Daniel Lee, 60 / April 3, 1951 — Dec. 20, 2011

Published 7:01 pm Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Daniel Lee, 60

April 3, 1951 — Dec. 20, 2011

A political debate was lost Tuesday. Heaven won, and “The Governor” concurred.


Daniel “The Governor” Lee, 60, of Cassopolis, died Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, at Lakeland Regional Hospital, St. Joseph.

He was born April 3, 1951, in Slaughter, Miss., to Earl and Helen (Gray) Lee, Sr. He married Melchora Caǹa Maturan on Jan. 22, 1996, in Kalamazoo.

Daniel was a 1970 graduate of Cassopolis High School and attended Western Michigan University, majoring in political science. He was a political consultant and very active in the community in the mid-70s. He worked at the Youth Services Bureau. He started the first African-American club in 1969 in the high school, which is still active today, and has organized the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday events for more than 20 years.

He was the recreation director for the Cassopolis school system, including running the summer programs. He organized the Cassopolis Community Association to mentor and tutor at risk children. Daniel started the Rocket Football and Youth Basketball programs. He would make sure kids got to play sports even if he took the funds out of his own pocket.

He started the Ambassador Interlock in 1995. He was always active in various communities, including being the code inspector for Benton Harbor.

He is survived by his wife, Melchora Lee; two daughters, Emily (Jason) Randall, and Timmie-Ann Maturan Lee, both of Everett, Wash.; one son, Jomar Joven, of Three Rivers; one grandson, Brendon Ryen Randall; mother, Helen Lee, of Cassopolis; two sisters, Helen (Eddie) Mose and Shirley Ann, both of Cassopolis; four brothers, Charles (Lucienne) Lee, James (Nora) Lee, Sr., both of Cassopolis, Jimmy (Cindy) Lee, of Grand Rapids, and David (Rachel) Lee, of Cassopolis; three sisters-in-law, Charlene Lee and Bea Lee, both of Cassopolis, and Doris Bell, of Louisiana; one brother-in-law, Carl Hargrave, of Louisiana; and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Earl Lee, Sr., on March 9, 1996; one sister, Juanita Hargrave, on March 2, 2008; and three brothers, Irvin J. “Midget” Lee, on Aug. 15, 1993, Earl Lee, Jr., on Oct. 13, 1999, and Israel Bell, on Oct. 16, 2002.

Family and friends will gather Tuesday, Dec. 27, at Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 North Broadway St., Cassopolis, from 4 to 8 p.m., and on Wednesday, Dec. 28, at Ross Beatty Junior/Senior High School, 22721 Diamond Cove St., Cassopolis, from 10 a.m. until time of service at 11 a.m.

Interment will follow in Prospect Hill Cemetery, Cassopolis.

The family prefers memorial contributions be made to Timmie-Ann Education Fund, c/o 5/3 Bank, 116 South Broadway St., Cassopolis, MI 49031.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel, Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis.

Online condolences may be sent to wagnercares.com.