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One of Golf’s Loved Ones, Rich Lee, Passes Away, Services Set Tonight, Monday
Rich Lee, one of golf’s great friends, passed away Friday, September 7th, after complications of heart surgery.Visitation with family and friends will be held tonight, Sunday, and services will be held Monday.
Judy Allem, President of the UGA, said, “The Utah Golf Association and the entire Utah golf community extends our sympathy to his family and friends. He was a delightful, friendly, and happy person and much of his life centered around golf and his activity in the men’s leagues at Bonneville and Mountain Dell.”
He was the son of Governor J. Bracken Lee, who was also the mayor of Salt Lake, and he grew up near the Bonneville Golf Course and it was his playground. He won friends and influenced people on the golf course for decades.
He was very active in both the Bonneville and Mountain Dell Men’s Leagues and held leadership positions in both for many years.
Both Steve Elliott of Bonneville and Mike Brimley of Mountain Dell, said, “He was the master organizer of small groups of golfing friends. Many people enjoyed golf because of the open and persuasive invitations extended to them by Rich Lee to play with the groups.”
When he first turned professional he was an assistant at Oakridge Country Club working with Russ Mears. He then joined Don and Dave Johnson as an assistant pro at Paradise Valley Country Club in Las Vegas.
When he returned to Utah as a stock broker for Merrill Lynch he also returned to organizing games at Mountain Dell and Bonneville. He was interested in helping in more ways than that, and served on the Salt Lake City Advisory Board for many years. He also served briefly on the UGA Board of Directors.
Most recently he has been working at Edwin Watts Uinta Golf and was working there the day before his surgery.
The obituary has printed in the Salt Lake Tribune is reprinted below.
Richard L. Lee
1944 ~ 2012 I had the good fortune to marry the most wonderful man in the world; the greatest dad; the best friend. Richard Lewis Lee was born May 22, 1944 in Price, Utah to J. Bracken and Margaret Draper Lee. They moved to Salt Lake when Bracken became the governor, in 1948. Richard held an awesome pride in his father who instilled in him a great love of political debate. Richard’s brother James left for West Point about that time, but their relationship thrived through those years with James showing Richard the majesty of Utah’s peaks. James and Richard, with their boys, once found themselves above a thunderstorm on King’s Peak, hair literally on end. Commanding that trip was the only thing James did in his life that Richard did not emulate. Jon, Rich’s sister, was his spiritual lode stone, the source of his laughter and prayers who helped him find eternity.
Richard’s future was determined when he began playing golf early in his life. He attended BYU on a golf scholarship.
He married Beverley Cook and moved to Las Vegas where he was the head golf professional at Paradise Valley Country Club. Richard and Beverley had 5 incredible children and Richard knew that Beverley was the best mother in the world. His children Randy, Libby Gober, (Tim), Jenn, Michael and Heather were his greatest inspiration, and he their greatest fan. Their daily conversations inspired his children and they will forever miss that source of guidance and good humor. Rich Lee’s children were his greatest accomplishment, his proudest asset, his reason to live. Their existence honors him.
He returned his growing family to Salt Lake and became a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch (later, Prudential/Wachovia), where he established life long relationships.
Rich married Merrianne Taylor in 1999, and made her life complete. His love and admiration blessed her with the greatest period of spiritual and intellectual growth, which will provide her with a full life.
Of late Richard worked at Uinta golf, with another family of friends who will miss him.
Rich is preceded in death by his parents, as well as his sister Helen Nelson (Harold). The recent death of his son Randy was a profound loss, but he dreamed of Randy recently in his prime, embracing him, and we know that neither is alone.
Rich had seven grandchildren; Steven, Jaxon, Olivia, Josie, Summer, Grace, and Chase; and they added light and laughter to his home. Though you might not have seen him for a while, if you were Richard’s friend, you were his friend for life. He knew and loved so many people, and he told your stories, which grew in stature as they aged.
I will always remember the energy that preceded you into a room. You are the love of my life and I will hold you in my heart and see you in my dreams, until I can rest in your arms, again.
Services will be as follows: Visitation for Family and Friends, Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Evans and Early Mortuary, 574 East 100 South, Salt Lake City, Utah. Monday, Sept. 10, 2012, Visitation for Family and Friends, 9:45 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Funeral Service 11:00 a.m. East Mill Creek 16th Ward, 3408 South Celeste Way, SLC, Dedication of the grave, Mt. Olivet Cemetery, 1342 E. 5th South, SLC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the the American Diabetes Association in memory of Richard Lee, 182 South 600 East, Suite 100, SLC, UT 84102.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune from September 9 to September 10, 2012