Lee, James

LEE, Jr., James Arthur


1941 – 2022


The sailor who never went to sea! James Arthur Lee Jr., "Art" to friends, enlisted in the United States Navy in 1959. He served as a Navy Hospital Corpsman for approximately 6 years; he was stationed on Guam, in San Diego, New Orleans and Pensacola but, he never went to sea! In 1963, he transferred to the Navy Reserves while attending Texas Tech, earning a degree in History. After graduation, Art, who had always aspired to be a lawyer, took the graduate record and LSAT exam, excelling in both. In 1970, he was offered a scholarship at Emory University School of Law. That summer, while waiting to enter Emory, Art received an invitation to join the CIA. After struggling with the choice of two rewarding careers, Art elected to go to law school and graduated in 1973. Art practiced as a successful trial lawyer in the Atlanta area for over 40 years, belonging to several law firms, and eventually becoming a sole practitioner. In 1970, during his first year of law school, Art received a direct commission as an Ensign, United States Navy Reserve, and was designated as a Naval Intelligence Officer. Art served in the Reserves for 30 years, retiring as a full Commander in 1989. Although he never went to sea, he loved the Navy as much as the law and has requested to be buried at sea. The Navy should be so honored. James Arthur Lee, Jr. was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on March 22, 1941. He grew up in Lubbock, Texas and married a hometown girl, Laine Williams, in 1964. Art and Laine were married 58 years. He died at home on Wednesday, August 31, 2022. Although they never had children of their own, Art is survived by many loving friends and their children and their grandchildren, many of whom consider Art and Laine to be their aunt and uncle. Art was a man of many and varied interests. He loved history, art and music, especially Buddy Holly who, Art said, "Was the only good thing to come out of Lubbock, with the exception of Laine, of course." Art loved yard work – when Laine was doing it. He loved dogs and tolerated cats. He is survived by Bailey and Carley, Chinese Crested, and Miss Kitty and Mr. Cheeks, both rescue cats. He was an avid motorcycle rider, riding with the American Legion Riders. In their younger years, Art and Laine were certified scuba divers, making frequent trips to the Florida Keys. As a young man Art worked as a butcher in his father's butcher shop. Art, in his words, "Was the last in a long line of Lees," proud that he had lived longer than anyone in his immediate family. Art Lee was a complicated and interesting man. He was a loving and tender husband, a true patriot, and a loyal friend. He will be greatly missed. Safe seas my friend!

A get-together in Art's memory will be held at the American Legion Hall, Post 66, 30 Covington Highway, Avondale Estates, Georgia from 2:00 to 4:00 on October 3, 2022. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to a charity of your choice in the name of J. Arthur Lee, Jr.