Clarence Lee, 63

Published 5:35 pm Sunday, July 28, 2013

Born: Aug. 5, 1949

Died: July 22, 2013




Clarence Lee, 63, of South Bend, passed away from a long-term illness on July 22,2013, in Memorial Hospital, South Bend, Ind., surrounded by his family.

Clarence was born Aug.5, 1949, in Durant, Miss., to Walter Sr. and Mattie (Jackson) Lee, but spent most of his childhood growing up in Vandalia.  After

graduating from Cassopolis High school in 1968, Clarence joined the U.S. Army and served two years fighting in the Vietnam War.  After receiving his honorable discharge from the military, Clarence enrolled in Ivy Tech Community College to study metallurgy, leading to a 26-year career working for the Norfolk and Southern Railroad until he became disabled in 1998.  He met his wife, Julie, at Paradise Lake in Michigan in 1978, and they married on June 13, 1981, in the Holiness Church of God in South Bend.

Despite his illness, Clarence fought courageously for years and never complained abouthis condition.  Instead, he always found ways to make others laugh, even if he was not feeling his best.

Clarence had a passion for racing cars and playing practical jokes whenever he got the chance.  He loved his family, especially his nieces and nephews.  He will forever be remembered for his charisma, his sense of humor and the way he touched the lives of many family and friends.  Clarence was preceded in death by his mother and father; two of his sisters, Mary Lee Okpala and Emma Lee; two of his brothers, Walter Lee Jr. and Sam Lee; and a niece, Tracy Lee.

Clarence will be greatly missed by family and friends.  He is survived by his wife, Julie (May) Lee of South Bend; three sisters, Viola Bankhead of Fullerton, Calif., Clara Lee, of Cassopolis, Patricia Lee, of Costa Mesa, Calif.; two brothers, Eddie Lee and Calvin Lee, both of Vandalia; and a host of nieces and nephews.




Family and friends will gather Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013, from 1 a.m. until time of service at noon in Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 North Broadway St., Cassopolis.  Mr. Lee will be laid to rest in Bogue Street Memorial Garden, Vandalia, where he will be accorded full military honors.

The family prefers memorial contributions to American Diabetes Foundation, 1550 East Beltline SE, Suite 250, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49506, or American Cancer Society, Great Lakes Division, Southwest Michigan Office, 1400 Milham Road, Portage, Michigan 49024.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis.  Please share a memory or a message online at