On Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017, Will Franklin Lee went to be with his Lord whom he loved. He was born in Louisville, Ky., on Sept. 4, 1934. He graduated from Male High School in Louisville where he played several sports and was first trombonist in their renowned band which was recognized as one of the best in the nation. In 1952, he left college and joined the U.S. Army. He served as a paratrooper in Korea in Company D, the 38th Infantry Regiment where he gained the name of "Wild Bill" by his fellow soldiers. Using heavy weaponry, he fought on the front lines of battle in the Korean war and served as a military policeman. After honorable discharge from the Army, he joined the Louisville City Police Department where he served for 20 years. At the beginning of his policing career n Louisville, the Louisville City Police Department named him "Rookie of the Year." Thereafter, the police department used him regularly to train new rookies. During those 20 years, he served as a beat officer, in homicide, in stolen cars, for years as an undercover narcotics agent, and was one of the few men to start the department's bomb squad.
On Aug. 20, 1955, Will married Sandra Ann Evans of Shively, Ky. Because a seasoned policeman was needed, who was both respected by officers on the Louisville City Police Department and on the Jefferson County Police Force in Kentucky, after retiring from the city force, he was chosen to start and lead a completely new, third police department which had special jurisdiction over all the Jefferson County Schools in Kentucky. After heading up this unique police force and retiring a second time, in 1978, he and Sandra moved to a small cabin on beautiful Smith Lake in northern Alabama where he pursued his passion for art work and fishing. He was a serious fisherman, but he was also an accomplished artist in a variety of mediums including oil and acrylic paints, water colors, stained glass, china paints, and even quilting. Being a narcotics agent who could, on one hand, crash dope parties and arrest hardened criminals, yet, on the other hand, enjoy quilting, Will was rather complicated. He had many facets to his personality. As Sandburg once wrote of Abraham Lincoln, Will. F. Lee was, in every respect, both a man of steel and velvet.
He is survived by his lovely wife of almost 62 years, Sandra; brother, Thomas (Barbara) Lee of Louisville; sister, Lola Mary Lee of Atlanta, Ga.; children, Timothy Will Lee of Jasper, Ala., David Franklin (Karen) Lee of Birmingham, Teresa Lee (Joe) Collins of Eva; grandchildren, Jonathan David Lee, Timothy Paul Lee, Brighton Leslie Collins, Baxley Pierce Collins, Bristol Lee Collins; and a host of family and friends.
Funeral services for Mr. Lee will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 12, at Cullman Funeral Home Chapel, with burial in Bethany Baptist Cemetery. Visitation will be from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. before services.
Published on August 11, 2017