George County man dies a hero

By Sylvia Hall - bio | email

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - For Ronald Lee's family, the past few days have been a mixed bag of emotions. They sat together Sunday, outside the house Lee was remodeling, sharing stories, laughter and tears.

His wife, five children and eleven grandchildren all had a story or two about Lee's unending kindness. His death, his family says, is almost too tragic to believe.

The 62-year-old suffered a massive heart attack at the intersection of Hwy 98 and Beaver Dam Road in Lucedale while trying to help a stranger who'd been in a traffic accident.

"The man was pinned in," said Kathryn Lee, Ronald Lee's widow.  "And I know that's what he had been doing.  Frantically trying to get the man out."

Kathryn Lee is still in shock over her husband's sudden death.

"How was I to know that when we stopped to help someone else, that it was going to be him," she said.

His death is surprising, but his final act of helping someone else was not.

"He wouldn't have passed by," said a family member about the accident.  "There's no way he would have passed by."

"That didn't surprise me one bit that he was helping someone," said his son, Eric Lee.  "That was his ultimate testimony. It was what he always did. No matter who needed it, he was there."

They all agreed that Lee would have stopped to help no matter what.

"He would get out of that car, and he would help somebody else even if he felt bad," said another family member.  "He never complained, and he always worked."

The stories of Lee's kindness continued for hours and ranged from teaching his grandchild to drive to adopting a Salvation Army Angel during Christmas.

His family is taking comfort in knowing that Ronald Lee gave himself to others his entire life.

"It's never ending with him," said Kathryn Lee. "And I'm proud that he gave his life trying to save someone else. That's the only way it could have been."

Kathryn Lee hopes her family will carry her husband's memory forever.

"I want my children to always remember this legacy," said Lee.  "Always remember what he stood for. And anyone else out there, just love your families and love each other."

Ronald Lee was laid to rest this weekend. He leaves behind his wife, two children, three step-children and eleven grandchildren.

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