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John

John Edward Lee

John Edward Lee Age 95 John Edward Lee of Falls Church, Virginia, died peacefully in his sleep on Dec. 31, 2016. He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Joanne, and his five children Mary, Maggie Charlie, David Jennifer, Stephen Sholeh, and Kate, and his five grandchildren Michael, Robbie, Alison, Connor, and Jasmine. John Ed Ned in his youth was born in Etna, PA on Dec. 10, 1921, the son of Lillian Seel and Lyle Lee. He was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Southern California and a member of the Pitt marching band as well as its graduate manager. He was a World War II U.S. Army Air Corps veteran, a navigator of B-17 Flying Fortresses and former POW. He volunteered in 1942, and after being shot down while bombing the Ploesti oil fields in Romania, was a prisoner of war in Bucharest for three months. He said that one of the greatest hardships was being bombed during the day by the Americans and each night by the British. And, he never ate cabbage soup again. In 1993, he and a group of his fellow POWs made a return trip, hosted by the Romanian government, and revisited the scenes of their capture and imprisonment. He was especially amused by meeting the Romanian officers who insisted they were the ones who had shot him down. After the war, John Ed completed his education. He worked as a teacher in Oakmont, PA and then in the mid-50’s he combined his love for teaching and travel and began his 40-year stay in Germany with the U.S. Department of Defense Dependent Schools DoDDS. He was a teacher, principal, school administrator and mentor. He met Joanne, also a Pittsburgh native, in Bremerhaven. They raised their family primarily in Karlsruhe and Munich and enjoyed all the opportunities of living and working in Europe. He and Joanne retired to Falls Church in 1996, where he was active in community organizations and enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren.John Ed “never met a stranger” and lived his life with joie de vivre, and good humor. He had a quick wit and a ready joke and was happiest knowing his children genuinely like and enjoy each other. He was serious about passing his passions on to his children and anyone else, including music, the love for learning, travel and the outdoors, photography, and fishing. Not just a family man, he and Joanne cultivated treasured friendships that lasted a lifetime. Although he outlived many, he will be missed by many others. He was patient and kind, and always told everyone how much they meant to him. We will remember him for his compassion, his sense of humor, his love for family and friends, and for loving life. His funeral Mass will be at St. James Church in Falls Church, VA on Saturday, January 7th at 10 a.m. Burial will be in Arlington Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Doctors Without Borders www.doctorswithoutborders.org.

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