H. Lee Heap died from complications of diffuse large b-cell lymphoma on Friday, October 27, 2017, surrounded with family and friends singing the Salve Regina. He fought so very hard to live and complied with every single thing asked of him across a 5 year battle with cancer and up until his very last breath.
Lee was a devoted husband and father to his beloved wife, Mary Jean Heap, and daughter, Kylee Jean Heap.
He was predeceased by two older sisters and his parents, Harold and Winifred Heap. He has one living sister.
Born in the area of Rye, New York and growing up in Darien, Connecticut, Lee was the youngest and a surprise addition to the family. A story that was told over and over was how Lee was so doted upon by his older sisters that his first words were, "the toast is burning."
Lee's life growing up was spent on the water racing sailboats, wrestling, and playing baseball. He met his wife, Mary Jean, at the age of 15 on a boat and spent the next 62 years of his life courting her.
With so many women at home, Lee's father decided that his son needed to attend boarding school at age 11. In searching for the right place, it was said that Lee immediately fell in love with the naval setting on Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts at Tabor Academy. Lee's summers were spent either playing baseball on a travel team or working in the North Carolina heat picking cotton for a textile company owned by his father, who was insistent upon Lee learning the business from the ground up.
Lee received an appointment to West Point upon graduating cum laude from prep school. However, he was asked to wait one year because he was too young. Instead, Lee proceeded to Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Economics. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. After this, he entered the United States Marine Corps and was stationed in Okinawa during Vietnam. He completed his service with the rank of Captain and was a Scuba Instructor.
Lee's professional career started at International General Electric in New York City. As his family had always been in textiles, Lee's cousin encouraged him to transition to work for Honeywell International, then Allied Signal, where he worked for over 28 years in both New York and Virginia. While working, Lee earned his Master's in Business Administration from the New York University's Stern School of Business. Lee was a financially educated operations and marketing professional. He was a gifted master scheduler and skilled negotiator. He was responsible for identifying and successfully managing joint ventures of production facilities. Lee completed his professional career at William Barnet & Son, LLC. But, went on to consult and work in other capacities after retirement.
A Catholic, Lee was baptized at the Church of the Resurrection in Rye, NY, confirmed while stationed in Okinawa, and was a member of Prince of Peace Catholic Church. He volunteered to help displaced workers find jobs and helped launch a ministry at St. Mary Magdalene Catholic Church.
Lee suffered many medical obstacles in his life, but persisted against all odds. Lee participated in two clinical trials that informed key findings for other patients to come after him. Lee was a man of character with depth, intelligence, personality, quick wit and a dry sense of humor. Cancer didn't define him, who he was defined how he faced cancer. And, Lee was nothing short of extraordinary.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Taylors, South Carolina at noon on November 4, 2017. A reception will follow on campus in Croghan Hall where the family will speak. At a later date, a public rosary will be said in the Adoration Chapel at Prince of Peace Catholic Church.
Memorial gifts may be in Lee's name to Tabor Academy, 232 Front St, Marion, MA 02738.
Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Downtown
NOV 4. 12:00 PM
Prince of Peace Catholic Church
1209 Brushy Creek Road
Taylors, SC, US, 29687