Lee E. Schlessman died March 6, 2019.
He was born Nov. 29, 1926, in Denver, the son of Florence and Gerald Schlessman. He grew up in Denver and attended Denver Public schools, graduating from East High School in 1944. After two years in the Navy Air Corps, he entered Colorado College in Colorado Springs and graduated in 1950 with a B.A. in business administration.
While attending CC he joined the Kappa Sigma fraternity.
Lee married Dolores Lanning in 1951, and they had three children: Sandra Garnett, Cheryl Bennett and Gary Schlessman. Lee and Dolores have seven grandchildren: Aaron, Colin and Benjamin Garnett, Lauren Watel, Eric Bennett, Jennifer Bonicelli and Margaret Emmerich. They are also blessed to have eight great-grandchildren.
Lee was president and chairman of the board of the Schlessman Family Foundation from 1956 until his death. He was also president and chairman of the board of Greeley Gas Company until the family-owned business merged with Atmos Energy in Dallas, Texas in 1992. He served on the board of Atmos Energy Corporation for several years.
Lee has been very active in YMCA work. He was chosen Layman of the Year in 1983 and was inducted into the YMCA Hall of Fame in 1984. He was also a member of the board of the YMCA of the Rockies and was very active in Masonry achieving his 33rd Degree and Grand Cross. Lee was the Potentate of El Jebel Shrine Temple in 1970 and the treasurer of the Scottish Rite Foundation until his death. He served on many other boards during his lifetime, was chairman of the board of AAA for years and is still shown as chairman emeritus in their monthly publication.
Lee joined the Denver Lions Club in 1955 and was a life member. As an active member serving on the club board of directors, trustee for the Denver Lions Foundation, he received Key Member Award and Melvin Jones Fellowship Award. The Schlessman Family Foundation actively supported the Denver Lions Foundation, and its service programs.
When he was younger, he loved skiing, golfing, tennis, fishing and wouldn’t miss a Bronco game. His favorite shirt was a Bronco sweatshirt, vintage 1975. He was a great husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, boss and friend.
Cheryl preceded her father in death in 2011. Lee’s sister, Susan Duncan and her son Michael Fredericks, also survive him. Services will be held Saturday, March 23, 2019, at Scottish Rite Masonic Center, 1370 Grant St., Denver, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donate to your favorite charity, such as the Denver Lions Foundation.
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