Lee F. Kleese
Lee Kleese as an officer with 1/22 Infantry Vietnam
Lt. Col. Lee Frederick Kleese, U. S. Army (Ret. ), of 3601 Gramercy Road, Greensboro, NC, passed away peacefully at his home on Wednesday, July 12, 2006.
Lee was born on Oct. 1, 1934, in Washington, D. C., the eldest son of Lt. Col. James G. and Ruby Lee Ridgeway Kleese. He received his bachelors degree at the University of Arkansas, where he met and married Suzannah Gearhart on Dec. 27, 1958. He was a Distinguished Military Graduate of the ROTC program and shortly thereafter entered the U. S. Army as an Infantry 2 nd Lieutenant.
Lee began his unique military career as an Airborne Infantryman. He often joked that he was 6 4 before he started jumping out of perfectly good airplanes. During a three-year tour in Berlin, he directed reconnaissance patrols into East Berlin and witnessed the construction of the Berlin Wall. He also served two tours in Vietnam. He was awarded numerous medals and honors, including the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action, the Legion of Merit, the Soldiers Medal for Heroism in a non-combat situation, three Bronze Stars, the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in action and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry.
After completing a masters degree in human relations, Lee retired from the military as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1979 and moved with his family to Greensboro. He then enjoyed a successful career in leadership development training and consult- ing, first with Farr Associates Inc. and then as an independent consultant. He traveled the country presenting refreshing, common sense approaches to the complexities of contemporary relationships, both business and personal. His seminars were laced with humorous anecdotes and amusing tales of real-life situations, helping his audience to learn with laughter.
Lee was an avid outdoorsman. He enjoyed golfing, gardening, surf fishing, whitewater rafting and camping, thereby leaving a legacy of deep appreciation for nature to his children.
Lee is survived by his wife, Suzannah; his daughter Maria Teressa Cagle, her husband, Tony, and granddaughters Cameron and Forrest of Youngsville, N. C.; his daughter Alexandra Kleese Sprinkle and her husband, Mark, of Paonia, Colo., and their soon-to-be born daughter, Contessa; his son, Anthony Lee Kleese and his wife, Christine, of Chapel Hill, N. C.; and his brother Gene Kleese and sister Joyce Lynch of Atlanta. Lees family would like to express sincere appreciation to friends and relatives for their outpouring of love and support. Hearing how he touched so many lives with his wit and wisdom has lifted our hearts and given us a fresh perspective on what a positive force Lee has been in this world. A celebration of his life will be held from 6-8 p. m. Tuesday at Starmount Country Club in Greensboro, N. C., and a military memorial service with full honors will be held in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D. C., at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Greensboro, 2500 Summit Ave, Greensboro, NC 27405; or The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA ), P. O. Box 448, Pittsboro, NC 27312, www. carolinafarmstewards. org.
Lee Kleese as an advisor with MACV in Vietnam
Birth: Oct. 1, 1934
District of Columbia
District Of Columbia, USA
Death: Jul. 12, 2006
North Carolina, USA
Arlington National Cemetery
Plot: Sec 66 Site 52
Grave marker for Lee F. Kleese
Photo from the Arlington National Cemetery website
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