Raleigh “Lee” Shaklee (December 2, 1921 - September 23, 2013) passed away in Newport Beach, CA after a short illness. Born in Iowa, Lee was the younger son of Dr. Forrest C. and Ruth Shaklee and brother of Forrest Shaklee, Jr. He was pre-deceased by his loving wife Claire Ahern Shaklee in June of 2012 and by his son Rick in 1980. Survived by his daughters Laura Hughes of Santa Barbara, CA, Sandra Hughes of Alamo, CA, Karen White of Santa Barbara, CA, Valeria Nagy of Newport Beach, CA, and son Leonard Perillo of Oakland, CA. He is also survived by nine grandchildren.
Lee co-founded Shaklee Corporation with his father and brother in 1956. His father, Dr. Shaklee, was a pioneer in developing natural vitamin and nutritional products at a time when there was little understanding of the need and value of supplementation. As head of marketing for the Shaklee products, Lee encountered difficulties selling Shaklee vitamins through stores, and so developed a network marketing system of distribution, currently called "Social Marketing." Shaklee followed their early nutritional products with the first green household and personal care product lines and the company was proud of their byline, “Shaklee Products in Harmony with Nature."
Under the leadership of Dr. Shaklee, Forrest, Jr. and Lee, Shaklee Corporation grew from a small family firm into an international Fortune 500 Company that was traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Shaklee also owned and operated “Harry and David” and “Jackson and Perkins Roses and Plants” as subsidiaries. Shaklee was sold in 1989 and at that time Lee retired from his position as Chairman.
In retirement, Lee and Claire enjoyed living between Indian Wells and Newport Beach, CA. They traveled extensively throughout the globe and especially enjoyed the many cruises they took together. They loved ballroom dancing and enjoyed dancing well into their later years.
Lee was also a lifelong ham radio operator and in his later years built his dream ham radio facility on what he called “the perfect location” on a mountaintop that he acquired in Anza, CA. He built and was able to control and operate the complex facility from his home in Newport Beach and enjoyed countless hours communicating with other hams from all over the earth.
Lee was a spirited and deeply ethical man who was also very loving and generous. He and his wife Claire were longtime philanthropists and passionately supported numerous causes, organizations and individuals. Their support continues through a number of charitable trusts and endowments.
Lee enjoyed life and reflected this in all that he did. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends.
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