William “Pat” Lee was born in Phoenix, Arizona in November 1939 to Vernon Elisha Lee and Kathryn (DeGrush) Lee. He attended school in Phoenix, graduating from Phoenix Union and then attended Grand Canyon College for a year on a baseball scholarship. Pat enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served 6 years in a reserved status while employed by the Arizona Highway Patrol. Pat passed away November 15th, one day after his 80th birthday at his home in Pine after a long illness.
Pat was the first patrolman stationed at the state yard at Sunflower in the early 1960’s and then transferred to Payson. While in Payson, Pat received the Department’s Valor Award. Pat was promoted to sergeant and reassigned to Flagstaff. After graduating from the FBI National Academy in 1974 he was assigned as the Chief of Governor’s Security for Raul Castro. Pat returned to Flagstaff after that assignment until his retirement from the Highway Patrol in 1981. After retirement, Pat had his own security consulting company, was a licensed private investigator and accredited accident reconstructionist. He was hired by the US Treasury Department as an instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (Glynco, Georgia) when his wife was detailed there by the National Park Service. They were living in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska for 9 years before Pat and his wife both officially retired and moved back to Arizona. Pat wanted to return to the Payson-Pine-Strawberry area and they purchased a home in Pine several years before moving there full time.
Pat was always bigger than life with a zest for adventure, hunting and fishing, a great story teller, had a deep love for family and friends, and his faith in a loving, forgiving Lord.
Pat is survived by his wife of 38 years, Tomie Lee; daughters, Vicki Limper (John), Kerry Page (Brian), Kathy Lee; son, Bill Lee; and step-sons, James Patrick (Michelle) and Clayton Patrick (Amanda), 13 grandchildren; 9 great-grandchildren (plus twins on the way) and 2 great-great grandchildren. He will be truly missed by those who knew him and by his grieving family.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at the Strawberry Chapel in the Pines, in Strawberry on December 7th at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception in the chapel’s fellowship hall. In lieu of flowers Pat requested donations to the AHP/DPS Museum, 2102 W. Encanto Drive, Mail Drop 1160, Phoenix, AZ 85009 or Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, 2946 E. Banner Gateway Drive, Gilbert, AZ 85234.