Jimmy Riley Lee, age 83 of Cartersville, Georgia, passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2023, at home. He was born in Summerville, Georgia, on April 24, 1939, to the late Gordon Martin Lee and Mary Sue Riley Lee.
Jimmy was drawn to music at an early age, picking up the clarinet in the school band. He spent a summer at Brevard music camp in North Carolina. He took his passion for music to Jacksonville State University, receiving his Bachelors of Arts in 1968, later earning his Masters of Music from Georgia State University in 1973.
Mr. Lee started his band directing career in Alabama, later becoming the director at Adairsville High School, then moved to the Cartersville City School System. He finished his teaching career at Cass Middle School.
Mr. Lee was a member of the Georgia Music Educators Association, serving as the middle school band chair for GMEA - District VII. Under his baton, his groups consistently scored superior ratings at band festival (now known as Large Group Performance Evaluation) and he had several students make all-state band.
Jimmy remained active as a performer as well, playing clarinet with the Atlanta Wind Symphony. One of his proudest moments was playing on the stage at Carnegie Hall in New York with the AWS in 2005.
Outside of music, He was very active as a ham radio operator, call sign AE4DT. Jimmy was proficient with Morse code, able to send and receive over 20 WPM. He was also a member of the North Georgia QRP Club. Jimmy achieved membership in the NoGa QRP Century Club by making a radio contact in 100 countries and in all 50 states.
While teaching social studies at Cass Middle, Mr. Lee created a ham radio base station in his classroom. His students were paired with a classroom of students in New York City in order to learn about city life, while the New York students learned about life in Bartow County.
Jimmy was a charter member of Heritage Baptist Church and served as a deacon for many years.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years Joyce Eleam Lee; daughters Cecelia Laraine Lee of Buford, and Amelia Lee Kuhlken (Karl) of Dallas; brother Waymon Lamar Lee of Las Vegas; grandchildren Riley Elizabeth Kuhlken and Andrew Robert Kuhlken; nephews and nieces Traci Wyand (Denver, CO) and James Lee (Phoenix, AZ), Charlie Murrah, Amy Harris (Cliff), Joe Murrah (Amy) of Carrollton, GA.
A Celebration of Life Service will be conducted at 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 28, 2023, at Heritage Baptist Church with Pastor Michael Tutterow officiating.
The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heritage Baptist Church music ministry.
Please visit www.owenfunerals.com to leave online condolences for the family. Owen Funeral Home 12 Collins Dr Cartersville, GA is honored to serve the Lee family.