Born to Ora Marie and Earl Leo Lee, Norman Lee arrived on Valentine’s Day, Feb 14th 1938 and departed this earthly realm on February 8th 2021.
He spent his youth playing in the creeks, woods and fields near the family’s farm in Leavenworth, KS. He also loved sketching and painting in watercolor. He graduated from Leavenworth Sr High, at the young age of 16, earning the nickname “Gartner” by his classmates, referring to his tender age as a “Kindergartner”.
At the age of 21, a beautiful redhead walked into his shoe store and changed his life, it was love at first sight. He married Mable Moore, January 3rd 1959 who remained the love of his life. They enjoyed 62 years of marriage and were blessed with 4 children; Mark Lee (wife Susan), Laura Kratz (husband Keith), Cheri Jones (husband Dave) and Kristy Lee-Colter (husband William).
During his life, Norman would become a self- taught musician, playing any stringed instrument he could get his hands on, especially the guitar….but his musical love was the Mandolin. In later years he also became a self-taught luthier, repairing instruments for himself as well as for friends. With the internet, came the opportunity to find, repair and love all manner of mandolins, fiddles, banjos and guitars, which kept him busy in his free time.
Norman’s musical and artistic legacy was passed down to his children and on to his Grandchildren, through hours of patient teaching, love, support and practice. He loved his 13 Grandchildren beyond measure regardless of time and distance: Lyle Lee, Kathy Lee, Zach Edgar, Jill Katz, Jennifer Albin, Elise Kratz, Jessica Gibson, Josh Kratz, Becky Hathaway, Cassandra Balano, Carly Jones, Amber Southerly, and Emma Smith, as well as his 11 great grandchildren.
Throughout his life, those that met him were struck by his kindness and his patient, un-assuming nature. Slow to anger, Norman was never harsh or unkind, extending grace to everyone he knew.
He spent his working years in retail carpet sales, working for stores such as Kopp’s, Carpet Corner and Blue Spring Carpet and Tile. The man knew his carpet.
Norman and Mable were members of Timothy Lutheran Church in Blue Springs, where he often served as an Usher.
Norman was a man of quiet faith. We know he’s now in Heaven, most likely with a stringed instrument in his hands, playing with the angels and entertaining family who preceded him in death: his parents Ora and Earl, his sister Freda (Lee) Mahle, and three brothers - Alfred, Delbert, and Robert (Bob).
He will be missed by all who knew him, but especially his wife Mable and sister Leora (Lee) Benson.
A memorial service is planned for a later date when family and friends are able to gather.
Daughter ,Independence ,Missouri
My das was the best person I knew. A true example of gentleness, he was a model influence for everyone who knew him, unknowingly perhaps, as my dad was also a humble man. I couldn’t have chosen a better teacher of life. I have no doubt he will continue to watch over and guide me. I pray I make him proud every day of my life.
friend ,Odessa ,Missouri
He was a true gentleman. i am honored to have known him. love to all
Friends of William & Kristy ,Kansas City ,Missouri
We are so sorry about your loss. Your dad was a very nice man.
You all are loved and in our thoughts and prayers.
Take comfort in knowing that you will be reunited again someday in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. Treasure all your memories and keep them close to your heart. That is where you will find your dad, during this time of grief and making it through the days ahead.
Our love, Dennis & Nancy