. While in school, he spent summers working with brother-in-law Gene F. Empey at the Zephyr Cove Lodge in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. He and Gene formed a special friendship and Norm often referred to Gene as his true brother. In 1964 Norm's first daughter Laura Kathleen Lee (Dellinger) was born, and in 1966 his second Michelle Suzanne Lee (Tobin) completed the family. Norm was a devoted father above all else and spent weekends and vacations teaching his girls to ski, play tennis, build sandcastles, jump waves, ride bikes, and explore most of the western US. He and Nancy divorced in 1982. While attending his 30th high school reunion, Norm reconnected with former classmate, Patricia Wegner Seamster. The two married in Maui in 1983 and spent 32 years laughing and loving each other as they watched their children's families grow. He often referred to Patty as his angel and loved her daughter Cindi and husband Kevin Bisenius, and son Jeff Seamster, as his own. His career included more than 25 years in trust banking, along with a variety of entrepreneurial ventures. He never fully retired, as he always had a project of some sort (be it remodeling a home with son-in-law Dirk, , building bookshelves for his granddaughter Allyce's classroom, putting up a fence at the family beach cabin with Michelle, making birdhouses, painting, gardening). Work did not define Norm. In fact, there were four things that truly mattered to him: Family, Tennis, Laugher, and Health. Norm was an incredible Dad, who loved his daughters deeply. He formed special relationships with his sons-in-law Dirk Dellinger and David Tobin with whom he enjoyed watching sports, teaching them "how-to's", Both were instrumental in advocating and caring for Norm during the last months of his life and he loved them both dearly. He loved his "son-out-law" David Bruncke as well. He was a truly devoted grandpa and loved spending time playing and laughing with his granddaughters, Allyce, Claire and Grace Bruncke; and looked forward to welcoming Allyce's fiancé Travis and his daughter Kaisha to the family in June. He was also much loved Grandpa to Patty's grandsons the Bisenius boys whom he referred to as the "Biseniae", K.C., Jenner, Taylor, Kierson and Jordan, and to granddaughters Carrie, Annie and Jillian Seamster, and numerous great grandchildren.. He was a loving uncle to nieces and nephews (and great, greats as well): Robin, Bruce and Glade Truitt; Stephen, Juliann, Jordan, Jennifer, Ryan, Zane and Jase Empey; Michael, Megan, Elisabeth and Emily Empey, and Carey Lee. Tennis was second only to family as Norm's passion. He took up the game as a teenager, and played actively, and competitively throughout his life. Tennis kept him strong and agile. At the time of his death, he remained nationally ranked by the U.S.T.A. Doubles was his preferred game, and he enjoyed playing in tournaments with his good friend John Rian as well as numerous friends at the Multnomah Athletic Club where he was a member for more than 40 years. The boxes of trophies he left behind were unimportant to him, but the camaraderie, life long friendships and love of the game were an essential part of his life. Every person who ever met Norm Lee got a taste of his humor and heard the sound of his laughter. His gift for storytelling was well established, as he regularly told stories of his childhood, jokes (which were expanded upon over the years), and other tales. He often laughed so hard trying to tell them he could barely finish. The only thing bigger than Norm's laugh was his heart. Norm was always an active, healthy and happy person. Despite having had two hip replacements, and an aggressive form of prostate cancer (which he beat), he never left the tennis courts, or stopped doing the things he loved. When he was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia he faced it like he faced everything else, with optimism! He thought the world of Dr. Michael Heinrich and his team at OHSU who worked tirelessly to monitor and manage his cancer over the last six years. He often remarked on the irony of the fact that he had served as the chair of the Oregon Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in his 30s, and had battled with the national affiliate over directing research dollars to OHSU. The targeted chemotherapy drugs he took ultimately waged war on his body, and he suffered a series of strokes in June. He was hospitalized for a month, and was released to the care of his daughter Michelle who was the angel providing 24-hour loving care to him for the remainder of his life. Norm spend his last few months working hard at physical therapy, enjoying watching the sunsets on the Long Beach Peninsula, feeding the birds, chatting with his friend the chipmunk, playing dominoes, spending time with his granddaughters, enjoying more bacon and French Dip than any human can imagine, eating ice cream, and laughing a lot. In the final weeks, the whole family gathered in support of Norm and his tremendous spirit took flight at sunset with his beloved wife, daughters and sons in law and granddaughters surrounding him. He will be carried in our hearts and in our laughter forever. A celebration of life will be held November 22, at 11:00 a.m., at Smith Hall, on the Lewis and Clark College Campus in Portland, Oregon. The family suggests remembrances be made in honor of Norman L. Lee, III to one of the following: The Norman L. Lee Cross Country Scholarship Fund at Ilwaco High School, Ilwaco, WA. co/Tobin PO Box 431, Long Beach, WA 98631 or OHSU Foundation Knight Cancer Institute, Leukemia Cancer Research http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/foundation/giving-opportunities/ Online guestbook may be signed at www.penttilaschapel.com

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