Published in the Erie
Times-News on February 24, 2013
Thomas Frederick Lee,
86, of Fairview, passed away Friday, February 22, 2013 at St. Mary's Asbury
He was born on August 27, 1926 in Erie, to the late Herman and Evelyn
Lee. He graduated from Strong Vincent High School, in 1944, and after
graduation, he drove a tank in the U.S. Army, landing in Le Havre France
on VE Day. He was then billeted to Puerto Rico, as a fitness instructor.
After discharge, he played minor league baseball locally, and also pitched
in the St. Louis Cardinal organization, for various teams on the east
coast, Canada, and the Midwest.
In the 1950s he was groundskeeper of the family golf course, Tracydale,
a nine-hole course, formerly located in northern Millcreek. He also raised
and sold AKC German Shepherds.
After a successful sales position with Addressograph Multigraph, in 1967,
he and his partners founded Mailing Systems, a company selling mailing
equipment and services to local businesses.
In 1974 he became full owner, adding printing and later changing the name
to Thomas Lee Printing & Mailing, Inc., which this year will celebrate
46 years in business. In 1978 he co-founded Bierhaus International, a
mail order company retailing kits and supplies to make homemade beer,
also still in existence today.
He served his community throughout his years as president of the Erie
Kiwanis Club, a coach and board member of F.L.A.G. Little League, and
numerous other service and volunteer activities. Always wanting to remain
active, he delivered Meals on Wheels upon turning 80.
Athletic all his life, Tom was an avid bowler, golfer, and racquetball
player. In his 50s, he and partner Jack Horner won the Pennsylvania State
Racquetball Championship. When he was 75, he bowled a perfect game. He
was a member of Lake View Country Club for many years. He also enjoyed
boating, caring for his pets, cycling, working around his property, and
attending auctions. A resident of Fairview for over 50 years, he was a
member of Fairview Presbyterian Church.
Tom had a phenomenal sense of humor, was a great husband and dad, and
he will be remembered for his acerbic wit, but ultimately his good heart.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 56
years, Betty Alice Sternberg Lee, and two sisters, Sally and Nancy.
He is survived by his daughter Aimee Spagel from Millcreek and her daughters
Carrie and Melanie from Pittsburgh; a son Scott, his wife Barb, and son
Sam from Millcreek; and a son Michael, his wife Amy, and children Jeramy
and Allora from North East; sister-in-law Susan Sternberg Black and her
husband Jim from Rhode Island, and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at the Burton Westlake Funeral Home, 3801 W. 26th Street
(at Powell Ave.), on Monday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m and are invited
to attend a funeral service, at Fairview Presbyterian Church, on Tuesday,
Interment will be in Fairview Cemetery, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, you would honor Tom by making memorials to the Erie
City Mission, 717 French Street, Erie, PA 16501; or Metro-Erie Meals on
Wheels, 1128 State Street, Suite 317, Erie, PA 16501.
Our family would like to thank the staffs of Greenfield Internal Medicine,
St. Mary's Asbury Ridge and Asera Care Hospice for helping dad live and
die with dignity. Your kindness, compassion, and excellent care are so