Willie L. Lee, Sr.

Willie “Papa” Lee passed away peacefully at his home on February 27, 2018 surrounded by his loving family. He was born March 31, 1942 in Tunica, Mississippi to James and Mary Alice Lee who preceded him in death along with his sister's Ernestine Wiggins, Mary Sharp and brother Thomas Lee.

“Papa” Lee (as he was affectionately known) was a devout believer in the Lord. He served the Lord all of his life. During his ministry, he actively and loyally assisted nursing home residents throughout the Kalamazoo area for years. He was an active member of Stones church under the leadership of Pastor Joel Brooks, Jr. in Kalamazoo, MI. “Papa” Lee retired from Fox River Paper Mill, Three Rivers, MI, with over 20 years of service. Bro. Lee completed his education in Tunica, MS; and later attended Kalamazoo Valley Community College with coursework in refrigeration and air conditioning. He proudly served in the United States military with a tour of duty during the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged and continued to commemorate his service with attendance to countless memorial activities.

“Papa” Lee loved fishing and serving as a photography for special occasions, although his favorite was weddings. He is remembered fondly as an avid reader of the Holy Scriptures and would gladly share the Word of the Lord with all who would listen. “Papa” Lee was loved, respected and simply adored, as it was his warm smile that made all feel welcomed and appreciated. He really enjoyed fellowshipping with his host of family and friends. 

“Papa” Lee leaves to cherish his memory his devoted and loving wife of 47 years, Ora Mae Lee. His three children Jerry (Jeanne), Willie Jr. and Termia of Kalamazoo. Four beautiful grandchildren, Terrell Galloway of Arizona, and Jermmel Galloway of California, Inneary Johnson-Lee and Roland Johnson, Jr. of Kalamazoo, MI; and great-grandsons Kaleel and Dakari Galloway of Arizona. Also cherishing his memory is his loving sister, Lucretia Lee of Lansing, MI. and an abundance of nieces, nephews and cousins of Detroit, Lansing and Kalamazoo, MI. Special niece Alice Sandifer of Detroit, MI; special friend Bert Pearson of Kalamazoo, MI. and very, very best friend Jack Johnson of Arizona.