The Obit For Tom Lee

Thomas Frederick Lee

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 Ridge.

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, at 11:00.

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 greatly appreciated.