Richard Edward Lee, Sr., 83, of Stockton, Alabama passed away on April 3 after a brief illness.
Richard is survived by his loving wife Mildred Cole of 60 years, his daughter Melissa R. Price (Darren) of Pensacola, FL and sons Richard Edward Lee, Jr. (Frances) of Cary, NC, and Arthur Cole Lee of Stockton, AL. He is also survived by his sister June Bailey (Ben), grandsons Richard Edward Lee, III and Darren Bernard Price Jr. and many loving nieces, nephews and extended family members. He is preceded in death by his parents Edward and Arcele Lee. He was a loving father, husband, grandfather, and great friend to everyone.
Richard was well known in the community as the owner of Lee’s Service Station. He treated customers as if they were his family, extending a helping hand to those in need and watching out for the elderly in the community. Many remember him as the man with the beard, handle-bar mustache, red suspenders and black derby hat. He was often seen in front of the store as early as 5 AM, his way of ensuring he took care of people heading out to work with a fill-up, free cup of coffee, a bite to eat and a few minutes of lively conversation. Richard always believed that as business owner, you must work hard to serve your customers and treat all according to the “Golden Rule”. Many referred to him as the “mayor” of Stockton and would rely on him to obtain directions and latest local news; he would often tell them he was the “SIB” Stockton Information Bureau.
Richard had a passion for interesting vehicles that inspired conversation and brought smiles to all. We will never forget the “Peanut Wagon”, a white Chevy van with a peanut mural, the old black hearse, and the bright red/yellow clown car often seen in Mardi Gras parades. He once owned a stretch limousine and graciously offered his services to chauffeur wedding parties on their special day or to drive Shrine members during parades. Those events were very special to him.
Richard was very active in the community; he was a member of Cottage Hill Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder and treasurer for many years and a member of the Stockton Volunteer Fire Department where he served as the Assistant Fire Chief. He was a member of Baldwin Lodge #142, a Scottish and York Rite Mason. Richard was a member of the Abba Temple Shriners and part of the Nomad Clowns. He was recognized by the Baldwin County Shrine Club for tireless efforts and many years of service.
Richard was larger than life, generous to a fault, a proud and devoted husband, father, grandfather and uncle who will be missed by all. He would often say “life is short” reminding us to make the most of the present. Upon greeting anyone, he would say: "It is good to be seen"; we now say: "we will be seeing you in Heaven".
A celebration of life with family and friends will be held at a later date for Richard. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his honor may be sent to Cottage Hill Presbyterian Chapel, P.O. Box 246, Bay Minette, AL 36507 or to Abba Temple Shriners' Transportation Fund, 7701 Hitt Road, Mobile, AL 36695