In Memory of George R. Lee
George R. Lee, professor emeritus of history and political science, died unexpectedly Saturday, December 27, 2008. He served the college as a member of Culver-Stockton's faculty from 1962-1998. Among the 23 books he authored during his lifetime, two chronicled the history of C-SC: “Culver-Stockton College: The First 130 Years” and “Culver-Stockton College: The Sesquicentennial History.” We will miss him.
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Professor George Lee gave me the confidence that I could succeed. His slow yet patient approach to teaching in his history courses prepared to go on for my M.Div. and D. Min. degrees. I teach at three seminaries as an adjunct professor. Thank you, Professor Lee for your high expectations and confidence in me.
Rev. Dr. Reginald Smith Class of 1984
Reginald Smith - 1984
I was a colleague of George during the mid-80's. I probably didn't appreciate him as much then as I would now.
George went out of his way to be friendly to me. In retrospect, I think he was also watching out for me, as teaching at Culver was my first full-time teaching position. In addition to being friendly, he gave me tips which have helped me to this day, regarding my teaching.
George was a religious man, but he didn't "wear on his sleeve" his religion. He was very respectful of people with religious beliefs which differed from his own.
I'm sorry that I did not keep in touch with George, except on one or two occasions, as I recollect, since I left Culver-Stockton College. This reminds me that we always have to appreciate those people that we come in contact with who have the right values. And, George certainly fit that description.
I hope his wife, Elaine, in particular, will read these recollections I have of George.
Harry Toder -
I was in one of George Lee's first classes at C-SC - possibly the same one Ron Stonebraker was in - in 1962. I remember how mightily impressed we all were at Prof. Lee's lecture style. He had a little looseleaf notebook with his lecture notes in it and seemed to have each lecture timed to start exactly on the hour and end precisely 50 minutes later. George got married in about his second or third year at C-SC, and we students had a good time kidding him about it. I recall that he once somewhat distractedly reviewed all the things he had to do before the wedding - "Have to grade papers, have to finish next week's lecture, have to order textbooks, have to get married..."
He was a great teacher and a wonderful person and is an important part of the history of Culver-Stockton.
Dan Douglas - 1966
I'm not even sure where to start. Professor Lee was not only my professor and advisor in college, but has been a friend throughout my post-Culver years. From American History through Civil War on Saturday mornings, I completed over half of my history credits in his classes. On the day of my father's funeral in 1986, there was Professor Lee, always there for me. He was always eager to tell me of his next book. The last time I visited him, he proudly showed me his office where he was working on more books, and I showed him how to use eBay to sell books. Every Christmas came the Lee Family letter with his funny commentary and family updates. The latest one I received was just the week before he passed away. I've always been thankful that I choose Culver-Stockton, because of the professors who not only taught us but cared about us as people, Professor Lee was first and foremost in that category. He is and will continue to be missed.
Jo Johnson - 1987
I will cherish many fond memories of George Lee. In my three and a half years at Culver-Stockton, George was a constant presence in the hallways of Johann, in the library stacks and reading room, and at so many college events. I will always remember the many conversations that took place when he stopped by my office to discuss history, current events, and politics. He never failed to display keen insight and a quick wit of a type that I hope to aspire someday.
I will always remember his amazing knowledge of Culver and of Canton. He knew more about this institution, town, and region than anyone I have met and was always willing to tell me anything I wanted to know.
I will always remember his amazing work ethic and his admirable dedication to writing and researching. He was always working on something; fascinating and ambitious projects that only a person with decades of experience in the field of history would dare undertake.
But mostly I will remember a kind and considerate and warm man whose presence brightened the halls and whose insatiable academic interests inspired us all. The Culver-Stockton community has lost a great teacher, scholar, and friend and we will all miss him very much.
Dr. Scott Giltner -
Professor Lee was an excellent American government teacher. I was in one of his government classes the first semester he taught at Culver Stockton College. That was in 1962. Professor Lee gave interesting lectures. These made the subject, which can be dry, interesting.
Ronald Stonebraker - 1964
Professor Lee was a great history teacher and an even better person. The relationships I remember best with my teachers at Culver are ones I developed on both a level in the classroom and outside of the classroom. He was very approachable and always ready to have a conversation.
Professor Lee was a big part of the college community. He was a fixture at Culver-Stockton basketball games during the late 1980s and early 1990s and I'm sure before and after those years. When I was a student assistant for the men's basketball team, I knew I could always look up in the bleachers behind the scorer's table and see him. In later years, I would often see him at the Quincy Mall and we'd stop and inquire how each other was doing.
I took several of his classes. Although it wasn't until later in life that I decided to return to college to become a social studies teacher, the teachings of Professor Lee was a factor in my decision. He definitely was one of the best of many great teachers I've had in the history and social studies field.
I never realized until I read his obituary in the Quincy Herald-Whig just how many books he actually wrote. That shows he was very humble and didn't brag about his accomplishments and showed what kind of man he really was.
Frank Cash - 1991
I feel so fortunate to have been able to take several of Mr. Lee's courses while a student at Culver many years ago. I remember vividly being hunched over my notebook writing furiously so I could capture all the striking details as Professor Lee brought times long ago to life. He was always so calm and gentle as he unfolded the past to young, restless minds. He was a jewel that will be missed throughout the community.
Kim Gaither - 1980
George Lee was not only a great teacher, but also a great man.
I think it is a shame that most Culver students did not take Mr. Lee's upper-level classes and only knew him from his freshman history class.
While he was an excellent "Intro to History" teacher, where he really shined was in his "Civil War and Reconstruction" classes. I was fortunate enough to take one of his upper-level classes; and when I did, I was hooked... and basically ended up taking all that he offered while I was there.
I still live in the area (about 35 miles west of Canton) and had the opportunity to see Mr. Lee from time to time over the last 25 years since I left Culver; and although a year or two may have passed, we always were able to drop right back into our conversations as if we had not missed a moment in between.
I have made a point to personally thank as many of the teachers that helped me as I could, and I feel fortunate indeed that I had the chance to tell Mr. Lee in person how much the education that he offered me has meant to me over the years.
He was a fine teacher and a fine person, and he will be greatly missed.
Ken Mitchell - 1984
I have many fond memories of George. When I arrived at CSC he was the department chair and I remember him always as supportive and helpful. He had one of the funniest dry wits I have ever encountered. George heroically held down the huge American history survey classes for years. But he didn't just teach history he wrote it. George was always working on a book and pursuing some new lead. We fellow historians were often treated to golden nuggets of historical understanding that he had drawn from the hard ground of research. In recent years, he would take breaks from his research and stop by the history office to share his love of historical detection. Always, his presence reminded us that we must lift up our heads from the daily grind of papers and class preparation and look to the many-hued horizons of the past. I can imagine him now in heaven, asking good questions and taking careful notes.
Dr. Patrick Hotle -