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Lee Early


1937 – August 17, 2021

Center photo: An event Lee wanted – a barbecue potluck complete with ribs, chicken and beef brisket. He contexted the conversation on “What is a key transition in your life?”  Back row: Sharon Fisher, Sheela Westre, Chris Marsh, Joan Henjum, Michael Shaw, Lizzie Henjum, Elena Harper. Front row: Nancy Lanphear, Bill Westre, Molly Shaw, Lee Early, Leah Early, Peter Henjum.

Lee’s Memoirs:  Footprints, 2020

Lee’s stories from the Majuro Human Development Project:

 “Stories from Mid-Pacific“, 1971-76 and “The Real Sawmill”, February 2019

On Tuesday, August 17, 2021 we celebrated the completed life of Lee Early – a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He lived a full life, engaged in humanitarian work and community development all over the world, eventually retiring in Seattle. His survivors include his loving wife, Leah Early, daughters: Diana, Laura and Rebecca, three grandsons: Joe, Jack and George and son-in-law, Stephen Naramore. Dad enjoyed barbecue ribs, photography in nature, and the game of golf. What we’ll miss most about him is his million dollar smile, audacious imagination, tenacity on the golf course and cheering us all on during life’s milestones. Dad, you will forever live in our hearts.

           ~~  Diana Naramore, Daughter

Lee was a man who stood tall through everything – literally and figuratively – whether it was working in community development in the Marshall Islands, facilitating planning with executives in corporations, loving his wife and three daughters and their families, or boosting social connections and self-confidence in his golf game.

          ~~  Karen Snyder Troxel


Lee was a kind and gentle giant who always let you know where he stood. In gratitude,

          ~~  Sharon Fisther (Robertson)


I remember Lee so well – a positive person and a great example. With thanks for a great life.

          ~~  Liz Banks


Colleagues who changed my life – Lee certainly did!! We started Lens International in Detroit. He was the inspiration of what a LENS Faciitator REALLY is. Allow them to take a “taste” free and then do a Focus Question of what that company did. We did hospitals as well which took a different style, but all saw the Power of the “Local”. Leah and Lee that transformed the Image of a Religious Hose into one I now called “Elegant Simplicity.” Those years there were fantastic. Geoff and Kay Nixon took our place in Detroit and Bob Rank and Linda Vernoy kept the House going. I will never forget how Leah helped Lee keep money in his pocket. That was after he went out and got the Biggest TV there was for us to enjoy. The Highlight was always House Church and the Witnesses are still in my Head. But Lee taught  me the”POP” The Power of Presence!!  He always will have a Seat on my Meditative Council. His chair has the name on it of “Audacious Boldness!! Grace and Peace!!

          ~~  Jack Gilles