In Memory

Walter Lee

Walter Lee

Walter (Walt) Lee

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

05/12/18 06:48 AM #1    

Liz Ryan (Cole)

Chuck and Walter were roomates sophmore year, and I remember Wally (funny to write his name this way, but I certainly remember calling him Wally).  He has motor scooter and one day he found himself facing a car coming directly at him.  I don't remember whether the car crossed the line, or how he got into that situation, but what I do remember is his description... he had been a gymnast, and without thinking he valuted off the scooter onto the hood of the car, over the car and off the back.  He was uninjured, his scooter was destroyed. He was funny and self-deprecating about the incident.  I was impressed!  :

05/13/18 03:21 PM #2    

Paul Safyan

Thanks, Liz.

I remember that motor scooter story exactly as you tell it here.

Walt was one of the most fun and "most funniest" people I knew.  The first Oklahoman I had ever met.  And everyone I met from that state since then seems to have a great sense of humor, too, in that same, self-deprecating way.

05/13/18 06:08 PM #3    

Ralph Shapira

Walter was a great guy.  If memory serves, we met in 1963 as "Cherubs" in the Northwestern University summer high school program in speech and debate. He was one of the only people I knew when I arrived at Oberlin in Fall 1964, and he remained one of my better friends throughout college and beyond.

At some point, Walter took LSD. From my perspective, he never returned from that trip.  He spiraled into a kind of schizophrenic state that lasted for years after college.  Eventually, and tragically, he took his own life by jumping in front of a subway train.

Walter was funny, fun to be with, profound and wise.  He had a calming presence.  In every respect he was a great friend.  I miss him dearly!


05/15/18 09:10 AM #4    

John Robinson

Walter and I shared an apartment, very briefly as it was in a bad part of Chicago and he and Bill King got beaten up the first night we were there. He was already slipping into the problems that eventually took his life. 

05/16/18 12:35 PM #5    

Bucklin Moon

I did not realize that Walter was Chinese-American and had identity problems around that issue. I thought he was a typical Oklahoman, when he talked about going out and catching gila monsters, for his father who taught at the University of Oklahoma I believe. Walter came home with me one Thanksgiving, and we dropped somebody off in Pittsburgh in  the afternoon, and it seemed like evening because of the smoke. Walter got along with my sisters, quite a feat, since nobody else did. 

05/17/18 09:33 AM #6    

Donna Miller (Cleverdon)

I remember sitting down to study in the one room of the Library where smoking was allowed.  I sat next to Walter, it was the only seat empty.   I thought he was really cute.  I don't smoke and I didn't smoke then.  But I bummed a cigarette from Walter, a Pall-Mall.  It was the only cigarette I ever enjoyed.

go to top 
  Post Comment