Deceased July 9, 2017
Lee Munson, who combined a career in business finance with major civic responsibilities, died in his sleep in San Francisco on July 9. He was 85.
Lee was born in Hempstead, N.Y., and came to Amherst from Port Washington High School. On campus, he majored In American studies, was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and served as editor of the Sabrina humor magazine.
His fraternity brother, Bob Kiely ’53, remembered Lee as “handsome, but not vain or self-conscious, always affable, easy-going and ready for a good time. I often wished I could be as suave as he was without even trying.”
After service as a Coast Guard officer, Lee went to Harvard, where he earned a master’s degree in business administration in 1960. Subsequently, he used his talents in finance and management positions with Cresap, McCormick & Paget, Mobil Oil and Fairchild Camera, followed by a decade as vice president–treasurer of Crown Zellerbach.
Finally, he opened his own management consulting firm, A. L. Munson & Co., specializing in finding management solutions for troubled firms. He also taught finance at Golden State University.
In San Francisco, Lee was an important contributor of the municipal government. He was a member of the Mayor’s Fiscal Advisory Committee from 1976 to 2007. He served on the San Francisco Civil Service Commission for 16 years, including terms as vice president and president. As an eight-year member of the Library Commission, he helped oversee major renovations of San Francisco’s libraries.
Lee loved to sing and ballroom dance. He traveled extensively, had a great interest in his Norwegian roots, was an avid photographer and enjoyed fishing.
He is survived by a son, Eric; two daughters, Genevieve and Anna; and three grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Merla Zellerbach.
George Gates ’53