April 18, 1935 ~ September 27, 2020 (age 85)

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John Edward Lee, Jr. (AKA Jack, Skipper and occasionally Sam) passed away on Sunday, September 27th at Trillium House in Marquette, Michigan at the age of 85. 

The middle child and only son of John & Leah (Miller) Lee, Jack was born in Jackson, Michigan on April 18, 1935. Jack grew up in New York, Ohio and Michigan.  He joined the Army near the end of the Korean War and was stationed in Alaska where he trained dogs.  Shortly after his time in the military he met the love of his life, Judith Elaine Artman, on a blind date.  It didn’t take long for him to fall for the lovely redhead.  One month later he proposed and one month after that, on April 22, 1957, they were married and remained together for their entire lives, until Judy’s passing in 2018.

Jack was a colorful and interesting man who had a great many artistic gifts.  At various times in his life, he pursued photography, drawing, and sculpture in both clay and glass mediums.  An avid outdoorsman who loved hunting and fishing, as well as competition archery and marksmanship, he used his creative talents to craft custom grips for his bows and guns so they would better fit his large hands.  Jack was a collector with a deep love of guns, knives, watches, and antique hit & miss engines.  He had a passion for motorcycles his entire life and some of his happiest times were on motorcycle trips with his wife or with friends.  He was an exceptional communicator and spent much of his life working to help others.  His foray into Social Work began with a boy’s home in Baltimore and took him back to Michigan to work at the Children’s Home of Detroit, in Grosse Pointe Woods.  Later, he was known as Skipper by all when he was the director of Camp Oakland, a summer camp program for underprivileged children.  Jack used his gift for speaking as a fundraiser for these organizations and many others.  He helped, encouraged and guided innumerable young people during his career, eventually ending up as a Social Worker in Luce County, where he remained for the last half of his life. 

Jack is survived by his daughters, Cindi (Marc) St. Germain, Sherie (Tom) Courchaine, and his son, Matthew Lee; grandchildren, Christopher (Missy) St. Germain, Michael (Julia) Courchaine, Amanda Courchaine, and Matthew Courchaine; great grandchildren, Adelaide and Anders Courchaine; sister, Judy (Mike) Nold.  A memorial service will be held at a later date.

A special thank you to the people at Trillium House in Marquette for their loving care and support during his final days.  Memorial donations may be made to them at: Trillium House, 1144 Northland Drive, Marquette, MI  49855; Phone (906) 264-5026; email

Canale & Pennock Funeral Service in Ishpeming is assisting the family where memories may be shared at


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