Albert (Al) Chong Lee, 92, of Cary, NC died in his home on September 7, 2017 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.Al was proud of his Chinese-American heritage. He was born on June 20, 1925 in Portland, OR. He moved to China in 1930, where he attended elementary school. After war broke out in China, Al at the age of 14 and his older brother Kay Fong Lee returned on their own to the U.S. in 1939. Without parental support, Al worked odd jobs to support himself while attending high school. Al’s academic success led to his acceptance to a dual-degree program at Reed College in Portland, OR and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA. In 1953 Al graduated with degrees in physics and electrical engineering and began a long, successful career as an electrical engineer. After starting with GE in Pittsfield, MA, his interests eventually led him across the country in 1961 to Los Angeles where he began working for America’s burgeoning space program. It was during this time in Los Angeles that he met and married his wife Susan in 1963. After becoming an expert in solar cell arrays, Al moved to Houston, TX to support the Apollo Program. After his time with the space program, Al began designing electrical transformers with GE, first in Shreveport, LA, and then in Hickory, NC in 1973. Al worked for GE until retiring in 1992. Al was especially proud of the patents he developed at GE related to transformers and amorphous metals. After his retirement, Al became involved in many civic activities in Hickory, most notably the Kiwanis Club, where he held several elected positions, and Junior Achievement. In 2008, Al and Susan moved to the Carolina Preserve neighborhood in Cary, NC, where he continued his involvement with the Kiwanis Club and met many new friends through his participation in activities such as table tennis and mahjong.Al’s family and friends will remember him most as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, diehard Duke Fan, MIT/Reed College Alum, proud Chinese-American, and staunch Democrat/Hillary Clinton supporter. Those who met and knew Al know he was “one-of-a-kind,” and he will be missed.Al is survived by his wife of 54 years, Susan Lee of Cary; his children: Lorraine Lee and husband Gene Poteat of Wilmington; Tina Lee and husband Minh Do of Raleigh; and Stephanie DeArmey and husband Bill DeArmey of Durham; and six grandchildren: Tara Poteat and John Poteat of Wilmington, Justin Do and Christine Do of Raleigh, and Kaycee DeArmey and Max DeArmey of Durham.A memorial service will be held in the chapel at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 200 SE Maynard Rd. in Cary on Saturday September 16, 2017 at 3:00 pm, with a reception to follow. The family would like to thank Dr. Neeraj Agrawal and the staff at Duke Cancer Center Raleigh for their kind and compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Duke Cancer Institute.<a href="http://www.brownwynnecary.com" target="_new">www.brownwynnecary.com</a>
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