Thomas Lee Jr. of Lee & Cates Passes Away
September 4, 2009

Thomas D. Lee Jr., former president of Lee & Cates Glass Inc. in Jacksonville, Fla., passed away on September 7. He was 85.

Lee was born in Forest Park, Ga., on December 5, 1923. He graduated from Robert E. Lee High School and attended Carson Newman College and Stetson University. After serving in the Navy during World War II he returned home to run his family's business, Lee & Cates Glass Inc. He retired at the age of 80 after serving as president and chair of the board of the company.

Lee was active within the glass industry, having participated in several industry associations, including the Florida Glass Dealers Association, of which he was a founding member. During his time in the industry he was recognized for his contributions to both the glass industry and his community at large.

“Everyone who ever came in contact with Mr. Lee knew he was something special ,” says Debra Levy, publisher of USGNN.com™/USGlass Magazine. "I had the privilege to work with him many years ago and was most struck by the respect and reverence the whole industry gave him ... and once you worked with him you knew it was well-deserved."

Lee is survived by his wife of 62 years, their six children, including Tommy Lee III, who currently runs the business, as well as 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Three sisters and many nieces and nephews also survive him.

A service will be held for Lee tomorrow in Jacksonville, Fla. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to Southside Baptist Church Building Fund, 1435 Atlantic Blvd., Jacksonville, Fla., 32207, or Community Hospice of Northeast Florida, 4266 Sunbeam Rd., Jacksonville, Fla., 32257.

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