ALEXANDRIA, Va. – John Lee, 92, of Alexandria, Va., passed away peacefully on March 30, 2022, in Virginia Beach, Va., with his daughter, Wendy, by his side.
John, an only child, was born on May 27, 1929 in Shanghai, China to the late John BY and Katherine (Han) Lee. With his family, John lived in Beijing under Japanese occupation (1934-1945) until Japan’s surrender to Allied forces in 1945.
In high school, John, fluent in English, had the chance to interpret for a visiting United States Navy Lieutenant Commander Peter Mills, Jr. (late father of the current Governor of Maine) marking a moment pivotal point for John’s eventual path to the United States. citizenship. “Pete” was instrumental in John’s decision to escape the Chinese Communists in 1949.
John traveled to Maine, where he attended Pete’s alma mater, Colby College in Waterville. “Johnny” and Pete became loyal lifelong friends, and John viewed Pete as a father figure. In 1953, John graduated from Colby with a BA in American History, then enlisted in the US Army soon after. On June 15, 1954, John became an American citizen. He was a devout American patriot who proudly celebrated his citizenship anniversary every year until his death. John served in the United States Army for more than 30 years, retiring as a colonel in 1989. He later taught American history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., and Southeastern University in Washington, DC.
John’s beloved wife, Cheryl D. Reed – daughter of former Maine Governor, late John H. Reed, predeceased him on April 26, 2020.
John is survived by his three children, his sons William and his wife Jenny of Selkirk, NY, John and his wife Sandy of Burlington, Connecticut, and his daughter, Wendy, and her husband, Charley of Virginia Beach, Va. He also leaves eight grandchildren, Christopher Lee, Daniel Lee, Rebecca Lee; Tanner Lee, Juliana Lee, Jocelyne Lee; Justin Hart and Jordan Hart and her husband Sean Bredbenner.
A burial ceremony for John and Cheryl will be held June 3 at 2 p.m. at the Reed family grounds at Riverside Cemetery, Fort Fairfield. John will receive military honours. He will be greatly missed.
A service of Giberson-Dorsey Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 144 Main St., Fort Fairfield. Online condolences can be expressed at http://www.gibersondorseyfuneralhome.com.