Our family lost a wonderful friend this week.
Charles Lee and Daddy have been friends since highschool, when they played together in band. His wife, Carol Ann, and Mama were also friends in highschool, and his mother-in-law and our grandmother have been friends since they were in school!
Since both our family and Mr. Lee moved back to McNairy County a number of years ago, we have enjoyed getting to know this fine man and his family, and will always consider them very special friends.
No matter what we were doing together, he was always so much fun to be around!
Mr. Lee served as our County GOP Chairman for several years.
As chairman, he worked tirelessly to get candidates like these into offices across the county, state, and nation.
He put on the best Reagan Day Dinners...
...bringing speakers like Mike Huckabee...
...and Bob Corker to McNairy County.
Mr. Lee also opened the Republican Headquarters in our County.
Campaigning with Mr. Lee was something we all enjoyed.
We have great memories of setting up for political events with Mr. Lee...
...playing in the community band together...
...and the county-wide production of "The Sound of Music".
Watching the 2008 presidential election coverage together at our grandparents' house.
Looking through old pictures, I found so many of him talking with Jonathan and David. He always had time to talk with us, and we all looked up to him.
We also have many fond memories of their visits to our home, talking together, gleaning from Mr. Lee's wisdom, discussing the strategy of our current political races, planning the next county-wide GOP event, and listening to him and Daddy play their trumpets together.
Some of our most fun memories with him are awaiting election results together...
...making calls to friends in surrounding counties to get their results...
...then number crunching to see whether our candidate was going to make it.
I'll never forget standing in the courthouse basement on election night 2008, and realizing that, after several cycles of disappointing political losses, not only were our local candidates for the state legislature going to win their races, but the GOP was taking control of both the state house and senate. Mr. Lee voiced what we were all feeling just then; "Y'all, it feels good to win!" Election night will never be the same without him!
Mr. Lee was one of the finest men I ever met. He was smart, he was kind, he was bold, and he was funny. He was energetic, and he knew how to energize others. Whatever he did, he put his whole heart into it. He was a leader, but he led by example; he never asked someone to do something he was not willing to do himself. Not only has our family lost a great friend, our community has lost a great leader!