Don Lee

June 1, 1943 - March 27, 2024
Don Lee
Service Date:
Thursday, April 4, 2024 11:00 AM
Service Location:

St Vincent De Paul Church

1375 Spring Ln, Holladay, UT 84117

Don passed away peacefully in hospice care in the early morning on March 27, 2024. His wife of 57 years, Sharon was by his side. Since January 2023, Don & Sharon have lived at Holladay Healthcare Center, in Holladay, Utah. In March 2022, Don was diagnosed with what the doctors believed was Lewy Body Dementia. In November 2022, while in the process of moving from Montana to Utah to be near his son, he broke ribs in a fall. There was another fall the following March & Don was never able to recover.

Don was born on June 1,1943 at 7:01pm in Warren (Ohio) City Hospital to George and Mary Lee. His baptism occurred on July 4th of the same year, at St. Vincent De Paul Church in Vienna, Ohio. Due to World War II, him and his mother spent his earliest years in Vienna, Ohio on his maternal grandmother’s farm (Martha Yamsek). When his father returned from the war, the family purchased a home in Alliance, Ohio very close to that of his paternal grandparents (George and Anna Lee). 

Don attended Alliance Public Schools. As a kid, he enjoyed long bicycle rides with friends, and built and flew tethered model airplanes. While a teen, he was a member of Civil Air Patrol, and a Civil War re-enactment group. Also, he had a job at a paint store. During the summer, he worked as a caddy at the Alliance Country Club 

In 1961, after graduating from high school, Don attended West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown for a year before realizing that he needed some more preparation and funding for higher education.  It was about this time that Vietnam was becoming newsworthy, so he decided to enlist in the Air Force. Don had basic training in San Antonio, TX, Nuclear Weapons & Missile training in Colorado and was stationed at McConnell Air Force Base, a facility of SAC (Strategic Air Command) in Wichita, Kansas. 

During his enlistment, he was able to continue his education by attending classes (Night School) at Wichita State University. He completed his pre-requisites for studying geology. He met his wife, Sharon, where both were taking the same class at Wichita State. Their first date occurred on June 1, 1964 which was Don’s 21st birthday. Sharon was surprised since this was unknown to her. They went to a steakhouse in a hotel for a celebratory meal. 

Don’s enlistment ended in 1966, and he re-enrolled at West Virgina University to finish his studies in geology. On August 6, 1966, Don & Sharon were married in Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Wichita. After spending their honeymoon on the East Coast, they set up a household in Morgantown, WV. Don was an exemplary student and graduated with his bachelor’s in science in Geology in August 1967 

From there, Don began graduate school at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) to continue his studies in geology.  As Don and Sharon began having a family, Don decided not to finish graduate school but instead started working at Ford Motor Company. 

Him and Sharon raised their family of 3 children in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He returned to his Catholic faith in 1996 after suffering a brain infection. In 1999, he retired from Ford just short of 31 years ending his career in supply chain and logistics at the Ford’s Rawsonville Facility. Once retired, Don moved to Whitehall, MT where he had purchased a cattle ranch. In retirement, he enjoyed working at the ranch & gem collecting/rock hounding.

Don had many interests, and his biggest strength was his ability to be a self-starter/learner.  Over the years, he became a jeweler, beekeeper, auto restorer, wine maker, baker/chef, etc.. Some of his many hobbies were riding motorcycles, gardening, fishing, black powder shooting, antique pocketwatches & clocks, etc… 

He loved to camp & travel. Over the years, some of Don’s favorite vacation spots were the Smokehole in West Virginia (fishing for trout along a branch of the Potomac River); Outer Banks in North Carolina; the mountains in Montana & any place in the Caribbean on a cruise ship. He always wanted to return to Switzerland where his youngest daughter lived. 

Don is survived by his wife, Sharon (Harmon); his 3 children: Jaydee Moreau (& husband Jerimy), Dana Lee and Heather Schuler (& husband Oskar); sister, Valerie McOuat and 4 grandchildren – Blake, Garrett, Cassandra and Deanna Moreau. 

A viewing will be on Wednesday, April 3 from 6-8 PM at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 S 900 E, Millcreek. Guests are encouraged to use parking and entrance located on the north side of the building. A Funeral Mass will be celebratedon Thursday, April 4 at 11 AM at St. Vincent De Paul, 1375 Spring Lane, Holladay. 

Don’s family appreciate everyone’s thoughts and prayers.

The family requests for donations to be made in Don’s memory to the Dementia Society of America. 

For friends and family unable to attend in person a link to livestream the services will be available here approximately 10 mins prior to services. Please return to this page to view. Services will also be recorded and available to watch here on demand for time and eternity.