Dec. 4, 1927 - Feb. 28, 2004
SANTA FE, N.M. - Alan F. Lee, 76, of Santa Fe, N.M., died Saturday, Feb. 28, 2004, at St. Vincent's Hospital, in Santa Fe.
He was born Dec. 4, 1927, in Neenah, Wis., the son of Margretha and Charles Lee.
The family later moved to Rockford, Ill., where he attended junior and senior high school. He received his bachelor of arts degree and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Grinnell College, where he was involved in activities of the NAACP.
He then attended the University of Munich in Germany for postgraduate work, and stayed on in Munich to work at Radio Free Europe.
He subsequently enlisted in the Navy, was admitted to Officer's Candidate School and served as a lieutenant J.G. in the South Pacific.
Upon his discharge from the Navy he attended Columbia University for two years and earned a master's degree in international affairs. It was there he met his wife, Lynn Fisher. They married on Nov. 17, 1956, in Lake Placid, N.Y.
He entered the Foreign Service that same year and served at a number of posts over the next 10 years: in intelligence and research in Washington, D.C.; as vice-consul in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; as Aide to the Ambassador in Bonn, Germany; as a student of the Turkish language for nine months at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington; and as economic officer in the Central Treaty Organization in Ankara, Turkey.
Mr. Lee resigned from the Foreign Service in 1966, moving his family of five children to Keokuk, the birthplace of his wife. There he took on the position of vice president and secretary of the Hubinger Company, an independent corn-refining company. When Hubinger's was acquired by H.J. Heinz, he left the company and, with his wife, started Lee Travel Associates, a travel agency. They later added a second office in Fort Madison. After eight years in the business, they sold the agencies and moved to Santa Fe.
Mr. Lee then went into real estate, working as manager of AAA Travel for a short time and eventually developing his own company, Alan Lee Real Estate.
During his years as a business executive, he served on many boards and civic associations. In Keokuk he was a member of the Rotary Club; sat on the Board of Directors of State Central Savings Bank and the Salvation Army; and was president and a member of the Board of the Keokuk Art Center.
Over the last 20 years he was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Santa Fe.
Mr. Lee retired for good in 1998 and he and his wife spent their time traveling with friends and family, enjoying concerts and art events, gardening, and becoming involved in local Democratic Party activities.
While living in Iowa he spent many hours sailing on the Mississippi River and in his retirement years he loved to sail on the Sea of Cortez.
Adding to his fluency in German and his general interest in languages, he had been studying Spanish for several years with Fernando Mayans at the Santa Fe Community College.
He had recently begun a new activity that brought him great joy and fulfillment, tutoring Patrick Sena's fourth grade class at Salazar Elementary School.
He was known as Boppy to his seven grandchildren.
He was a man of great honor, intelligence and compassion and will be sorely missed by his loving family and friends.
Survivors include: his wife of Santa Fe; five children - daughter, Carolyn Lee and son-in-law Ted Larsen of Santa Fe, daughter, Elizabeth Lee of Santa Fe, son, David and daughter-in-law Christine Lee of Boston, son, Robert Lee of Phoenix and daughter, Catherine Lee of Boston; seven grandchildren, Alex Delecluse and Madeleine and Nicholas Larsen of Santa Fe, Celia and Emmet Raney of Santa Fe and Rachel and Justin Lee of Boston; and a sister, Barbara and brother-in-law, Bill Higgins of Toquerville, Utah.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 4 p.m. at St. Bede's Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, followed by a reception at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Salazar Partnership, 978 Indian Ridge Road, Santa Fe, N.M. 87501, in care of the Alan Lee Memorial. The donations will be used to provide reading books for the elementary school students for them to begin their personal libraries. Donations may also be made to MoveOn.org Voter Fund, P.O. Box 9063, Berkeley, CA. 94709.
Arrangements are under the direction of Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, 1399 Luisa Street, Santa Fe.