Vernon Paul Lee, 77 years old, of Ironton, Missouri, passed away suddenly on Sunday, October 9, 2022, of a heart attack at his home.
Vernon lived his life as a steadfast Christian, telling others the good news that the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his resurrection freed mankind from death as the penalty for violating God’s law. Vernon worked to follow Christ’s exhortation to “love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself.”
He was born in Chicago on May 26, 1945, to Alice and Leslie Lee. As a child, his family moved to Reynolds, Missouri where Vernon attended Coridon-Reynolds two-room schoolhouse for grades 2-5. His family returned to Chicago and Vernon graduated from Harper High School in 1963. He graduated from Chicago State University with a degree in elementary education in 1966. Later he completed his Master’s degree in Education Administration from Concordia University.
In 1969, Vernon married Lorelei (Hoelzel) Lee at Oak Lawn Bible Chapel.
Vernon and Lorelei were blessed with two daughters, Kristen (Lee) Stevenson and Bethany Lee. The family lived for years in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
At about that time, Vernon began his lifelong work as a teacher and administrator at Midwestern Christian Academy (MCA), a Christian elementary school in Chicago. There, Vernon influenced the lives of hundreds of young people, teaching them both academic subjects and the truths of the Christian faith. In all, Vernon served at MCA for 44 years, first as a sixth- grade teacher, and then as assistant principal, principal, and school administrator.
In 2012. Vernon retired from MCA, and in 2013, he and Lorelei moved to a home on Lake Killarney near Ironton, returning to his Missouri roots.
Vernon never slowed down during retirement. He enjoyed reading the Bible, studying Bible commentaries, and reading books from the library. He also loved to do gardening and landscaping and to work on home improvement projects. Recently, he built 32 bookcases for the Ozark Regional Library when the library needed shelf space in their new annex.
In so many ways, Vernon’s life was a life of service. He was a deacon at First Baptist Church of Ironton, a board member of the Ozark Regional Library, a member of the Library Foundation Board, the vice president of the Killarney Shores Association (the homeowners group), and a member of the Killarney Shores Wagner Lodge beautification committee.
Vernon was predeceased by his father, Leslie Lee; his mother, Alice Lee; his brother Eugene Lee; and his brother Wayne Lee. He is survived by his sister Sharon Weber and her husband Wayne, of Lemont, Illinois; and his sister Carole Canton, of Thousand Oaks, California.
He is also survived by his wife Lorelei; his daughter Bethany Lee, of Baltimore, Maryland; his daughter Kristen Stevenson and her husband Jim, of Orland Park, Illinois; and his eight wonderful grandchildren: Hope, Heather, Grace, Courtney, Caleb, Kelsey, Kara, and Anna. Vernon also had many nieces, nephews, and friends who will miss him greatly.
Visitation and services were held at the First Baptist Church of Ironton on Friday, October 14. Interment was at Arcadia Valley Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, friends may wish to make donations to Midwestern Christian Academy, 3465 N. Cicero Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60641.