Joseph Harold Lee ( Coach Lee / Papa Joe), age 94 of Wichita, Kansas, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on July 26, 2018.
Funeral services for Joe will be held on Friday, August 3, 2018, 10 a.m. at Central Christian Church, 2900 N. Rock Road in Wichita. Visitation with the family will be held prior to the service at 9 a.m. also at the church.
His last days were spent surrounded by his family as they shared memories of their life with Pop and listened to the hymns that he loved.
Born Feburary 21, 1924 in Anthony, Kansas. Pop was one of seven children born to Joe and Alma Lee ( Dorothy Harder, Leota Miller, Maxine Croft, Zeta Roach , Dwight Lee and Vonnie Neal). They were faithful members of the Silver Creek Church near Anthony where his father was Sunday School Superintendent.
Joe went to Pittsburgh State Teacher’s College and received his Bachelors Degree in Education. During World War II he served his country in the Navy as an x-ray technician.
On December 22, 1948 he married Frieda Mosiman in Wichita, Kansas. They started their life together in several small Kansas towns ( Sun City, Longford, Meade) where he taught school and coached. They also lived in Columbia, Missouri for a time where he received his Masters Degree in Education…he ended up with a Masters + 30 Hours !
His first teaching position in Wichita was at Hamilton Junior High as a teacher and coach and he then moved to Wichita North High as a teacher, counselor and coach until his retirement. He was actively involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and former players remember that Coach Lee led his team in prayer before each game.
While coaching basketball, football, track, cross country and golf…winning State Championships in basketball and track… he set an example of hard work, no nonsense and integrity. ‘Once a Redskin always a Redskin.’
He has received so many letters and visits from former students over the years who have spoken of how Coach Lee (their mentor and coach) has impacted their lives in a positive way. He loved coaching and helping them to develop into responsible young men. What a testimony to read and hear their words…50 + years later !
During the summer months he farmed and raised Polled Hereford cattle northeast of Wichita, near Furley. The boys remember many hard and long days spent putting up hay…whatever Dad needed help with…and don’t forget the packed Spam sandwiches ! He loved planting a crop and watching it grow and harvesting it at maturity …loved cutting wheat. As a young man he and his brother Dwight were on a custom harvest crew moving from Texas to North Dakota.
After retiring from North High, he started his 3rd career…and became a successful Home Builder and Developer helping more people to achieve their dreams.
Papa Joe …Pop to many…was a loving husband , father , grandfather and great-grandfather….his favorite thing to tell people when they asked about his kids was that ‘They ALL live here!’ What a blessing to share the many, many family dinners that Frieda so lovingly prepared for all of us and to listen to Papa Joe say Grace for all to hear…he definitely had a deep abiding faith in God and wanted ALL of his kids to share in that promise. He was sprinkled as a child and on May 2, 2015 he chose to be baptized through immersion at Central Christian Church according to Romans 6:3-7.
In his last years, after Frieda passed away, he was blessed to be taken care of at Regent Park Rehabilitation and Healthcare…having most of the same caregivers over the years who grew to know and love him as ‘Papa Joe’…there were many tears shed last Thursday.
He is lovingly survived by sister Vonnie Neal; Sons : Rod (Cheri) , Steve ( Cheryl), Doug (Sharon); grandchildren : Tania and Trey Brown ( Clayton & Kaylee), Tymber and Jennifer Lee ( Breckynn, Brody, Tymber and Crew), Jana and Chris Barscewski ( Braden, Caleb, Kelsey, McKenzie & Maddox), Jennifer and Sean Margreiter ( Dylan & Katie), Tara and Cody Newton ( Cader, Colby, Cage, Chase & Natalee), Erin and Eric Hein ( Emily & Ellie), Scott and Jane Lee ( Westen & Jamyson), Kristen & Nathan Russell ( Camryn & Cailee) , Spencer and Tricia Lee ( Drew & Kyndal).
As a family we would like to thank everyone for their love and support during this time…special thanks to the caregivers of Good Shepherd Hospice for their amazingly gentle and respectful care of Pop as he prepared to go home.