Oh to be a fly on the walls of Heaven when our dad walked through the gates! We are sure he entered with a joke or a story and is entertaining everyone while reconnecting with family and old friends. LeeRoy Franklin Mee passed away peacefully, on April 29th, surrounded by his three daughters, his son-in-laws and his companion Gail. He was born on September 23, 1940 in Yakima, Washington to Ernest and Loice Mee. The family moved to Trego in 1943, establishing the Old Mee Place, a place he cherished and taught us all to love. LeeRoy grew up in Trego, attending and graduating from Trego Grade School. He went to Lincoln County High for three years. His family moved to Plains, Mt and after the passing of his father, he quit high school for a year to help support his mother and younger brother. He worked as a ranch hand, eventually graduating from Plains high school in 1959. He joined the United States Army after graduation and served three years, mostly in France, as a fleet mechanic. He earned the prestigious designation as sharp shooter, a skill he maintained his whole life and demonstrated often while hunting and shooting skeet. He returned to the Trego area after the military and started his occupation as a logger, mechanic, welder, and jack of all trades. He spent time as a hunting guide in the Bob Marshall Wilderness. In 1965 he married his first love and wife of 47 years, Margaret (Gilbreath) Mee. They bought property in Trego and he resided there until his death. LeeRoy logged all over the area, built home sites, roads, and everything in between. He had a creative way of doing everything.
He and Margaret had three daughters and spent most of their years running after them. Later, when their daughters married, LeeRoy gained three sons. He enjoyed spending his time hunting and fishing with them and was always there to offer advice if something needed fixing. His grandchildren were his pride and joy. He followed them everywhere in everything they did, whether taking them out fishing or helping them to bag a deer which “only Grandpa could do” or attending every sporting event, or academic achievement. His grandkids and their activities took him all over Montana and as far away as Florida. He was their biggest supporter. His grandkids were his life, and he was theirs. The impact he has had on them is unsurmountable.
In addition to his own children and grandchildren, LeeRoy took many of the local youth hunting and fishing, teaching them to respect and love the outdoors, leaving them with special memories of our dad. At our house, it was never just us girls; he often brought someone home to take care of, to give some extra love, and to make them feel like they were family. He would give the shirt off his back to anyone who needed it. LeeRoy was very involved in the community. He loved Trego! This was his home and he wanted it to be place where people were accepted and felt welcome. If LeeRoy wasn’t home or working, he was out on a lake somewhere fishing, or in the woods somewhere hunting.
He taught us all, and many more to love this little town. He was the TFS fire chief for many years as well as being involved in the community hall. He was a 4-H leader for many years and in charge of the pig barn at the fair. He was the maintenance man at the Trego School for over 20 years, fixing any problems that might arise. He worked there until his death and was very proud of Trego School. He was integral in establishing the Hooked on Fishing program at the Trego School, as well as helping out other schools. He spent thousands of hours on the lake or at the creek teaching kids how to fish. He also helped with the Eternal Wrestling Camp for 17 years and had a huge impact on many of the young men’s’ lives.
A few years after Margaret’s passing, LeeRoy connected with his new love and companion, Gail Brian Graves, who was with him until his death. She brought the sparkle back to his eyes and helped to fill a hole in his heart, and ours. It’s not many people who get to experience true love twice in their life, but dad was one of those people.
LeeRoys’ greatest joys in life were his family, his wife Margaret, and after her passing, his companion Gail, his daughters, son in laws, and his grandchildren. The love he gave us all, and the lessons he taught us will never be forgotten. His zest for life was contagious. To say he will be missed is an understatement.
LeeRoy is preceded in death by his parents, Ernest and Loice, his five siblings, Gwendolyn, Norma, Teddy, Howard and Philip, his wife of 47 years, Margaret (Gilbreath) Mee and his best friend, Tommy B. Johnson.
Survivors include his love and companion for the past five years, Gail Brian Graves, his daughters, Lori (Mike) Guckenberg, Amanda (Kelly) Anderson and Wendi (Justin) McNeil, his grandchildren, Bryton (Brittany) and Holden Guckenberg, Evynn (Bryce) and Quade Anderson, Garrett and Greyden McNeil, and his adopted grandson Ty Giovanetti, his sisters-in-law, Julia Mee and Caroline Burdine, and many nieces and nephews, including those who truly loved him like a father as well as dear friends. LeeRoy had a passion for life, a love for people, and a heart as big as an ocean. LeeRoy leaves behind a legacy of love for this community, the people and the land. His smile, the sparkle in his eyes, his stories, life lessons, his jokes and his mischievous nature will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers we ask you to buy a hunting or fishing license for a youth in the community, a fishing pole or ammo, or just take a kid out fishing or hunting, and mention dad’s name so they can learn to appreciate what our father truly loved. A community gathering in his name is being planned. Arrangements are by Schnackenberg Funeral Home in Eureka. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.schnackenbergfh.com.