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Horace Byron Lee - Southport

Horace Byron Lee - SouthportHorace Byron Lee went to be with his Lord on Easter night after spending the month at Ocean Trail Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Southport NC. Mr. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Charles H. Lee and Edna Lee, brothers Fletcher and Charles “Chick” Lee, son Gary B. Lee and wife, Jean B. Merrit.

H.B. Lee was born in Dallas, Texas, Dec. 3, 1916 and was the third son of Charles and Edna Lee. The family moved to Hollywood, California when he was young and he attended grade school there and played basketball at Hollywood High School. H. B. “Bebe” then attended Stanford University, graduating in 1938. He played on the Varsity Basketball Team that won three consecutive Pacific Coast Conference Championships and in his senior year was elected Student Body President.

After graduation, Bebe was appointed Assistant Coach at Stanford. Three years later he was hired as Head Basketball Coach at Utah State University, at age 24 being the youngest Head Coach in the country at a major University. Then he spent four years during WW II as a Naval Intelligence before returning to Utah State.

In 1950 he was appointed Head Basketball Coach at the University of Colorado. During his six years there his teams won two Big Seven Conference Championships and, in 1955, advanced to the NCAA Final Four where his team beat the University of Iowa and lost to national champion San Francisco University.

In 1956 Bebe left coaching to assume duties as Athletic Director at Kansas State University, a position he held for 13 years. While there, he served on the NCAA Executive Committee, chaired the NCAA Basketball Tournament Committee, served as President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, acted as Senior Warden of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Manhattan, Kansas and chaired the Athletic Commission for the State of Kansas.

He left Kansas State in 1969 to accept the position of Vice President of Hughes Sports Television Network in New York City until his retirement. During his retirement he lived in Albuquerque, NM; Houston, TX with his wife Jean Bell Merrit whom he married in 1980. Following his wife’s death in 2009, H. B. moved to Southport NC to be near his daughter, Vicki and son-in-law Karl Farris. He also lived in Wilmington for a time after his daughter, Barbara Lee, moved to Wilmington, NC.

Mr. Lee is survived by his daughter, Vicki Farris and husband Karl of Southport, daughter Barbara Lee, step daughter Jeanne Johnston of Houston, Tx and step son Robin Merrit of Raleigh, grandsons Stuart L. Farris of Fort Bragg, Paul F. Farris of Raleigh, five great grandchildren(Evan, Luke, Ian Farris and Julia and Joshua Farris ), nieces Cathy Lasky and Betsy Lee of San Francisco area and nephew Bob Lee of Manton CA.

A family memorial service is being planned.

Memorial contributions may be made to Fellowship of Christian Athletes: HQ’s FCA 8701 Leeds Rd. Kansas City Mo. 64129.

Peacock-Newnam & White Funeral and Cremation Service, Southport


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