American Veteran 04


Harry Richard "Dick" Lee Jr.

July 19, 1935 ~ April 3, 2019 (age 83)

Dick was born July 19, 1935 in Cleveland, OH to Harry Richard Lee and Ethel Evelyn Lee (Norris). He died on April 03, 2019 in Porterville, CA.

Dick grew up a child of the Great Depression, “following the fruit” in the Northwest traveling between Idaho, Oregon and Washington with his extended family working in farming. Dick’s mother passed away when he was six years old.

Dick was a Korean War Veteran. He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1953 and served ten months overseas. Upon his discharge he returned to Pendleton, Oregon where he worked as a Patrol Officer for the Pendleton Police Department. Dick went to college at Brigham Young University for three years before completing his Bachelor of Science Degree in Sociology at the University of Oregon in Eugene. He went on to earn his Masters of Science Degree in Social Work from California State University Fresno.

Dick moved to Porterville in 1968 when he started working for the Porterville Developmental Center, where he worked for thirty-five years. He loved his work at the state hospital, taking a great deal of professional pride as the residents learned and advanced to maximize their individual abilities. He made many great friends and was very proud of the years that he spent working there.

Dick married Elsie Hapner in 1968 a marriage that lasted for over 50 years. Over the course of half a century, many laughs and tears were shared as they raised a family together. Dick loved road trips with his family and traveling in general.

Dick was an active parent and served over thirteen years on the Alta Vista Elementary School District Board, including as its President for a number of years. He was also very active with the Boy Scouts of America. Dick was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He spent decades in the service of others and worked in many roles within the church. He loved the Church, his Ward family and found joy in serving in the Fresno Temple.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Evelyn Mulkey, two of his children, Stephen R. Lee and Sandra M. Leavitt. He is survived by his wife, children Stephanie Smith (Gerald) of Cove, OR; Debbie King of Porterville, CA; Suci Lee of Lymen, WY; Ron Benander (Kathy) of Terra Bella, CA; Harry Richard Lee III of Dallas, TX; Robert E. Lee of Santa Monica, CA; Dicsie R. Gullick (Richard) of Star, ID; Ryan M. Lee (Cynthia) of Canyon Country, CA and dozens of grand children, great-grand children and great-great grandchildren.

Private services will be held with interment to follow at Bakersfield National Cemetery.

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