Birth Date: 09/08/1929
Deceased Date: 06/02/2017
Four Oaks- Charles Ray Lee, age 87, died Friday, June 2, 2017 in San Antonio, TX. Born September 8, 1929 in Johnston County, he was a son of the late Judson Kelly and Ella Lee. He was preceded in death by his wife, Eunice Dunn Lee; and grandson, Temple Charles Lee.
A memorial service will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, June 17, 2017 in the chapel of Parrish Funeral Home, with Mr. Don Lassiter officiating. This will be A Celebration of Life service, and the family requests that you join them in sharing special memories and stories of “The General” during the service. The family will receive friends following the service.
Charles Ray “General” Lee was a kind and generous man who loved his family and friends beyond all else. His passion was conservation; especially wildlife conservation. Although he was a member of many local conservation groups, his heart was always in Ducks Unlimited and he actively served the organization for over 50 years. General was a charter member of the Johnston County Chapter, founded in 1971. He held many positions at the local and state level and always “did it for the ducks.” In 2011, he was one of the first inductees of the Johnston County Ducks Unlimited Hall of Fame. He was inducted into NC Ducks Unlimited’s Lead Drake Society in 2015. Further, he served as Trustee Emeritus and was a Life Sponsor in the National Ducks Unlimited Organization. He was also a Mason, and served as a Master of the Smithfield Masonic Lodge.
General started out as a tenant farmer. He left farming for the “Pots and Pans” business as a traveling salesman. He and Eunice co-hosted cookware parties across much of the eastern half the state. In 1957, he was awarded “Top Salesman of the Month” by West Bend Aluminum Company. Desiring to spend more time with family, he became a tire salesman at Hunt General Tire Company in Raleigh, where he became lifetime friends with Buford and Dema Hunt. He eventually opened General Lee’s Tire Care in Smithfield in the early 1960’s and remained there until 1987. After his retirement, he began selling art and custom framing as General Lee’s Art and Frame Shop, which he continued until his death.
Surviving are his son, Charles Ray Lee, Jr. and wife Belinda of Greenville; sister, Shirley Lee and husband W.C. of Benson; brother, Kelly Lee of Four Oaks; and grandson, Jay Lee of Raleigh.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Temple Lee Memorial Scholarship Fund, Pitt County Educational Foundation, 1717 W. Fifth St., Greenville, NC 27834 or to a local wildlife conservation group of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at parrishfh.com.