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Roger C. Lee

Company H-1

17 Dec 1936 - 20 Dec 2007

Place of Death: Shawnee Mission, Ks

Interment: Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery, Ks

It is with great regret and sorrow we must inform you of the death of our former Classmate, Roger Lee.  Roger was turned back during our cow year and graduated with the class of 1962.

 

Roger C. Lee, Company H-1, died tragically as a result of a single car accident in Shawnee Mission, Kansas on December 20, 2007. Roger is survived by his wife, Laura, of Olathe, Kansas, as well as a number of children, and grandchildren from an earlier marriage as well as extended family in the Greater Kansas City area and other locations.

At this time, we believe that a Memorial Service honoring the life and service of Roger is going to be held on January 4, 2008, at approximately 1000 hours at the Fort Leavenworth, KS Post Chapel, subject to change. The family realizes that the timing of this service as well as travel requirements may present difficulties for classmates to attend. However, the family sincerely hopes that classmates, in the area, will be able to attend and participate in this tribute to Roger. It is anticipated that a reception will be held following the Memorial Service at the Fort Leavenworth Officer Club; however, the details are yet to be confirmed due to the holidays.

Additional information will be forthcoming concerning the family's desire with regard to memorializing Roger; however, it is believed that it will be in the form of donations in the name of COL (Ret) Roger C. Lee to the Class Fund with specific intentions to support the endowment of the Class of '62 Room. Additional information with be forthcoming in this regard.


Remembrances:

 

Class Memorial Pages\H-1 Roger Lee - USMA62.pdf

Harold M. Hannon wrote on Jan 1, 2008 12:29 PM:

"We hasten to add our prayers and our condolences to the family of our friend and class mate, Colonel Roger C. Lee, United States Military Academy, Class of 1962. Roger started his long journey of service in July 1957 with our class. He was an outstanding soldier, one who would persevere against all challenges in order to serve his fellow man and his Country.
Well Done"

Rob Bristow wrote on Dec 31, 2007 4:27 PM:

"I worked with Roger at Fort Leavenworth in the late 1980s. He was serving as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management (DCSRM). Roger was extremely knowledgeable in all areas, including financial matters, and shared his wisdom generously. Roger was a true Patriot, having served multiple tours in Vietnam. He helped the Fort Leavenworth community develop at a critical time in our history. Roger and his military Deputy, LTC Craig Cook, were instrumental in providing for the future of the Combined Arms Center as Fort Leavenworth entered the information age. Their accomplishments will not be forgotten. Roger worked friendly and teamwork was enhanced by his leadership. He helped all of us to see the big picture and did not ask anything in return other than continued hard work and loyal service to the Army. Those of us who knew Roger were fortunate to be in the presence of such a great man! "

One Who Knew Him wrote on Dec 31, 2007 11:41 AM:

"What a loss! This was a genuine hero and an outstanding gentleman! Our sincere sympathy to the family and the community on the loss of Roger Lee. "

Joseph Michael wrote on Aug 21, 2008 7:18 PM:

"Roger was special, I was with him in that entire year: He fought "hand-to-hand", and so much more.

He was a friend later in that year, after all the combat, the losses, and they were very high.

I owe my life to then Major Lee, so he got set back a year at West Point, but so few units in Vietnam earned a PUC. 

Colonel Lee was the best America had, he was well, everything an infantry officer should be, so much more.

Whatever, his Brothers-In-Battle will remember him."

Obituaries:

Ret. Col. Roger C. Lee, 71, of Olathe, Kan., died suddenly Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007.

Col. Lee was born Dec. 17, 1936, in Lincoln, Neb. He attended high School in Omaha, Neb., and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1962. He then attended Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Ga. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. He received the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Star with Valor, Legion of Merit, Air Medals, Vietnamese Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Medal. Roger retired after 26 years of active duty and three tours in the Vietnam War. In addition to the infantry, Col. Lee served in finance strategic planning. He married Laura L. Cooper, who survives of the home.

Mr. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Wayne E. and Doris Althea (Call) Lee; and his sister, Linda Marlene Lee.

He was a member of the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Leavenworth, Stephen Ministry and Associate of Graduates of USMA.

Additional survivors include three daughters, Linda Bucher and husband Mike of Colorado Springs, Colo., Laura Whitaker of Elmore, Ohio, and Jennifer Smith of Columbia, Mo.; four sons, Brian Lee and wife Michelle of Spicewood, Texas, Jason Barrett and wife Lindsay of Overland Park, Kan., Jason Smith and wife Melissa of Columbia, Mo., and Jeffery Smith of Ridgeway, Mo.; 11 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; a sister, Lynnea Wheeler and husband Jim of Olathe, Kan.; a brother, Steven Lee and wife Mary of Lawrence, Kan.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 4, 2007, at the Fort Leavenworth Memorial Chapel, Leavenworth. Internment will be in Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Published: Monday, December 31, 2007
Leavenworth Times

Assembly/Taps Memorial Article:

1962 Class Crest

Roger C. Lee 1962

Cullum No. 24373 • Dec 20, 2007 • Died in Shawnee, KS

Cremated. Interred in Ft. Leavenworth National Cemetery, KS

They that wait upon the LORD
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings
as eagles.
Isaiah 40:31

Roger Conan Lee was born in Lincoln, NE, on Dec 17, 1936, the first of four children to Wayne E. Lee and Doris Althea Call Lee. He attended secondary school in Omaha, NE, graduating from North High School in 1955, after which he attended University of Omaha. Roger was recruited by wrestling Coach LeRoy Alitz to attend West Point. He attended Bradens Preparatory School in Cornwall, NY, in 1956, was appointed to West Point by Senator Roman L. Hruska, and entered with the Class of 1961 in July 1957.

Roger experienced his share of difficulty with the academic department, was "turned back," and later joined the Class of 1962 in his cow year again in Company H-1. He was known by classmates to be a dedicated, thoughtful, and caring professional who liked the simple things of life. Roger was also dedicated to the wrestling program, but as noted in his Howitzer bio, he found time for "dragging" and going out with "the boys." Al Rushatz and Buzz Kriesel, classmates and wrestling teammates, recalled Roger as a "tough competitor—a loyal teammate who always hung in there faithfully." Years later, Denny Reimer, classmate and former Chief of Staff of the Army, commented that Roger was "a rock—people could always count on him," and, while both were serving at Ft. Benning and Roger was a Ranger instructor, "he did not say a lot, but his actions spoke volumes. ‘Still waters run deep’ comes to mind."

Roger considered himself fortunate to have been in Washington Hall to hear General Douglas MacArthur’s "Duty, Honor, Country" address to the Corps on May 12, 1962. He chose the Infantry as his branch and graduated on Jun 6, 1962, after listening to President Kennedy. Following Infantry Officers Basic Course and Ranger training, Roger reported to the 5th Infantry Division (Mech) at Ft. Carson, CO. He commanded a mechanized infantry company as a first lieutenant. In 1965, he went to Vietnam on his first tour; assigned to the 60th ARVN Battalion in the Delta where he first experienced the "cost" of the war. In 1966, back to Ft. Benning to attend Airborne School and then the Infantry Officer Advanced Course thereafter being assigned to the Ranger School.

In 1969, Roger returned to Vietnam with the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry, Americal Division as the Battalion S-3. During the ‘69 Summer Offensive, the 4/31st had a headlong battle with two NVA Regiments lasting 48 days at LZ West overlooking the Hiep Duc Valley. At the end of his two combat tours Roger had earned four Bronze Star Medals (two for Valor), the Combat Infantryman Badge, and two Air Medals. Before returning to CONUS, Roger was assigned special duty to SOG, training small teams to go into North Vietnam to recover downed pilots. On one mission, Roger accompanied one of the teams, was captured, and remained in captivity about nine days before he was rescued. He suffered the physical repercussion from that ordeal for the remainder of his life.

A recruiting station assignment followed, then CGSC from which he graduated in 1972. Roger next took on graduate school at Syracuse prior to returning to West Point in 1974 as a major in the Tactical Department. Roger and family were then off to Germany as the comptroller for the 3rd Infantry Division. Realizing his calling, Roger then branch transferred to the Finance Corps wherein the instructors at the Finance Center showed their amazement that the Finance Corps would accept an infantry officer with sixteen years of service. In 1980, Roger was assigned to the Big Red One at Ft. Riley, KS, where he became the FAO, continuing his excursions all over Germany delivering checks to 8,000 soldiers during REFORGER. Promoted to colonel in 1984, it was then his fate to be assigned to Ft. Leavenworth, as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management for the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center, where he served until his retirement in 1988.

Following retirement Roger began his second career with TITAN Application, a defense contractor, then as the Director of Budgets for the Kansas City Missouri School District, Director of Human Resources for Payless Cashway, and with Telehub in Chicago. Although no longer wearing "the green suit," he was very proud of his service and contributions while advising the Albanian Ministry of Defense in Tirana on both defense and strategic planning matters, although it again took him away from family. Roger returned home in 2003 due to medical issues some of which traced back to his time in captivity.

Earlier, at his retirement, Roger shed some light on his professional motivation—he had used those three words, DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY as his professional beacon which guided him through difficult times. In 2007, Roger had been experiencing declining health, but he felt that his prognosis was improving and he would again be able to feel the sun on his face while chasing that little white ball. Unfortunately, on Dec 20, 2007, Roger’s life was ended far too prematurely due to a tragic automobile accident. His family and friends were deprived of his quiet strength, sensitivity, companionship, and love forever. His classmates lost a patriot and friend.

Roger is survived by his daughters, Linda and Laura; sons, Brian and Jason; several stepdaughters; a stepson; his sister, Lynnea, and brother, Steven; and numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews. His wife Laura also survives and makes her home in Lansing, KS.

—Bob Brogi, Classmate & Friend