George Morris Lee - 1926 - 2019


George Morris Lee passed away March 11, 2019, at his home. He was 93.
George was born January 19, 1926, in his parent’s farm home near the town of Paola in eastern Kansas. He was the first of two children born to Ray and Flossie Lee. George lived the first 12 years of his life in Kansas, where he with his parents would move three times, each time to farm homes they rented to make a living farming the land. They lived in their third home, which included only 40 acres, during the middle of the Great Depression. George remembers those as the “lean” years. It was in their fourth home where his sister Phyllis was born.
In the spring of 1938, they left Kansas and moved to western Missouri to another farm home. George attended school in Walker, Missouri, where he graduated high school in 1943.
Upon graduating high school, the family moved to Oregon and lived near Willamina. Soon after arriving, George and his dad were hired at Coastal Lumber Company near Grand Ronde. In the fall of 1943, they moved to a home near Grand Ronde, where George lived until entering the Navy in early 1944 during World War II. His basic training was at the Farragut Naval Training Station in Idaho.
After basic training, he was assigned to an ammunitions ship named the Alamosa. After spending some time in San Francisco while his ship was being readied for war, he set sail in November of 1944 for the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. His ship carried ammunition and cargo between Enewetak, Saipan, Guam, Ulithi, Peleliu and Leyte.
While in the Navy, his family returned to Missouri from Oregon.
After the end of the war, his ship sailed back to the States, arriving in Seattle in January of 1946. In May of that year, George traveled by train from Seattle to St. Louis, where he was discharged from the Navy and returned to his family’s farm in western Missouri.
During George’s growing up years in Missouri, his family became close friends with the Saathoff family, who had a farm nearby and whose children also attended Walker High School. One of the children was Della Saathoff, whom George would later ask to marry. On May 18, 1947, George and Della were married, moving to Oregon the following month.
While in Oregon, their first son, Gerald, was born. In November of 1950, they moved back to Missouri where George and Della bought a farm and farmed till late 1954. While in Missouri, their second son, Dale, was born. In November of 1954, they moved back to Oregon, where both George and Della would live out the remainder of their lives. Their third son and last child, Dean, was born in Oregon. George worked most of his Oregon years in the lumber mill industry.
During their years in Oregon, George and Della always lived in the country near Sheridan, Grand Ronde, Willamina and Fort Hill. After 66 years of marriage, his beloved wife Della passed away in 2013.
George enjoyed RV traveling, working outdoors, visiting with family and friends and playing cards.
George and Della were both active members of Willamina Christian Church, whose members were very dear to them. The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to those in the church who ministered to our parents, and especially to Dad in his later years.
George is survived by his sister, Phyllis Sumner of Metz, Missouri; and sons, Gerald and his wife Donna, Dale and his wife LuAnn, Dean and his wife Colleen, all of Oregon; four grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Willamina Christian Church. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at Willamina Christian Church.


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