Robert (Bob) Edwin Lee

Dec 12, 1928 - Sep 27, 2022

Robert (Bob) Edwin Lee

December 12, 1928 - September 27, 2022


Robert (Bob) Edwin Lee was born in Newark, New Jersey on December 12, 1928, to Sarah Freida Hikel of Lawrence, Massachusetts, a stenographer, and John James Lee of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, a World War I veteran. He was the third of four sons. His brothers were Francis, John, and Walter. He grew up in Plymouth, New Hampshire, and lived for a time in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He died September 27, 2022, at his home in Mesa after a long illness.

Like his father before him, Bob was a violinist. In his younger days, he played with Sacramento Symphony and many other orchestras. In Mesa, he played with East Valley Pops. In recent years, he practiced with other musicians in his community and played concerts at home for family and friends. His lyrical violin playing and his passion for classical music will always be remembered.

Bob loved to fix things and worked in electrical instrument repair before attending the University of California, Davis where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics. In 1964, he met and married Sally Louise Haake after first repairing her radio. When Bob graduated from Davis, he was offered a job at IBM in Owego, New York. This would be the beginning of many adventures, moves, and career changes that Bob navigated in his life with Sally. During his long and exciting life, he lived in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Alabama, California, and Arizona.

Sally and Bob were always having fun. As newlyweds, they rode motorcycles through the desert. Later their interests turned toward the sea and sailboats. Bob became an avid sailor who participated in small sailboat racing with his wife, winning sailing cup trophies. Later in life they bought a 23' Vega sailboat that was a vehicle for many ocean adventures. He also enjoyed camping in his motor homes and went on many adventures with his friends from the Sierra Ramblers.

Education was something Bob valued. He enjoyed learning and teaching. During his tenure at IBM Bob taught engineering at Tuskegee University and attended Auburn University, earning a PhD in Electrical Engineering at age 50 by working full time and going to school. With PhD in hand, he got his dream job as a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the Engineering Department where he was well loved by his students. After a stint at the Department of Defense, Bob retired as was able to devote more time to his hobbies, especially the violin, which he played until he was 92.

Bob was a lifelong ham radio operator whose call sign is W6BEB. He enjoyed meeting other hams on the air. He had a soft spot for dogs. Every morning, he liked to share a mini powdered donut with his dog, Rosie. As much as he loved donuts, he hated eggs with a passion.

He was preceded in death by son Robert Newton Lee, first wife, Nancy Caldon-Manning, and his three brothers.

He is survived by his wife, Sally of Mesa, son, William Bryan Lee of Salt Lake City, daughter, Sandra Joy Aguilar of Los Angeles, and grandchildren, Lee Aguilar, Samantha Cross, and Alena Lee, and great grandson, Jack Cross.

In lieu of flowers please consider donating to East Valley Pops Orchestra Richeyfund c/o St. Mark's Episcopal Church 322 North Horn, Mesa, AZ 85203


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