goodbye lee


Yesterday the world lost a great man, a dedicated husband and tremendous father.

Mike and Lee have been friends since the 70s, when they lived in Arizona. I had heard so many stories about their Tucson days. I met him about four years ago when he visited Seattle. I was worried that he wouldn’t like me but from the moment I met him, he made me feel like we had been friends for a very long time. It was clear why Mike thought so highly of him. Lee was a riot with a big heart.


I photographed his wedding to Leigh last summer and he loved the photos I sent. He told me they had made reprints as gifts. I’m so thankful I was able to capture that gorgeous August day. Everyone there was so happy, full of life, present in this world.


I don’t even have the words to say to his daughters and his wife Leigh how sorry I am, and how grateful I am to have known him, to have called him a friend. I’m trying to find the words and I’m coming up short.


Rest in peace, Lee.

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  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your loss, he sounds like a great man.

  2. Well, I think this post is a beautiful tribute to the kind of man he was and how highly you admired him. I am so sorry for everyone’s loss.

  3. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Is Mike ok? You both will be in my thoughts.

  4. I am very sorry for you and your husband’s loss.
    Those were wonderful pictures of your friend. Thank you for sharing.

  5. lee's oldest friend says:

    Hi. I’m Mike, Mona’s husband, and I’m doing fine Trina. It’s very nice of you to ask.

    In addition to being a dedicated father, husband, and friend, Lee was also an dedicated devotee of – a daily reader in fact – so Lee I know you’re reading this. Sadira is exactly right – this is an extraordinary tribute! Lee, I know you’re digging all the attention! šŸ™‚

    Lee genuinely embraced Mona as family from the minute they met. And as for this lovely tribute by my talented wife, I’ll just say that over the years I’ve learned it’s better to celebrate one’s life than to commiserate one’s death. I have a theory that we Americans don’t know how to mourn very well. No one ever really teaches us that, do they? I think Easten cultures may be better at it. They seem to know how to properly mourn, celebrate, and then move on. Most seem to gain strength and character from the spirit of the deceased and become better people for having known them. They seem to have a better grasp on the cycle of life.

    One day in class a few years ago, an Asian student smiled at me and said during a dramatic moment in a class discussion, “Mr. Hickey, death isn’t the end of life, it’s the beginning.” And then her twin sister smiled the same damn smile she was smiling! And don’t ask me how I know this because I really can’t explain it, but when I looked into their four identical eyes, I somehow was convinced in every cell of my DNA that they were absolutely right! It was like a wave of energy and serenity washed over me at the same time. I had this incredibly spiritual feeling all over, and somehow I positively knew they were right. Don’t ask me how. It was very weird.

    I feel very fortunate that you had the chance to meet Mona and Nathan – my raison d’etre. I look at your pictures and can’t help thinking about how happy you were on that perfect day last August. Of course, going counterclockwise, there were great times all the way back to 32 years ago at the University of Arizona in those Tucson days Mona refers to, The wild wild west. How we ever ended up as law-abiding, tax-paying citizens and not bank robbers is beyond me.

    I was the oldest sibling in my family so i never really had an older brother or sister. You were always the closet, and an exemplary surrogate I must say, an awesome big brother, I thank you for that from the bottom of my heart.

    And Lee, as an extremely spiritual person yourself and, as I said, a daily reader of, keep dropping in whenever you get the chance and we’ll keep you updated on what’s happening.

    Rest in peace, mi amigo (remember those weekend trips to Nogales, Mexico?). I’ll see you on the other side, if there really is an “up there”, save us all a seat, OK?

    Here’s a little poem to share with God if you happen to see Him/Her.

    Your BFF


    oh shit,

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