Linn County News
Published Nov. 29, 2017
Fred “Jinkie” Lee, age 88, of La Cygne, Kan., passed away on Nov. 20, 2017. Fred was born Oct. 18, 1929, in Cedar County, Mo., the only child of the late Ted Francis Lee and Ethel (Correll) Lee.
He spent his childhood on the family farm near Filley, Mo., attending Potter School. He attended high school in El Dorado Springs, Mo., where he met his sweetheart and love of his life, Billee Rae West, both graduating with the Class of 1947. Fred and Billee married Oct. 17, 1948, and spent 65 years together until her death in 2014.
Shortly after their marriage, Fred and Billee moved to Petaluma, Calif., where Fred worked on a dairy farm. They lived there for seven years before returning to El Dorado Springs and Cedar County, Mo., where their families resided.
Fred had a long career in the grocery store business, with Billee right by his side. He first worked as a butcher at Thatch Grocery Store in El Dorado Springs, then began ownership of grocery stores, including Lee & Thatch in Appleton City, Mo., was co-owner of Food Fair in Mound City, Kan., and later purchased Fred’s Food Fair in La Cygne.
Fred was active in church and community affairs all of his adult life. He professed his faith in Jesus Christ as a young child and was a devout Christian. He was a member of the Christian Church in La Cygne, where he previously served as an elder. While in El Dorado Springs, he served as the fire chief and was mayor of La Cygne in the early ‘80s.
Fred was a multi-talented individual. He played the guitar and sang beautifully. He was quite the story teller, a horseman, and he especially liked his mules. He was an avid hunter and dog lover. One of his new-found hobbies after retirement was golfing in the Senior League at Linn Valley Lakes.
Fred was a consummate social person, never meeting a stranger. He loved to travel with his sweetheart in the RV to many places, especially the western U.S. One of their favorite places was Ouray, Colo., and they enjoyed attending rodeos in Cody, Wyo.
Fred had a joyous and full life and always made others feel happier when he was around. He was deeply devoted to family, loving each one in his own special “Fred” way. He leaves behind three daughters: Karen Lee Ringgenberg (Bob), Nixa, Mo., Denise Lee Debrick (Kevin), Paola, Kan., and Gayle Lee, La Cygne; grandchildren and great-grandchildren include: Gabriel, Melody, Taren and Joey Page, Clever, Mo., Daniel and Emily Ringgenberg, Aberdeen, S.D., Matt, Molly, Vera and Beau Sayer, Plymouth, Minn., Chris and Ashley Graves, Henderson, Nev., Blake and Erika Kelly, Washington, D.C., Jobie and Wynnette Debrick, Ottawa, Kan., Jake, Megan and Jackson Storey, Louisburg, Kan., and Nathan and Jill Boone, Columbia, Mo. Also surviving are his beloved brother-in-law Kenneth West, Rolla, Mo.; three nephews: Mike West (Heather), Fort Collins, Colo., Ken West (Theresa), Jackson, Mo., and Cam West (Kim Jo), Marion, Ky.; as well as several great nieces and nephews.
Fred was an exceptional person, and he will be greatly missed by his family and friends. God most assuredly blessed Fred’s life.
Funeral services for Fred Lee were held on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2017, at La Cygne Christian Church in La Cygne. Burial followed in Oak Lawn Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to La Cygne Christian Church or Meals on Wheels. Online condolences may be left at: www.blandhackleman.com.
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