“Chief” Lee Ginn was born January 24, 1939 in Watertown, NY and died November 16, 2019 in San Antonio, TX. The son of Delbert Henry and Alice Helena Ginn, and brother of Bruce Stowe Ginn (who died in September, 2018), Lee lived most of his early years in Black River and Sackets Harbor, NY and was a stand-out in high school for his intelligence, musical aptitude and athletic abilities, and especially for his mischief. He married Bonnie Lou Hayes in 1958 and they relocated to Seattle, WA, where their children Matthew Henry and Marcia Lee were born. After enlisting in the US Air Force, Lee was sent to Colorado, back to Washington, and then to Vietnam from 1968-1969, working from Monkey Mountain and Da Nang. Lee chose to make a career of the military, specializing in metrology (PMEL/TMDE), and shortly after his return from Vietnam, he and his family were given orders to England. Tours followed to Air Force bases in Kansas City and Warrensburg, MO; Panama; and Abilene, TX. After Bonnie’s death in 1989, Lee was transferred to Newark, OH, and for the next several years inspected military metrology labs in the U.S. and overseas. During his time in Newark, he met and married Jody, and added to his family the Tefend children: Jeff, Kevin, Mark, Karen, Kathy, Kim, Matt, Mary and James. Following retirement from the Air Force in 1991, Lee worked for military contractors in Ohio and Texas before fully retiring in 2011.
Lee never wasted a minute of his time on earth. When he was not working, which he did with an unparalleled diligence and precision, he was either fixing something, building something, photographing something or, particularly in later years, pursuing the collection of stamps, watches, knives and especially, memories as he and Jody created a welcoming and merry home with the doors always open to friends and family. When the seeds of disease found their way into his lungs and heart, he faced it all with a “Let’s get through it and then get on with living” attitude that impressed and humbled everyone who knew him. His resolve never faltered; his wit never failed; and – importantly – his ability to recall and retell the collected stories of a very full life never ceased.
Survived by Jody and all 11 children; a far-flung but close-knit contingent of fellow military members; and friends the world around. Chief Ginn was truly a man beyond measure.
Private services have taken place, and the only thing Lee would want in his remembrance is just that: remembrance.
“In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road precious to me.” Stanley Kunitz – “The Layers”