Colonel Maurice E. Lee, Jr., USAF (Ret)September 24, 1916 ~ February 22, 2020 (age 103)
Colonel Maurice E. Lee, Jr. passed away February 22, 2020, at the age of 103. Maury was born on September 24, 1916, on 120th St. in New York City. His family soon moved to Binghamton, NY, where he was raised.
He excelled in baseball and basketball at St. Paul’s Catholic School, where he graduated at the height of The Depression.
He was employed by IBM after graduation, working there for 6 years. During those years his early interest in flying was buoyed by an IBM co-worker, who traded flight time in his plane for gas money. Soon thereafter he applied and was accepted to US Army Air Corps flying cadet school in San Antonio, TX.
Col. Lee had almost 7,500 hours of flight time during his Air Force career in eleven different planes with assignments to Africa, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan and Alaska, among others.
On July 31, 1946, he married Capt. Agnes J. (Jo) Grengs, a US Air Corps flight nurse, at the Church of the Madeleine in Paris, France. Four children soon followed, Karen, Maurice III (Micky), Kevin and Theresa.
He had a passion for his family, flying, golf, investing, the family lake cabin, the St. Louis Cardinals and his 5 o’clock Manhattan. Up until and including his last days he had the memory of an elephant, relating amazing stories, in wonderful detail, from 80 years ago. He had a quick Irish wit, an infectious smile and a generous, kind spirit.
He was preceded in death by his wife Jo, his siblings, Gertrude, Mabel, Tom and Harold (Snook), all of New York. He is survived by his children, Karen Hindman (Ron), Micky Lee, Kevin Lee (Susan) and Theresa Lee, three grandchildren, Melissa Hindman Elliott (Chad), Matthew Hindman and Patrick Lee (Colleen) and five great grandchildren.
He was an early Eagle Scout, a draftsman, a commercial multi-engine, instrument-rated command pilot, a trustee of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, a certified tax advisor, a Knights of Columbus “Senior Citizen of the Year,” and a Pension Board Member for the Fairview Heights Police Dept. for 15 years.
Memorial contributions can be made to St. Clair Association Vocational Enterprises (SAVE) or to Parent Teacher Organization for Exceptional Children (PTOEC), both of Belleville, IL.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 28, 2020, from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fairview Heights, IL.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, February 28, 2020, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Fairview Heights, IL, with Fr. James Long officiating.
Burial, with military honors, will follow at Lake View Memorial Gardens, Fairview Heights, IL.