Ralph Louis “Buddy” Lee, 82, of Cleveland, Tennessee, passed away on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at his home after a short battle with colon cancer.
He attended Templeton High School, Bradley High School and later graduated from the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. He was very athletic and was offered athletic scholarships to attend college. He was a veteran of the United States Army serving from 1960 to 1962. Buddy worked full-time while attending college and graduated from UTC with a bachelor’s degree in Education and a few years later he went back and became certified in Special Education.
Buddy wanted to be a teacher from the time he was in eighth grade and his teacher would allow him to teach his class as a reward. He taught at North Lee Elementary, East Cleveland and in Monroe County. He also coached the girls’ basketball team at Easy Cleveland. Buddy loved his family and enjoyed staying home and spending time with them. He had offers to advance his career in other places, but chose to come home to Cleveland.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip Lee and Vinnie Lea Lee; sister, Vera Mae Gentry and brother-in-law, Pete Gentry.
He is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Judith Ann Osborne Lee; children, Richard Patrick Lee and Bethanne Lee; brother, John Lee; sister, Pauline Pickens and sister-in-law, Freida Lee; nieces and nephews, Cindy and Kinny Geren, Melissa and Leighe Phillips and Tony and Nancy Gentry and great-niece, Kellee Geren.
Graveside services will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 18, in Tasso Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. at Fike-Randolph and Son Funeral Home on Friday prior to the service.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers memorial donations be made to: Amedisys Hospice, 7205 Lee Hwy Suite B, Chattanooga, TN 37421 or American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 22478, Oklahoma City, OK 73123.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Lee family guestbook at www.fikefh.com.