James Lee Strayhorn
March 9, 1924 – August 8, 2017
Lee grew up in Belle, Mo., and moved with his family to St. Louis as a young man. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a military policeman during World War II, serving in New Guinea, So. Philippines, and Luzon. While serving abroad, he was baptized into the Catholic faith at Espiritu Santos Island in the South Pacific. He worked at the Forum Cafeteria, where he met his one and only love, his co-worker Dorothy Schlattweiler. After the war, he married Dorothy on June 11, 1946 at St. Philip Catholic Church, East St. Louis. Lee worked at the Forum Cafeteria in St. Louis and was Assistant Manager at the Forum Cafeteria in Los Angeles. He was a driver for Keleher Trucking and worked his way up with Munger Linen Service/National Linen Service from a driver to Customer Service Representative to Assistant Manager. He retired from National Linen Service in 1988 after 33 years of service. He also worked for 14 years as the greeter at O’Fallon Wal-Mart. Lee was a longtime faithful parishioner at St. Clare Catholic Church, where he had many friends. He was a life member of Knights of Columbus Council 4239 and was an avid reader. He enjoyed travelling the US with his wife in their camper and especially enjoyed spending time in Laughlin, Nev.
He was preceded in death by his wife Dorothy, parents Frank and Esther, nee Johnson, Strayhorn; his sons Steven and James, Jr.; and his brother Bill.
Surviving are his daughter Judith Lemansky of Lebanon; daughter-in-law Diney Strayhorn of Belleville; grandchildren Jim (Erika) Lemansky, Jr., Lisa (Mike) Mojzis, Kelly (James) Kirk, and Matthew (fiancée Heather Middleton) Strayhorn; his six great-grandchildren David, Carl, and Michael Lemansky; Henry Mojzis, Max and Lillie Kirk; and his brother Leonard (Joy) Strayhorn of Calif.
Memorial donations are suggested to St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church. The guest book may be signed at www.wfh-ofallon.com.
Visitation was held on Monday, August 14, 2017 at St. Clare Catholic Church, 1411 Cross St., Shiloh, and after 8:30 am, Tuesday, at the church.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 9:30 am, Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at the church, with Rev. James Deiters presiding. Burial with military honors followed at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
Services entrusted to Wolfersberger Funeral Home, O’Fallon, Ill.