William F. “Bill” Lee Sr., a Korean War veteran and former Towsontowne Recreation Council co-chair, died Oct. 30 of complications from an infection at Gilchrist Center in Towson. The former Rodgers Forge resident was 93.
“Bill, my dad, and my mom were good friends,” said Randy Dase, a retired Towson High School coach and teacher, who was coached by Mr. Lee.
“He was the face of the Towsontowne Recreation Council and spent many hours volunteering with the rec council,” Mr. Dase said. “He was such a great guy and everyone respected him.”
William Foreman Lee, son of Phillips Fitzgerald Lee Jr., a Baltimore Sun newspaper route owner and farmer, and Lillian Lorana Foreman Lee, a homemaker, was born and raised in Cockeysville on the family’s Shawan Road farm.
Mr. Lee was a direct descendant of Confederate Civil War Gen. Robert E. Lee and Col. Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee, a Revolutionary War patriot.
He was also a descendant of Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee, signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Mr. Lee attended St. Paul’s School for Boys and graduated from Baltimore City College.
Mr. Lee studied engineering at the Johns Hopkins University and in 1951 enlisted in the Army and spent two years in Germany with a combat engineers unit.
He was discharged in 1954.
After working for several engineering and surveying companies in the late 1950s, Mr. Lee became an engineer and surveyor in the Maryland Department of General Services land acquisition division, and later became the department’s contract officer, responsible for procuring property, among other things.
In the late 1960s, Mr. Lee began volunteering with the Towsontowne Recreation Council and eventually became co-chair of its basketball program. He was also chief baseball umpire and refereed football and lacrosse games.
“I always had great respect for him for just being a great human being,“ Mr. Dase said. “He had a great personality, a good sense of humor, and was just a happy gentleman. We used to call him the ‘Mayor of Rodgers Forge,’ because he lived on Stevenson Lane across the street from the playing fields at Dumbarton Middle School where he officiated all of the sports. Today, referees get $100 a game, but in Bill’s day, you were a volunteer.”
After retiring in 1982, he and his wife, the former Agnes ”Sunny” Klein Anderson, whom he married in 1980, moved to Cape Coral, Florida, where they lived for 15 years and where Mr. Lee volunteered in the emergency rooms of Lee Memorial Hospital and HealthPark Medical Center, both in Fort Myers.
The couple returned to Maryland in 2001 to be near family and friends, and lived in Ocean Pines in Worchester County. While there, Mr. Lee began volunteering for the Veterans Memorial Committee, and remained a member until moving in 2017 to the Glen Meadows Retirement Community in Glen Arm.
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Mr. Lee was a lifetime member of the Society of the Lees of Virginia and attended an annual gathering of Lee family descendants.
“They are always held at a place associated with the Lee family and he went this summer to Valley Forge,” said his daughter, Robin Lee, of Cockeysville, referring to the part of Pennsylvania where Maj. Gen. Charles Lee was a commander during the Revolutionary War.
Mr. Lee was an avid Ravens and Orioles fan, and enjoyed walking. “In his 90s, he was still walking a mile a day,” Ms. Lee said.
He was also a woodworker who built furniture and enjoyed working in the gardens at Glen Meadows.
Mrs. Agnes Lee, his wife of 40 years who had been a special education teacher at Ridgely Middle School in Baltimore County, died in 2020.
A memorial service for Mr. Lee was held Thursday at Sherwood Episcopal Church in Cockeysville.
In addition to his daughter, Mr. Lee is survived by his sons, William F. Lee Jr., of Anacortes, Washington, and John Lee, of Union Bridge; three stepsons, Bruce Anderson, of Salisbury, Gary Anderson, of Timonium, and Richard Anderson, of Jarrettsville; a stepdaughter, Sunny Anderson, of New Orleans; and 19 grandchildren. An earlier marriage to Carol Lawrence ended in divorce.