DOWNEY – Funeral services were held Friday for longtime Downey resident and World War II veteran Vernon Rudolph Lee, who died May 31 following many health battles. He was 88. Lee was born July 15, 1925 in Seattle, the second of five children born to Matt Lee and Emma Angleshaug Lee. He attended school in a one-room schoolhouse and following graduation enlisted in the service.
From 1943-45 during World War II he was a staff sergeant with the Army Air Corps. He served as an engineer/waist gunner on a B-24 in the Pacific Theatre.
Upon returning home from service, Lee went to school to obtain his journeyman's license for carpentry and on July 22, 1946, he married Violet Pickett. After briefly living in Seattle, they purchased their home in Downey in 1949.
Lee worked with R&W Construction from 1946-60 before starting his own company, Vernon Lee Construction. In 1964 he also became a construction superintendent with Reichert & Son before retiring in 1987.
He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Violet Lee, of Downey; five children, Michael (Jean) Lee of Placentia; Bill (Steve) Lee of Desert Hot Springs; Ann (Jerry) Millard of Downey; April (Mark) Detterich of Downey; and Thomas (Donna) Lee of Desert Hot Springs; eight grandchildren: Chris (Theresa) Lee, Jason (Jody) Lee, Candis Lee, Justin Lee, Samuel Millard, Matthew Millard, Daniel Detterich, and Erin Lee.
He is also survived by his great grandson, Connor Lee, and his sister-in-laws, Clineene Smith of Woodinville, WA, and Wilma Lee of Bothell, WA.
He was predeceased by his parents and siblings, Wallace Lee, Doris Moss, Dale Lee and Arlene Lee.