Lee Curtis Almquist, age 90, of Tracy CA, died Sat 4/21/18 at home.
Lee was born Aug. 25, 1927 in Minneapolis MN, son of Ernest George and Ednah Rosella
Almquist. He attended elementary and HS in St. Paul, MN. prior to enlisting in the US
Navy in 1944 at the age of 17, during WWII from 1944 to 1946. He served on
the USS Franklin, CV13 as an Aviation Radio Operator 2C, flying in TBFs in the
invasion of Okinawa. Lee held rank of Lt. Comdr. Lee also served in the US Navy
Reserves during the Korea Campaign. During his later years, Lee was a Docent for the
USS Hornet… a ship he was personally familiar with during the war.
Lee was very proud of his military career, and to be part of a generation of men who
stood proud to serve and defend their country. He recently took part in his travels to
Washington DC on the “Honor Flight”.
After serving WWII, he attended Stanford University, trying out for the football
team but was told he was too rough for this University. He also attended the
American Institute of the Air, followed by several announcing position in radio
stations in MN.
Lee married Ruth Janet Heetland May 27, 1950 in Montrose, SD. They moved to Salinas, CA
in 1951 where he was employed by Gambles. After several management positions
within CA, they moved to Tracy, CA where they purchased their first Western Auto
Store in 1958. During this time, he was a partner in two other stores in Sunnyvale
and Santa Rosa. Upon selling the stores in the mid 1970’s, he was employed by True
Value Hardware and remained there for 23 years in a field management position
covering the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii. Afterwards, Lee pursued some personal
business opportunities into his late 70’s, whereupon retiring.
Lee was a charter member of the Greater Hayward Kiwanis Club in 1956 and also a
charter member of the Tracy Kiwanis Club. He was elected to serve as Lt. Governor
of Kiwanis International Division 27 in 1968 and has been elected as Kiwanian of the
Year, twice. He was also very proud of his 50+ years of Kiwanis membership and
Perfect attendance, as well as receiving a “Life Member: award from Kiwanis
International. Lee was also a “Life Member” of the Tracy Elks Lodge.
Lee is preceded in death by his loving wife Ruth, of 57 years, and Sister Lou
Ann Almquist of MN.
He is survived by his loving children, daughter Janet Corsaro (Bob) of Tracy, twin
sons Jeffrey (Virginia) of Salida and James (Claudia) of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Five grandsons, Matthew (Anna) Corsaro, Steven (Cassie) Corsaro, Christopher,
Justin and Kevin Almquist. Granddaughters Melissa and Stella Zepeda.
Great granddaughters Revea, Talia and Devenn Martinez. Newly born great grandson
Macsen Lee Corsaro. And Great-Great grandson Alexander Millan
His stepsisters Mary Dean of OR. Clarissa Bullock and Doris Myhre of MN. plus
Dorothy Crooks of CA. were also an important part of his life.
He also leaves behind many loving friends and close acquaintances whom he loved.
Lee strived to set an example of being kind to one another, and create friendships
along the way.
A Memorial Service will be held at Fry Memorial Chapel, 550 S. Central Ave., on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. Graveside services will be held at Tracy Public Cemetery, 501 E. Schulte Rd., following the memorial service at 11:00 a.m.