We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Gaston Chapel
Donald Moore Lee, 94, passed away on June 14, 2022. He was born February 27, 1928, to the late Robert Edmond Lee and Elsie Margaret Moore Lee. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Maybelle Morgan Lee and brothers Robert Wesley Lee and Floyd Martin Lee. He is survived by his daughter, Cindy Margaret Lee and his son, Marshall Morgan Lee. He is also survived by three granddaughters, Eve Morgan Stevens and her husband, Stephen K. Allinger, Jr., Lee Bridges Stevens, and Kirsten Karah Lee; one grandson, Blake Thomas Clapp-Lee; and two great-grandsons, Ethan Riley Allinger and Henry Michael Allinger. He is also survived by Betty Monger Morgan, his sister-in-law; Lesley Elizabeth Slover Kammerer and her daughter, Kathryn Elizabeth Kammerer.
Don was passionate about his family and friends, flying and aviation, and solving engineering problems through inventions. His love of flying small planes took him and his family to Alaska, the Bahamas, Colorado, California, and many other places. Don took many people on their first ever airplane ride--kids from Beverly Hills United Methodist Church, kids from the area who participated in the Young Eagles program of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), friends, the family’s cats and even the dog of some close family friends. He wrote a weekly column for the Ironton Tribune for many years about aviation and space, traveled to the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for many years, and founded the Chuck Yeager Chapter of the Air Force Association. Don was involved in maintaining the Lawrence County (OH) Airpark and promoting it in the community. He also served as a member of the committee that established the Colonel Bill Lambert Museum in Ironton, OH, as he was a WW I Ace.
After serving in the US Army at the Army Chemical Center in Maryland, he and Maybelle moved to WV in 1954 to work for Union Carbide’s pilot plant at the Tech Center in South Charleston and joined Ashland Oil in 1969 to work in the pilot plant in Catlettsburg, KY, where he stayed until he retired in 1992. Over his career with Ashland and beyond, he developed several processes for which he received nine patents including a fluidized bed solar panel collection system, the DrumWic (the basis for one of his start-up companies), the Lee-Ashland Fiber Flinger to process carbon fibers, and more. After retirement, he founded Lee Technology, Inc., and co-founded MotorCarbon Elements while also consulting for at least two other start-ups. He worked on these passion projects until 2021.
Never one to sit on his hands, Don was active in professional organizations such as the Engineers Club of Huntington, National Management Association (NMA), the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) of which he was a Fellow, Toastmasters, and the Instrument Society of America. He was also active in the Tri-State Pilots Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), the Y-Huntington Swim Club (YHSC), and Beverly Hills UMC. In Charleston, Don handled lighting for the Kanawha Players and enjoyed dancing with Maybelle at the University Club functions with their many close friends.
He grew up on a farm in Vigo County, IN, and loved to garden. He had a plot at the community garden at Springhill Cemetery and shared the bounty with his neighbors who shared baked goods, shoveled each other’s walks, picked up the mail, and helped each other in so many ways. Don was a shade tree mechanic and built his own central air conditioning in the early 1960s, so all the neighborhood kids liked to come hang out in the summer.
Don had a great sense of humor, liked to tease, and always had a quip. He played racquetball for many years with friends at the Huntington YMCA and the Coal Building. He played varsity basketball for the Pimento Peppers at Pimento (IN) High School where he was one of only five boys in his class. Don was a proud Boilermaker, graduating from Purdue University in 1951, with a BS Chemical Engineering. He kept a daily journal for 40+ years, was a WW II history buff, read widely, and was always curious about how the world worked. He will be missed by his family and his wide circle of friends near and far.
The family thanks the dedicated staff, current and past, of Wyngate at RiversEdge in Proctorville, OH, for their care and the jokes and quips that they shared with Don.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Beverly Hills United Methodist Church (2600 Washington Blvd, Huntington, WV 25705) or the EAA Young Eagles Program (https://www.eaa.org/eaa/support-eaa/give & select “Give Today”, then select “Young Eagles” for “Use my donation to support” field)
Visitation will be 1 to 2 pm on Tuesday, June 21 prior to a 2 pm funeral service at Klingel-Carpenter Mortuary, Huntington, WV, by Rev. Suzanne Ellis. Graveside services by Rev. Jeff Lee will be held on Thursday, June 23, at Thompson Cemetery in Gaston, IN, with visitation beforehand from 1-3 pm at Gant Funeral Home of Gaston.