May 27, 1955 – September 10, 2020
It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Leland (Lee) in the wee hours of September 10 at Vernon Jubilee Hospital with Maria and Donna by his side.
Lee was born on May 27, 1955 in Vernon, BC, where he grew up and went to school, graduating from VSS in 1973. He loved Old Style beer, his girls from work, his many friends, NASCAR, his family and any Toyota he ever met, not necessarily in that order!
Over the years, Lee’s brilliant mind would plot out a project to master step by step, while at the same time say, “Nah! I’ll do it tomorrow, MAYBE!”, then erupt with his deep-from-the-gut belly laugh. We always said he was the greatest procrastinator in history!
He started work life honing his skills as a mechanic for Vernon Toyota. He had infinite patience when figuring out a problem, and he could fix just about anything. In the winter, he competed in his Toyota ice racing on Wood and Swan Lake. He also competed in stock-car racing.
Lee earned a degree in electronic engineering at Kelowna College. He also worked as a seal coater all over northern B.C. He was a driver for the Vernon Army Camp moving trucks, water trailers and equipment in the Okanagan for 10 years. The last part of his work was in Armstrong at PRT as number one maintenance man until retiring 3 years ago.
Lee never lost his love of wood heat that we grew up with. Every September he would go bush tripping to scout for deadfall, cutting, loading, splitting and stacking. He would be ahead by at least a year’s supply or more. We teased him about bar coding every stick of wood!
Despite having CLL, a form of leukemia for 20 plus years, Lee went about his life determined as ever. He was finally able to realize a life-long dream of seeing a NASCAR race in Las Vegas with Donna in 2014 and 2017.
Lee was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 2 ½ years ago. He had surgery and chemo, but IT came back. He always told us, it’s not the (expletive) cancer that kills you, it’s the (expletive) wasting disease that steals your life. The Big Kahuna was a mere shadow of himself the last few months.
Lee was predeceased by his Dad Bill (1973), brother Billy (1974), sister Jeannette (2010), brother Byron (2015) and his Mom Ruth (2017).
Left behind to miss him deeply is his sister Maria, brother-in-law Mike, dear, special, close friends Donna and Patti, his girl friends from work, numerous friends, nieces, nephews and great nephew.
We will forever miss Lee’s biting wit and humor and mostly his sarcastic digs at the posers of the world.
When it’s safely possible, Lee wished for us to get together, drink lots of beer, talk old times and have many laughs. His ashes were scattered in the triangle of the Neufield properties in his beloved BX.
Rest Easy LeeLee.
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