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July 15, 2008

Whether you were there with us in spirit or in person at Dad's memorial service, all of us — Dad included — appreciate all your love, support, and kindness during these last months and days.

Here is the presentation that was displayed at the memorial service. It includes various memories you have shared and that we hold dear about my father.

Here is the front of the chapel at the service, with Dad's urn in the center:

Jim Lee memorial service

July 10, 2008

Jim, June 2007

After spending his last weeks enjoying the company of family and friends, Dad passed away peacefully Monday morning. I plan to write about it more here later, but right now, we're trying to make arrangements and spend time with each other and cherish our pleasant memories of him.

I want to post his obituary here now, and mention that the Contra Costa Times has an online guest book where people can share thoughts and memories about him. The guest book will be online for a year, until 9 July 2009.

Here is his obituary:

James ("Jim") Edward Lee, III, devoted husband and father of two, passed away peacefully at home on July 7, 2008. He is survived by his loving wife, Helen, their daughter and son, Jené and James, and two granddaughters, Lily and Arianna. He will be remembered and missed by many more family and friends. A memorial service will be held at Ouimet Brothers Concord Funeral Chapel at 11AM on Sunday, July 13, 2008. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to The American Lung Association.

July 31, 2007

Dad's Birthday 2007

July 04, 2007

Fourth of July 2007

June 17, 2007

Father's Day 2007

June 06, 2007

Welcoming Lily Grace 01

Lily Grace Schoenfeld was born on Thursday, May 24, 2007. We had a great time meeting her and visiting with Jene & Carter. I'm an uncle!

May 13, 2007

Mothers Day 2007

April 08, 2007

Easter Lunch 2007

Easter Lunch 2007

December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Family Christmas Photo 2006

November 26, 2006

I really enjoyed Thanksgiving this year! Jené and Carter came to visit from Kentucky and we had some good family bonding time. For Thanksgiving dinner, we went to Kenny & Shirley's and had a delicious dinner and a great time. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood, laughing, joking, and sharing stories. Everything and everyone came together in that rare and truly magical way that creates a sense of real holiday cheer.

PHOTO SUMMARY: Thanksgiving 2006

June 24, 2006

We took Dad, Mom, and Ania's mom, Wanda, who is visiting us from Poland, out to Espetus for a celebration dinner.  It was a belated celebration of Mother's and Father's Day, as well as a celebration of Wanda's "nameday".

Picture, Espetus

Espetus is a Brazilian "churrascaria" (steakhouse).  I first went a couple months ago with Taylor & Rossy, and we had a great time and loved the food.

Picture, Espetus

The way it works is, you get seated, then get a plate and go to the buffet for ancillary stuff like vegetables.  (Take my advice, save room for the meat!)  To really get in the spirit, order a traditional Brazilian "caipirinha" to drink.  The real action starts when you sit down, and change your table's placard from "No, obrigado" to "Sim, por favor", and the servers, dressed as "gauchos", start visiting your table with different cuts and types of meat, from top sirloin, to filet mignon, to grilled prawns, and parmesan crusted pork.

Picture, Espetus 

It's easy to feel rushed, but if everyone's got enough for a while, just rotate the placard to "No, obrigado", and take a break -- you'll find you need to do so often; it's a lot of food! 

Everyone loved the food, and we're all looking forward to finding an excuse to go back!

June 18, 2006

Today, Ania's mom, Wanda (pronounced "Vanda"), arrived from Poland.

 Picture, Wanda arrival

This is her first time in the United States, and she'll be staying with us for about two months.  We've got a lot of fun outings planned, but the main thing is for mother and daughter to really get to spend some time together.

We'll be pretty busy showing her around for the next several weeks!  Our plans include visits to:

I know everyone likes to make mother-in-law jokes, (in fact, she's been sharing some from Poland!)  but I really enjoy being with Wanda.  It's tough to communicate when Ania's not around, but that's good motivation to learn Polish.  She's very pleasant and energetic, and she always makes me feel right at home when we go to Poland.  I hope to help make her feel as comfortable and welcome here!

May 27, 2006

At Kenny & Shirley's house on Memorial Day.


May 15, 2006

We spent the weekend of May 13-14, in North Carolina, where we went to see Jené's Ph.D. "hooding" and graduation ceremonies.  She received her Ph.D. from Duke University in September 2005, and is currently a Professor in the Department of English at University of Kentucky.

Through the years, I've proudly told countless people that "my sister is working on her Ph.D. at Duke University".  Seeing these ceremonies made me realize I had never really understood the extent to which even the undertaking of the Ph.D. program, and being invited to do so by Duke University (she went to Duke on a fellowship) were significant.  Duke ranks in the top 10 universities in the U.S. for English graduate programs, and was #3 in African-American Literature in 2005), and being there, the distinction of studying at and being a graduate of Duke University was conspicuously evident.

Those of us supporting Jené through the process know she spent a lot of time and a tremendous amount of effort earning her Ph.D., but as observers, it was difficult to truly imagine or put in context.  It was really something to be there and witness her peers, instructors, advisors, and mentors truly honoring her.  Seeing such recognition of her achievement by the elite of such a well-regarded institution gave me a tangible sense of the substance behind the respect she so clearly merits.

I was profoundly impressed.


Congratulations, Jené!  We were very happy and proud to be there to celebrate you and what you've achieved!

With Jene after PhD Hooding Ceremony


James & Ania 

September 25, 2005

The morning of Emilia and Fernando's wedding was full of the usual stress and frenzy that's a part of every wedding day, but we eventually made it out the door, and Emilia looked beautiful!
PHOTO SUMMARY: Emilia and Fernando Wedding 01
PHOTO SUMMARY: Emilia and Fernando Wedding 02
Wedding guests outside church

Brothers and Sisters
Brothers and sisters  

The wedding ceremony was lovely, but unfortunately, Carlitos & family -- best friends of Fernando -- weren't able to make it until the very end.  They went to take care of something that Fernando's father was originally going to do, but couldn't.  Carlitos explained that they thought it more important that Fernando's parents be there to see the ceremony than they.  Now that's friendship!

True friends
True friends

The reception was held in a really cool building with a circular shape.  Music logistics didn't work out early on, but we made up for it later.  I'm sure the dance floor was worn down a few millimeters; it was almost never empty from the moment the music started.  The music started out as typical wedding music for most of the afternoon, but then we got to see what a great DJ they had, as he threw down some awesome tracks later in the evening and took it from a wedding reception to high-energy club dance.

Wedding reception hall