Charles W. Lee, 92, of Silsbee passed away peacefully, October 1, 2020 near his family in Beaumont, Texas. He was born in Vernon, Texas December 5, 1927 to George and Elsie Lee.
Charles graduated from Gainesville High School in 1947. He attended Texas A&M and graduated from East Central University, Ada Oklahoma with a B.S degree in business administration. He served in Korea in the US Army Transportation Corps Locomotive Division as a 2nd Lieutenant. Charles married the love of his life, Carolyn Jo Blankenship on November 28, 1958 in Gainesville, Texas. Charles was co-owner of Lee-Phelps Lumber Yard in Gainesville Texas while working for Santa Fe Railroad part-time. He moved to Silsbee after accepting full time employment as an official for the Santa Fe/ Burlington Northern Railroad where he worked for 41 years, serving as Trainmaster in Silsbee, Beaumont, Topeka, and Houston.
After retiring from BNSF in 1987, he enjoyed doing railroad consulting work. He was particularly proud of his work to coordinate and supervise train activities in the filming of "Streets of Laredo", a movie starring James Garner and Sissy Spacek.
Charles was a member of First United Methodist Church, Men's Sunday School Class, Silsbee Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Ice House Museum, and served as president of Silsbee Community Center.
Charles was a kind, loving man to all that knew him. He thoroughly enjoyed his retirement years spending time with family and friends, fishing, golfing, and just hanging out with his coffee group at McDonald’s. He lived a long and happy life, and he will be deeply missed.
Charles is preceded in death by his loving wife, Carolyn Jo; his parents; a brother; two sisters; a brother-in-law; and many close Silsbee friends.
He is survived by his daughter, Carol Strouf and husband Dan of Beaumont; sister-in-law Kathryn Mann of Henderson; brother-in-law, Jimmy Tom Blankenship and wife Suzy of Dallas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Brookdale Dowlen Oaks and Heart to Heart Hospice for their compassionate and loving care.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to First United Methodist Church of Silsbee or the Silsbee Ice House Museum in Mr. Lee’s honor.
Private graveside services were held under the direction of Farmer Funeral Home.
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