Kenneth B. Lee
(January 23, 1922 - December 23, 2010)
P. DEAN HOMER FUNERAL HOME Notice December 23, 2010
KENNETH B. LEE Former Speaker of the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, State Republican Leader, and Civic Leader Kenneth B. Lee of Eagles Mere, Penna., and 1900 Ravine Road, Williamsport died at home on Thursday, December 23, 2010 of melanoma after a brief illness. He was born on January 23, 1922 in Nauvoo, Pennsylvania to Edward Lee and Evelyn Evans Lee. He attended elementary school in Wellsboro and Forksville and was a graduate of Elkland Township Vocational High School in Estella Class of 1940, Mansfield University Class of 1948 (varsity baseball and basketball), and Dickinson School of Law Class of 1950. He served as a B-24 pilot in World War II stationed in Italy and maintained close friendships with his crew members throughout his life. His World War II experience was highlighted recently in the book Defenders of Freedom, a publication of the Williamsport Sun Gazette. He is survived by his wife Marjorie Cole Lee of Meshoppen to whom he was married for over 66 years, five children :Susanne Lee, Scott Lee, Cole Lee (Suzanne Lee), Laura Lee (Peter Grina), and Kenneth E Lee, and eight grandchildren : Graham Archer, Lauren Archer, Matthew Lee, Linsey Lee, Elizabeth Lee, Kristof Grina, Kelsey Lee, and Katy Lee and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by brothers, Fredrick Lee and Edward Lee and sisters, Reva McVannon, Ida Ramsey, Irma White, and Gertrude Reed Following graduation from law school he established a law practice in Sullivan County and practiced there for 35 years. He was the elected District Attorney of Sullivan County from 1953 to 1957. He was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1956 and served there for 18 years ultimately representing Sullivan, Wyoming, and Susquehanna Counties. For 12 of those years he served in leadership capacities as Minority Leader, Majority Leader and as the Speaker of the House from 1967-68 and 1973-1974. In 1974 he ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor. During his legislative career he played a major role in the development of the modern Pennsylvania Legislature. He served on the Commission for Legislative Modernization and the 1968 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, established the House Ethics Committee and new ethics restrictions, and inaugurated the nation’s first Legislative Data Processing Center. He also served as a member of the Joint State Government Commission, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee, the Pennsylvania Commission on Interstate Cooperation, and the Pennsylvania General State Authority. He was a Member and Vice-President of the State Public School Building Authority as well as the Highway and Bridge Authority and a member of the Executive committee of the Republican State Committee. Following his retirement from the House of Representatives he continued his practice of law in Sullivan County first with Leonard Simpson and subsequently with Kenneth Levitzky. He also continued to be engaged in State government activities including as a Member of the Pennsylvania Crime Commission and PACE, the State prescription drug program, and as a delegate to a UN sponsored UNESCO conference in Kenya. During his retirement years he and Mrs. Lee wintered in Port St. Lucie, Florida. In addition to his service in Pennsylvania State Government, Mr. Lee was an active community leader. He served on the Boards of Trustees of Mansfield University, the Pennsylvania College of Optometry, and the Muncy Valley Hospital. He was a Director of the First National Bank of Dushore and Director and Chairman of the Regional Board of the Northern Central Bank. He was an early developer of Ganoga Lake and a Founding Member of the Pennsylvania Bowhunters Festival, the Eagles Mere Conservancy, and the White Ash Land Association as well as a longstanding member of the Kettle Creek Fish and Game Club and the Eagles Mere Country Club. He was a member of Fox Hills Country Club, Eagles Mere and Dushore Fire Departments, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce, the Dushore Lions Club, the Colley Grange, the Dushore American Legion, and the Lopez VFW. He will be remembered by family and friends for his passion for politics and golf and for his love of country. A private Graveside Service will be held at the Eagles Mere Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to a celebration of his life to be held at the Eagles Mere Country Club on Saturday, January 1, 2011 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. with special remembrances at 3 P.M. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in his name to MUF-Mansfield Way Scholarship Fund, 6 Beecher Street, Mansfield, PA 16933 or to Setebaid Services, Inc., P.O. Box 196, Winfield, PA 17889-0196 for the support of camp programs for youth with Type 1 diabetes. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA 18614. To send condolences or sign the e-guestbook, please go to homerfuneralhome.com.