Special to the Grove Sun
Lee Jeffery, a true Grand Lake icon, is now in the blessed company of our Maker. Lee joined Him recently. His passing caused little fanfare while in assisted living in Commerce where he grew up with the likes of Mickey Mantle. And “grew up” he did, to a tall, slim 6’7” of raw purity like no other.
Lee loved sports, especially basketball. He enrolled at Pittsburg College and played the 1946-47 season for the Gorillas and Coach John Lance. Lee still holds a free throw shooting percentage record.
Lee dedicated his working lie to out public education system and laughingly said, “That was why our education system is in such shambles.”
It was a joy to be in his company and morally demanding, depending on the environment at the time. He never refused a reasonable request to serve the community or people. In so serving, he met with lies and mistruths concerning his community activities.
He was once charged with a felony concerning property ownership on Monkey Island. It was undoubtedly a trumped-up charge. He turned himself in to legal authorities at the Jay courthouse, followed by handcuffs and mug shots.
Anyone who really knew Lee also knew he did not knowingly do anything against the law. Lee never once complained of the situation. Ultimately, the charge was dropped and all records were expunged from court records.
Lee was an avid fisherman. He fished with some well-known fishermen and he even fished with me. Surely you remember the fishing articles he published in newspapers, including The Grove Sun. He also did a daily fishing report on the radio.
He often fished with and quoted Jerry Kropf, who Lee said “learned everything he ever knew about fishing from me.”
Tom Houston was a long-time friend of Lee’s. They often fished for crappie at Lee’s fishing dock, both verbally jabbing each other while seemingly never taking a breath.
The Marina at Bernice (one of the sponsors of Lee’s fishing report) will be dedicating their fall Crappie Tournament to Lee Jeffery.
It is said that all good things come to an end, and Lee Jeffery was undoubtedly a good thing.
If anyone deserves the label of “Grand Lake Icon” it is Lee Jeffery.