Birth Date: 03/27/1934
Deceased Date: 09/10/2018
Stenson Duke Lee, Sr.
Stenson Duke Lee, Sr., age 84, died peacefully on September 10, 2018 at home. A lifelong resident of Johnston County, Duke was born March 27, 1934. A true renaissance man of many talents, Duke led a life filled with dedication to his Presbyterian faith, loyalty to his country, pride in his community, and love for his family and friends.
Duke was a longtime member of Oakland Presbyterian Church which is located in the Cleveland community, and he served Oakland in many capacities: Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, Elder, Deacon and Building Committee member.
With loyalty to his country, Duke proudly served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper during the Korean Conflict. He also served a brief stint in the U.S. Air Force. When discharged, Duke served in the North Carolina National Guard and was a member of the American Legion.
Duke was a true, “jack-of-all-trades”. Growing up on a farm as a youth, Duke was adept at growing things, and enjoyed planting gardens. Tomatoes were his favorite. Early on, Duke became a licensed barber and owned and operated The Esquire Barber Shop on Clayton’s Main Street for many years. He also owned and operated the Cleveland Barber Shop. Duke was also a co-partner in a men’s clothing store in Clayton called, The Town Squire. Furthermore, Duke owned and operated Lee Auction, Inc. Next, Duke began a long roofing career that spanned nearly 40 years. He was co-owner of Lee and Morgan Roofing Company in Benson, and Lee Roofing Company in Clayton. Other trades included storm window fabrication and installation, brick masonry, carpentry, and septic tank installation. Duke loved operating big machinery, especially his Bobcats.
Duke led an active life. He was a Little League baseball coach and game announcer, scuba diver, and taught many children how to waterski. Duke’s favorite sport, however, was shooting. An excellent shot, he excelled in sporting clays and even medaled in the North Carolina Senior Games.
A 32nd degree Mason, Duke was a member Granite Lodge #191 and the Johnston County Shrine Club where he was active with the animated animals. Duke also relished the opportunity to help others; he was an original member of the Brothers of the Brush in Clayton. Furthermore, he served as the Cleveland School PTA President. He also had the honor of being the Grand Marshall of the Cleveland Community’s annual 4th of July Parade. Also, Duke was a founding member of the Cleveland Community Volunteer Fire Department. When others were in need, Duke often would help when he could. On two occasions, extreme flooding in south Georgia, and a major blizzard in upstate New York, Duke personally delivered goods and staples to those living in these areas.
Duke is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 63 years, Ann Talton Lee; a daughter, Jan Lee Langdon and husband, Robert Langdon, of Raleigh; a son, Stenson Duke Lee, Jr. and wife, Elaine Simmons Lee, of Benson. Other survivors include three grandchildren, Meagan Langdon Bulloch, and husband, Marty Bulloch of Benson; Robert Eugene Langdon III, and wife Bridgette Scholl Langdon of New York City; and Anna Elizabeth Lee of Benson. Duke also had two great-grandchildren, Ben Bulloch and Nate Bulloch. Preceding Duke in death was his half-brother, Larry Marlin. Surviving half-brothers and half-sisters are Bobby Marlin, Faye Thompson, and Elaine Morgan. Duke also was blessed to be loved, and love, numerous cousins and acquaintances.
The family would also like to express a special thank you to all the ladies from Senior Helpers, Inc. that helped and cared for Duke in his later stages of life. He spoke kindly of you and held each in very high regards.
Please join the family at Oakland Presbyterian Church on Wednesday, September 12, for a funeral service at 11:00 A.M. A one hour visitation with family will be held after the funeral in the church fellowship hall. A visitation will also be held at McLaurin Funeral Home on Tuesday, September 11, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. There will be a graveside service following the funeral at the Oakland cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Duke requested contributions be made to the Oakland Presbyterian Church building fund, 8927 Cleveland Road, Clayton, N.C. 27520. Online condolences may be made to the Lee family at www.mclaurinatpinecrest.com. Arrangements are with McLaurin Funeral Home, Clayton.