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William B. Lee - Faculty

June 29, 1924 - February 8, 2018

William Lee went to the great wine cellar in the sky on Thursday, February 8. Bill grew up in Flint, Michigan, but was born to see the world. After graduating from Michigan State University Bill headed west to California. With the sandy shores and sparkling seas, Southern California became his home base.

At USC he earned a Master's and thus began his lifelong career in the Education field. Soon Europe called: Paris, Bologna, and Heidelberg were all cities he taught in on behalf of the US Government. During this period of his life he would work diligently at helping develop US and French cultural relations. This work resulted in him being awarded the Palmes Academiques by the French Ministry of Education. Life changed for him when on a cultural excursion to a local wine festival in southern Germany he met his wife: Dagmar. A few years later they were married. Children followed. He returned stateside to complete his PhD in Education Administration from Michigan State University.

Shortly thereafter he joined USC's Education faculty; where he would stay for the remainder his career. His work at USC would see him return back to Europe on multiple occasions. Late in his career he would oversee USAID Education projects in Cameroon and Benin. After retiring from USC he travelled to Europe every year to enjoy the Parisian spring. He had many friends from all over the world from Southern California, to Scotland, to the south of France.

With friends from all over, he had to know many languages, and he did! Reading was also a treasured activity of his. As you could often find him in his reading chair, a Time or Sunset in hand or perhaps nose deep in a Bosch detective novel. Walks of any variety were a favored activity of his; the beach especially, as the sound of the surf and salty air let him get lost in his thoughts. It was on one of these walks that one of his favorite dogs, Milou, came into his life. In the fall, Saturday's were reserved for Trojan football. Bill was a good man. A role model on how to navigate life with a clear rudder of honesty. We will all miss his sharp intellect, honesty, compassion and curiosity of the world.

Bill is survived by his wife of 49 years, Dagmar, his two sons Brad and Jeff; his sister Virginia and brother Tom; daughter-in-law Terrie and grandchildren Sean and Christina.

Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 10 to Mar. 11, 2018