Born in Wyalusing, PA on Oct. 21, 1916, he was the son of William H. Lee and Millie Brown. His father was a noted inventor and founder of the Peoples State Bank of Wyalusing. His mother was a descendant of Jesse Allen, the first cousin of Ethan Allen, both of whom fought in the American Revolutionary War.
John attended Penn State University prior to transferring to Yale University where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics and American History in 1939. He then joined the Air Force where he successfully completed Officer Training School and then proudly served in Italy until V-E Day.
After World War II, he moved to Denver, CO where he worked for the Gates Rubber Company. With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950, he was recalled to the Air Force and was stationed with the Strategic Air Command in Rapid City, SD. In 1952, he relocated to New York City to work for the Association of National Advertisers, followed by Johnson & Johnson. John then became Managing Director of the Center of Marketing Communications in Princeton, NJ, which later became the Advertising Research Foundation. Upon his retirement, he became a marketing consultant, but most notably he became a dedicated and proficient writer. His book, George Clinton: Master Builder of the Empire State, was published by the Syracuse University Press in 2009.
Predeceased by his wives, Kaye Dorsey Lee and Beatrice Van Cleve Lee, he is survived by his daughters, Dorsey King Lee Nakahashi and Alice Wetmore Lee Groton; his sister, Alice Lee Lyon of Ithaca, NY; her three children and four grandchildren. He was also predeceased by two sisters, Nancy Lee McCann and Helen Lee Bonnell, and a son, William Henry Lee.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 at 11 a.m. at Trinity Church, Princeton. A memorial service will also be held in Wyalusing at the Presbyterian Church on Monday, Oct. 7 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Wyalusing Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 25, Wyalusing, PA 18853.