Ralph David Lee was born November 15, 1945, and passed away on November 14, 2020 – two hours shy of his 75th birthday and 45th wedding anniversary. He passed away in the company of his wife, daughter, granddaughter, and beloved beagle, Rosalee. He was born in Princeton, Kentucky, and called many places home during his 15-year tenure in the United States Army. Lee, as he was known to most, proudly served two tours of duty in Vietnam earning a Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat.
Lee is survived by the love of his life, Celeste, daughters Jennifer Columbe and husband Joe of Phoenix, Arizona; Amanda Griffith and husband Steven of Omaha, Nebraska; Suzie Vrana and husband John of Bossier City; and son David Lee of Minden. Also left to cherish his memories are his grandchildren Christopher, Roya, Logan, Ian, Miller, Lily, and Grady. He leaves behind a yard full of horses, chickens, dogs, cats, honey bees, and any living thing that looked hungry.
Lee was known by many names: Ralph, David, Daddy, Granddaddy, Uncle Lee, and grumpy old man. He will be remembered for his compassion for the less fortunate. No creature was allowed to be cold or hungry in his presence. He instilled in his children an incredibly strong work ethic, the value of honesty, a sense of justice and equality for all persons, and the importance of a home cooked meal. He insisted on sharing his knowledge of gardening, woodworking, beekeeping, and fly tying and fishing, among many, many, MANY other things (whether you asked or not).
Lee was admittedly a jack of all trades. His grandchildren cherish their memories of learning to make homemade pasta, listening to his military stories at the dinner table, laughing at his terrible puns, and hearing of the hardships of his childhood – including his 2-mile uphill walks to and from school in the blizzards of Kentucky. His children still share stories of his unique fashion sense so in that spirit, please dress comfortably for his memorial – even if that means wearing your favorite duct taped down coat with camo fatigue pants and Velcro sneakers.
In lieu of flowers, that family asks that donations be made to the Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter in West Monroe, Louisiana, or animal rescue of your choice.
And we still never got that darn recipe.