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Obituary: Wayne Elton Lee

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Wayne Elton Lee was born in Minot, North Dakota, but grew up in Max, North Dakota on a wheat farm.  He was a farm boy at heart and loved the land. His life’s work revolved around it. Wayne passed away suddenly on Aug. 19 from a thoracic aneurysm. Throughout his life, he lived in Los Angeles, California, Escondido, California, and Cortez, Colorado, before retiring to Big Sky, Montana, and recently spent time in Sun Lakes, Arizona.

Wayne worked for Bethlehem Steele after graduating from North Dakota State University. He then went on to start Project Properties Inc with good friend and business partner Bill Smith. Wayne was a farmer and a professionally licensed land surveyor in five states for forty years. He owned Four Corners Surveying, where he worked with long-time business partner Randy Bouet.

Wayne was generous and engaging, but also a thorough task master. He was a mentor to many and had a strong love of life. He was always willing to share his opinion with everyone whether you asked for it or not. He was a fierce patriot! His passion was snow skiing in the winter, especially father/son ski trips and golfing the rest of the year. His family thinks he is the only person to have read the entire internet. Wayne was a huge supporter of North Dakota State University Football and loved to cheer them on for their numerous wins at the National Championship in Frisco, Texas. Go Bison!  

Wayne was a volunteer firefighter for the Lewis Arriola Fire Department during his time in Cortez, where he worked tirelessly to improve the firehouse and their equipment. He was also a volunteer soccer coach for many years. During his time in Big Sky, he worked hard for the Lone Moose Homeowners Association and worked to make U.S. Highway 191 safer for everyone. He also enjoyed the friendships and time spent singing in the Community Choir. Some even considered him a renaissance man!

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents, Merle and Bernice Lee; and his sister, LaVon Kjonaas. 

Wayne had a lifetime of love with the love of his life, Ginger (Flora Virginia) Lee. They were lucky enough to celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary right before he passed away. He is also survived by son and daughter-in-law, John & Janelle Lee of Spokane, Washington; son, Curtis Lee of Albuquerque, New Mexico; two grandsons, Dylan and Sebastian Lee of Albuquerque, New Mexico; brother, David Lee; sister-in-law, Jackie Brummel of Dallas, Texas; brother-in-law, Loren Kjonaas of Bismarck, North Dakota; numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews; lifelong friends, Dave and Joan Milbrath of Sagle, Idaho; and not enough ink to list all of his many friends.

A memorial service will be held at the Big Sky Chapel, Sept. 10 at 10:00 a.m. with a reception to follow.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Big Sky Chapel at P.O. Box 160792, Big Sky, Montana 59716.  

Wayne would like everyone to ski a tree run or have a powder day for him!

Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service.

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