Deceased June 12, 2018
Lee was born in March of 1928, grew up in New York City and was the first of the three classmates we lost this June, passing away June 12 in Long Beach, Calif. He graduated Manlius Military Academy (outside Syracuse) before coming to Amherst where we were teammates on the track team. He was a good sprinter, and we especially enjoyed the “away” meets and the colorful coaching of the redoubtable Al Lumley.
He married Carol Petry and was blessed with four sons before her untimely death. He then married Susan White, who is the daughter of John White ’44. Have been unable to reach Susan to learn more about his final days.
Lee’s entire career was in the field of broadcast advertising, starting in the mailroom of the American Broadcasting Company and working his way up the ladder with a variety of positions—research director, promotion manager, traffic manager and sales manager.
He sold commercial time for AM, FM and TV stations for several rep firms such as John Blair, Edward Petry, RKO and retired after 20 years as an executive with the Westinghouse Broadcast division which is now CBS. He claims to have sold everything from cars to kitty litter, all of which was helped by his public speaking course at college.
He became involved with soccer with his son and the American Youth Soccer Organization—really involved—and after coaching and refereeing for years became the commissioner of the AYSO for the Chicago region, helping it grow from 300 youngsters to over 1,500. He said he came to Chicago as a Republican but soon realized that to get anything done locally, you better be a Democrat.
Lee was an active tennis and squash play and was league coordinator for some 200 members of the Chicago Advertising Tennis Society. With all this, he still got in 35 years of travel, inspired by his favorite author Clive Cussler and character Dirk Pitt, concentrating on Mexico, Spain, Morocco and Portugal. A full happy life, cheerfully loyal at reunions, he will indeed be missed. He is survived by his wife, four sons and three grandchildren.
Gerry Reilly ’49