Dennis Erwin Lee

Dennis Erwin Lee (62) entered into eternal rest on Friday, March 20th, at Regional West Hospital in Scottsbluff after a very long struggle with numerous medical issues, some of which included cancer, Diabetes and lingering complications from West Nile Virus.

Dennis was born May 24, 1957, to Kenneth D. and Betty Jean (Armstrong) Lee. Dennis earned the Boy Scout’s highest award, Eagle Scott at age 16, (1973) with the Alliance Boy Scout Troop. He grew up in Alliance and graduated with his class in 1975. Dennis went to the University of Wyoming for a year and a half but decided that was not what he wanted to do, so he went to work in the Colorado oil field instead. He became a rig operator on his 22nd birthday.

Dennis was united in marriage to Elizabeth German on December 30, 1978, at his parents’ home in Alliance, Nebraska. This union brought two children along with it and Dennis became a husband and father at the same time. Jobs that he enjoyed greatly.

After the Colorado oilfield, Dennis moved his family back to Alliance to enjoy the culture and safety of a small town. He was not a city boy in any way. He worked at Electric Hose and Rubber, Co. until the layoffs and later at Harris Sales as a mechanic and finally for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a Traveling Mechanic until his medical conditions forced his retirement.

Dennis worked with mechanical things and could figure out what broke and how to fix it faster than most people could read a service manual. Over the years he acquired numerous certifications and was rated as a First-Class Industrial Mechanic – a title he was very proud of. When he wasn't working on some machine somewhere, he was usually found helping his Dad build Dobby's Frontier Town and hanging out with his Dad who was also his best friend in many ways. He was great at teaching his boys how to fix or build or invent something.

Dennis was a very private person and could usually work with machines better than he could with people, but if he liked you, he would do anything he could to help you. In his mind, you were the greatest at whatever unless you proved otherwise. He had a wicked sense of humor and during his many hospitalizations; he quickly became a favorite of the nurses and doctors. His last four years were spent out in the country enjoying a quiet life in a new location and working on various projects here and there. He loved being able to “dink” in his shops.

Dennis is survived by his wife Liz, son Phillip (Mandy) Lee of Dallas, Texas and stepson Brian Smith of Wyoming, granddaughters Morgan, and Evelyn Lee of Dallas, Sister Debra (Mark) Schroeder of West Point, Nebraska, Nephews David (Jessica) Schroeder of Arlington Heights, IL, and Jeffrey (Robin) Schroeder of West Point, NE. aunt and uncle, Hazel and Douglas Gregory of Longmont, Colorado.

Also, surviving Dennis are his Adopted families, Sister and Brother (Colleen and Curtis Garner) nephews Brian (Michelle) Garner of Lincoln, NE, Daniel (Kari) Garner of Torrington, WY, Dustin Garner of Bridgeport, NE, His adopted family also includes sons James (Christine) Karell of Alliance, and Mark (Dori) Wolvington of Seattle, and their respective families. His greatest joy was helping “His Kids” with whatever they may need. He was very proud of each of them.

Dennis was preceded in death by his parents Kenneth D. (Dobby) and Betty Jean Lee of Alliance, and several aunts and uncles.

Donations may be made to the Donor’s choice. Plant a tree, help a worthy cause, adopt a pet, and love those closest to you every day.

Memorial services will be held at a later date. Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com

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