Thomas Lee Sr.

Published 1:33 pm Saturday, February 24, 2024

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Thomas Lee Sr. known to most as Tommy Lee, or Chief Lee, passed away suddenly at the age of 82, on February 19, 2024. Tommy was born in Portsmouth, VA on October 28, 1941 to the late James Edward Lee and Margaret Minter Lee. He was an only child. He was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. He worked at Globe Iron Shipyard, and Norfolk Shipbuilding and Drydock.

In 1972 Tommy moved to Kill Devil Hills with his family and worked as an electrician on many projects including the former Ramada Inn in Nags Head. He enjoyed fishing, going to the beach, softshell crabbing, fish netting with the Johnsons, and pig pickings in the old neighborhood. In 1984 he started L&L Drywall with his son, Tom Jr. He retired from that business in 2014. After retiring he enjoyed working around the house on a lot of projects and spending time with his grandchildren, serving the fire department, and church, and drinking black coffee. During the 70s he served as Scout Master for Troop 161 of Kitty Hawk.

Tommy was one of the founding members of Outer Banks Baptist Church. He loved the Lord and one of his passions was serving as a deacon, teaching Sunday school, and doing odd jobs around the church. He also loved helping with the beach service in the summertime with Sail Ministries.

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One of the things he was best known for was serving as a fireman with Kill Devil Hills fire department. Chief Lee served as a volunteer for 51 years. He made too many friends to count over the years and served many people on the Outer Banks who were experiencing the worst day of their lives. He loved serving with the fire department and serving all the fireman he considered family. Tommy performed just about every job there was to do around the fire station at one time or another. He received many awards and commendations over his fireman career. Recently he received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Firefighter of the year 2022 (most fire calls 93), 2021 most fire calls 111, and the Mayor’s Achievement Award for 50 years of service.

Tommy also loved his family and would do anything for them. Tommy is survived by his wife, Brenda Lee, who have been together 46 years and married 29 years; his daughter, Sheri Henley (David); son, Tom Lee Jr. (Sandra); daughter, Jo Ellen Kiourtzidis (Vasilios), eight grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

A celebration of life will be held 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024 at Nags Head Church (105 West Sound Side Rd.) with a reception following. In lieu of flowers the family asked that you donate to the fire department of your hometown. Condolences may be expressed at