Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Webb Pruitt Lee

Mr. Webb Pruitt Lee, 95, of Louisville, Mississippi, passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at Winston Medical Center Nursing Home. Funeral services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, March 17th , at Calvary Baptist Church with Dr. Johnny Collins, pastor, and Dr. Lee Castle, son-in-law, officiating. Visitation will be at the church on the day of the funeral from 1:00 p.m. until service time. Burial will be in the Calvary cemetery following the service.

Mr. Lee was born on September 13, 1921, in Swink, Choctaw County, Oklahoma, to James H. and Lemma Kelly Lee. Mr. Lee grew up in the Calvary community after the family moved back from Oklahoma to Winston County, Mississippi. He was a member of Calvary Baptist Church where he served many years as a deacon and Sunday school teacher. Previously he was a charter member and deacon at South Louisville Baptist Church.

Mr. Lee enjoyed farming and owned and operated Lee Tractor and Equipment Company for 25 years. He was also a salesman for Taylor Machine Works’ Agricultural Division early in his career. He was a graduate of Louisville High School, East Central Community College, and Mississippi State University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Agriculture with a minor in Agricultural Engineering in 1948.

Mr. Lee was a decorated B17 bomber pilot based out of England with the 8th Air Force in World War 2. He survived 29 bombing missions over targets in Germany, including the crash of his heavily damaged bomber on the last one. Though eventually losing 3 of the 4 engines to enemy flak on that mission they managed to keep it aloft long enough to reach friendly territory and all the crew, including wounded, managed to escape before it exploded. As he often said they made it back by the grace of God. And God indeed blessed him with over 72 more years. He was humbled, but proud and honored when the new terminal at the Louisville Airport was named in his honor in 2014.

Mr. Lee is survived by his wife of 75 years, Flora Lucille Haggard Lee of Louisville; daughters Jann Leone of Brashear, TX, and Kay Castle (Lee) of Olive Branch, MS; and son James Lee (Mary Anne) of Louisville. He is also survived by seven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren.

Mr. Lee was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: James Havris Lee and twin Truitt Kelly Lee.

Pallbearers will be grandsons Brian Leone and Phil Leone, grandsons-in-law Donnie Virden, John McClatchy, and Tim Smith, and great-grandson Brett Smith. Honorary pallbearers will be the deacons and members of the Senior Adult Men’s Sunday School class at Calvary Baptist Church.

Memorials may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, c/o Jo Ellen Johnson, 4109 Old Robinson Rd, Louisville, MS 39339, or the Mississippi Chapter of the 8th Air Force Historical Society, c/o Adrian Caldwell, Treasurer, 4424 Old Towne Circle, Tupelo, MS 38804.

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