Vernon Elton Lee, 92, a lifetime resident of McKenzie County, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, at the McKenzie County Hospital in Watford City. Vernon was born to Gilbert T. Lee and Inga (Stavem) Lee on March 6, 1918. He was born and raised on the family homestead south of Watford City, along with his two brothers and three sisters.
He was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith, and attended rural school in the area. He joined the CCC in the late 30s, and worked in various jobs in Montana and Washington state before returning to settle back on the family farm.
He was joined in marriage to Grace Gilbertson on Jan. 27, 1946, in the First Lutheran Church Parsonage, as the Church had burned to the ground just days before their wedding.
Vernon and Grace were married for 64 years, and were blessed with six daughters. He spent his life devoted to his family, the farm and ranch. He was a “do-it-yourselfer,” and rarely called on a carpenter, plumber or mechanic to fix things. He had a beautiful voice and his yodeling and renditions of old time favorites could be heard from a distance while he was doing chores, or enjoyed by all when spending time with his family. A birthday wasn’t complete without his serenade. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were his pride and joy. He loved spending time with them, and always had a pocket full of gum, which was in great demand!
The last 30 years they looked forward to traveling during the winter months, settling in Mesa, Ariz., where family and friends frequently came to visit, sightsee and play dominos, zilch and other games.
Vernon is survived by his loving wife, Grace; daughters, Judy (Roger) Lee of Fargo, N.D., Joann (Fred) Zehr of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Jennifer (Curtis) Sorenson of Watford City, Jacky Bolken of Redondo Beach, Calif., and Julie (Mark) Anderson of Fargo; 10 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; a sister, Eleanor Guse of Dallas, Texas, and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Gladys Ekrum and Augusta Hegg: brothers, Irvin and Duane, and beloved daughter, Janice.
Funeral services were held at 11:00 a.m., Monday, Nov. 22, 2010, at First Lutheran Church in Watford City. Interment followed at Schafer Cemetery. Friends may share condolences at www.fulkersons.com.