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C. Lee Rosche

September 9, 1929 ~ April 15, 2018 (age 88)

ROSCHE - C. Lee, 88, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 15, 2018, at his home in Bayport with family by his side. Clarence Lee was born on September 9, 1929 and is a U.S. Marine veteran of WWII and the Korean War. He met his beautiful bride, Marion Edna Gaiser, on Fire Island and they married in 1952. Lee started out driving a fuel truck at Islip MacArthur Airport where he met Al Werner who was working in the control tower at the time. They stayed in close touch as they navigated their early careers, becoming lifelong friends, and eventually working side by side over several decades until Lee retired at the age of 73. As an Airport Management team, they made it their life’s work to guide airport operations and development and are largely responsible for what it is today.

In the earlier years, Lee progressed through his multi-engine and instrument rating licenses with support from the GI Bill and took a job as a test pilot for Lockheed flying Lockheed Constellations out of Idlewild (now JFK). He then returned and worked at fixed base operations at MacArthur while maintaining several part time flying gigs to keep his ratings current. These included copiloting for Moe Barrett flying a Lockheed Jet Star for Diamond International and demonstrating other commercial jets, and occasionally copiloting private aircraft for industrialist Alton Jones and philanthropist Jock Whitney. As Lee and Marion’s family grew, Lee took a position with the Town of Islip and worked his way up through maintenance supervisor, airport operations and assistant airport manager positions.

Lee was very active and thankful for family and friends throughout his life.  He also took great pride in supporting many young people along with their careers.  His favorite times were spent with Marion and the kids while boating on the Great South Bay, or relaxing and fishing during yearly vacations at Davis Park on Fire Island. Lee and Marion were both active in the Bayport Fire District over the years.  Lee being a member of Hose Company #1 for 55 years.

Lee was predeceased by his beloved wife Marion of 59 years and his grandson Max who he joins in Heaven. He is survived by his four children: Jeffrey (Joanne), Gregory (Debra), Susan (David) Bates, and Janet (Rick) Rocke; his seven grandchildren: Elizabeth, Steven, Gregory, Robert, Georgia, Clara, and Davis; and his step-brother Paul (Linda) Spiwak.

Reposing at Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral Home, 245 Montauk Hwy, West Sayville, on Friday, April 20th, 2-4:30 & 7-9:30 p.m. where a funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 21st.   Interment will follow at St. Ann’s Cemetery in Sayville. 

In lieu of flowers, contributions are appreciated to either the Guide Dog Foundation, 371 East Jericho Tpke, Smithtown, NY 11787 or Brookhaven Hospice, 105 West Main Street, Patchogue, NY 11772.

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