Zaden O. Lee, Colonel USAF Ret., passed away in the early morning hours of September 10, 2009. Zaden was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on October 10, 1921. He served his country in the United States Air Force in WWII, the Berlin Air Lift, and in Korea, as well as on tours in Vietnam. As a B24 pilot in WWII, Zaden was shot down over Italy and declared missing in action; later, his family was notified that he had been killed in action. He had actually been captured, escaped, and was hidden by an Italian family. He eventually worked his way back across to the Allied lines. He was a highly decorated service man, having served 33 years. He received the Purple Heart and many other combat medals, commendations, and awards. Later, Zaden was responsible for welcoming many of the Vietnam POWs home. He had many amazing stories to tell.
Zaden was preceded in death by his son, Donald Wayne Lee (whose wife Ginger lives in Pipe Creek), his father Zaden (Zipper) McLemore Lee, and his mother, Essie Willis. He is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Jake Roberts of Weatherford; his wife, Doris Lee of Blanco, and their daughter Susan Lilly of Hutto, as well as Sue and Stevens Lee and their children: Candace Drake of Panama City Beach, FL; Zaden O. Lee, Jr., and wife Lisa Rose, of Chicago, IL; John Steven Lee of Eagle River, WI, and Lisa Gillespie and husband Tom of Canyon Lake; 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren, with two more on the way.
A graveside service was held at 10:15am on Monday, September 14, 2009, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.