Howard Lee of Govans, owned car repair shop

August 09, 1993

Howard Louis Lee Sr., the owner of York Road Auto Repairs for about 25 years and a prominent member of his Govans community, died Wednesday of a heart attack while vacationing with his wife in Meherrin, Va. He was 57.

A longtime resident of Baltimore, Mr. Lee had lived on Walshire Avenue for 25 years -- moving there about the same time he opened the repair shop at 4811 York Road. He became well-known through his friendliness and desire to help others.

"He was a neighbor and a very good neighbor," said Ida Rosenberger, who lives two doors away from the Lee home. "There was nothing he wouldn't do for you. . . . If you asked him for a favor, you got it."

"He was a jolly man," said Voncilla Lee, his wife of 26 years. "He never said no. Even when I said don't, he would always do it."

Mr. Lee was born in Meherrin, the second oldest of eight children.

Mr. Lee graduated from a high school in Farmville, Va., in 1952, and moved to Baltimore, where he graduated from trade school after four years studying automobile mechanics.

After graduation, Mr. Lee became an auto mechanic for Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Maryland. He joined the Air Force a year later. He was a short-order cook and had assignments in several states before receiving his honorable discharge in 1964.

Mr. Lee returned to Baltimore to work for C&P. He retired from the telephone company in 1974 so that he could devote all his time to his auto repair shop.

In 1958, Mr. Lee married Thelma Hurt. She died eight years later, and Mr. Lee married Voncilla Nivens in 1967.

Mr. Lee was a member of the Richnor Springs Community Association and York Road Development Inc., as well as other civic and business organizations.

He also sponsored a Little League team from Northwood for 15 years and often was asked to speak at Career Day for Baltimore City public high school seniors.

Mr. Lee took up woodworking as a hobby for about five years and recently began to study the plumbing, heating and air conditioning trade.

Services were to be held today at 10:30 a.m. at the Faith Baptist Church, at Bond Street and Ashland Avenue in Baltimore.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Lee is survived by two daughters, Phyllis Lee and Selena Lee Rodgers, both of Baltimore; a son, Howard Louis Lee Jr. of Baltimore; four sisters, Joyce Gunn of Woodlawn, Rebecca Adams of Raleigh, N.C., and Rebecca Randolph and Arnita Stokes, both of Meherrin; two brothers, Herbert Lee of Baltimore and Raymond Lee of Woodlawn; and two grandchildren.

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