Feb. 14, 1928-July 11, 2008
Former Detroit Lakes area resident Carlton R. "Curly" Lee, 80, of Mesa, Ariz., died Friday, July 11, 2008 in Arizona, surrounded by his family, while listening to his favorite music.
Carlton Romayne Lee was born to Alvin and Clara (Grindahl) Lee on Feb. 14, 1928 in Jud, N.D. He grew up in a farming family and attended school in Marion and Leal, N.D. He also attended Valley City (N.D.) State College.
Carlton joined the Marines in1946 and served until 1948, followed by service in the Army Reserves from 1956 to 1964. It is hard to describe Carlton's life in a few words. Those who knew him can recall and appreciate his charisma, keen sense of humor, love of family and deep appreciation for music.
A friend said, "Carlton was a big, strong man, with a soft heart, infectious laugh and love of life." He was a salesman, marketer, musician, pilot, and entrepreneur. The song "My Way" could well have been written for Carlton; "To think I did all that; And may I say - not in a shy way, No, oh no not me, I did it my way."
Survivors include his wife, Bonnie Lee, with whom he shared 36 years; his five children, Greg (KC)Lee, Carla Lee, Carolyn (Gary) Mehus, Christy Lee (David Gralian) and Cindy (Weldon) Bryant, and their mother, Jean Lee-Brown, all in Arizona; 12 grandchildren; four great grandchildren; brothers, Ordean (Teddy) Lee and Allan (Shirley Lee); sister-in-law Harriet Lee; and 22 nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; a brother, Duane (Arland) Lee, and a niece, Paula Bainbridge.
Condolences may be sent to Bonnie Lee at 606 21st Ave NW, Austin, MN 55912, or The Lee Family, c/o Carolyn Mehus, 464 W. Hillview Circle, Mesa, AZ 85201.