Linn County


Capt. Robert A. Lee




His Obituary:

Robert A. Lee, 95, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Thursday October 17, 2013. Known to all his friends and acquaintances as Bob he was an icon in Iowa City recreation for which the popular downtown center bears his name.

Robert A. Lee was born April 5, 1918, in Cedar Rapids, the son of Charles E. and Marion (Graves) Lee. Bob attended schools in Cedar Rapids, graduating from McKinley High School and later from Coe College. He married Naomi L. Read at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. In September of this year, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

He taught school and coached basketball and baseball in Stanhope from 1940-1941. During WWII he served in the United States Army enlisting in January of 1942. He served two years in Europe where he received five battle stars including Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, and at the time of his discharge, his rank was captain. Returning to Iowa he became a program supervisor for Waterloo Recreation Commission in 1946-47 and the first superintendent for the Cedar Falls Recreation Department from 1948 to 1951, He became superintendent of the Iowa City Recreation Department in 1951 and held that post until his retirement in May of 1983.

Bob was a member of the National Recreation and Park Association, the American Recreation Society and the Iowa Park and Recreation Association of which he served as president in 1949 and 1966. In 1968 he was the recipient of the IPRA award of Merit for his professional service.

Upon his retirement in 1983 the Iowa City Council passed a resolution naming the Robert A. Lee Community Recreation Center.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church, past president of the Cedar Falls Kiwanis Club, the Optimist Club of Iowa City, The American Legion, National Wood Carvers Association, an original board member of the First national Bank First Club, and a ten year volunteer driver for meals on wheels. An avid Hawkeye fan, you came to learn not to try and call Bob during an Iowa football or basketball game unless you just wanted to hear a busy signal.

His family includes his wife, Naomi; son Mark (Janis) Lee of Pt. Neches, TX; daughter, Jacqueline Lee of Minneapolis; grandsons, Christopher and Jeffrey (Jean), one great-grandson, Trent; niece, Catherine Sharp, and a nephew, Richard Lee.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Edward.