David LaMonte Lee, born July 20th, 1935 to George and Lois Lee in Raymond, Idaho. He was born in a cabin at the base of the Raymond mountain range. He grew up embracing the freedom of living life on
horseback, herding livestock and ranching. My Dad was the 5th of 8 children, he had 2 brothers and 5 sisters. He spoke often of his mother and the hardships she endured raising a family during the 2nd world war
and the great depression. He inherited his father’s work ethic, teaching him the value of doing your best regardless of the job and do it with a smile on your face.
He always talked fondly about his siblings, the love they had for one another, the many shenanigans they found themselves apart of and, more importantly, how close they were and the combined efforts they all made
in order to sustain their family in the most difficult of circumstances. He himself only had an 8th grade education and began working on a ranch in Geneva to help support his family around the age of 13. He loved to tell us
about all the ways his siblings influenced his life and each story is full of love and admiration.
David married Phyllis Walker when he was in his early twenties. He said he decided he would get married one afternoon, he went and fetched his bride then went to the courthouse in Paris Idaho to make it official, all in a
day’s work!! As a result of this hasty union, he became the father of 4 sons, Robert, Rocky, Jeffrey and Phillip. The family lived in Geneva for a short time and suffered the death of his oldest son Robert who had been
hit by a car at the tender age of 7. The family moved to Grover Wyoming not long after, raising his boys in Star Valley where Phyllis’s family also lived. Sadly, as we know, life tends to throw in some unexpected
heartaches and grief, Dad lost Phyllis to cancer about 25 years later. My Dad had many occupations, he spent several years herding sheep and cattle, he worked on the railroad for a short time, he worked in the oil
fields and he worked as a heavy equipment operator and foreman at the sawmill in Afton.
He then met Linda Holt, who had recently moved to the valley from Nevada, she had the pleasure of working alongside him at the mill, he was her boss at the time. They decided they liked each other and
were married in 1981 and had 4 children, Melissa, Stacy, Jake and Samantha. Although his life contained a multitude of hurt and loss, he loved to shoot the bull and to make people laugh. He loved to talk for very long stretches of time, no matter who had the misfortune of waiting for him to move on with their life. He used many significant “sentence enhancers” in every conversation he ever had, making his point, telling his story, and people
listened. He had his very own file of cuss words he was known to utilize anytime he shod a horse or chased a cow. Everyone I have ever encountered who knew him said “he is such a character.” He didn’t take
life to seriously, he was always teasing and joking around, making life fun. He loved to sing when he rode, he sang songs he heard on the radio or made up his own little tunes, most are not fit to repeat, especially at
school, where they had been recited on multiple occasions. One of my fondest, irritating memories was of Dad singing in the mornings in attempts to awaken the entire house hold and as you can imagine, he
wasn’t always met with a smile or a pleasant attitude from us tired teenage folk.
Dad endured many injuries throughout his 84 years, ranging from a car accident to countless incidents involving horses and the unpredictability of working often in close proximity with animals, but he wouldn’t have wanted
to do anything else. This way of life had been instilled in him, giving him purpose and much happiness. Dad’s existence, literally revolved around riding his horse on the range, herding livestock, and just being a genuine cowboy, creating a very unique childhood for his children. The memories and experiences we have of “cow camp” are priceless and will always be cherished. He taught his children many lessons about life, love and family.
He is proceeded in death by his parents, his first wife Phyllis, his brothers Buck and Joseph, his sisters Pearl, Lila, and Georgia, his sons, Robert, Rocky, Jeff and Jake, and several nephews, great nephews and cousins.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Lee, his sisters Leola Peterson and Maxine Finch. His children, Phillip (Debbie) Lee, Melissa (Mike) Condon, Stacy (Eric) Jenkins, Samantha (Roy) Jorgensen, eighteen grandchildren and 12
David LaMonte Lee lived his life as we all hope too, doing what he loved until the very end. The hardest thing for me to witness was watching his mind ravaged by dementia, knowing his heart and soul resided in the
mountains he roamed, and realizing how lost he must have felt when he could no longer be who he was and not understanding why. His family and friends, grieved for him long before his passing, we take comfort in the fact
he is now saddling up in the next life, fully aware and whole again. He left his mark, teaching those who knew him to recognize the simplicity of the world we live in and how to endure this life until the end.
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