Lee was a likeable chap , in the time we knew him we had laughs and deep conversations about Fishing. So very Sad to hear of his passing. God Bless
Lee met Stephanie in 1997 but prior to that he had an immensely full life already. What truly defined him was his military career and he joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps at the end of the 60s. Equally important to him were his two daughters, Connie and Leigh, and he loved the time he lived in Wiltshire quite recently as it meant he had more opportunities to see his girls and his grandchildren, Tayler-Jaye, Mosis, Beth, Katie and Daisy.
His military service, that shaped him into the man you knew, included time in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and a posting to the Falkland Islands. He was fiercely loyal, patriotic and proud that he had come through unimaginable situations, defending Queen and Country, so that we may sleep safely in our beds as the quote goes. It wasn’t all bad. He got to enjoy postings in different parts of the UK, Germany and in Singapore. He was able to show Stephanie landmarks he knew when they visited the country on the way to see his much loved sisters, Jess and Lesley, in Australia.
He was part of a large family and hopefully Jess, Lesley, Gillian, Roy and Stephanie’s brother, Phil, are able to attend ‘virtually’. We’re in unusual times. Lee and Stephanie’s local friends and neighbours who are attending on the 17th despite the perils of Covid – thank you.
Despite the tough image of a squaddie he was very artistic and creative as are most of the Van Kassels. Painting was his big thing recently and Stephanie has a fabulous Highland Cow artwork hanging on the wall at home – her favourite picture. During lockdown a kind neighbour gave them some eggs from her chickens. Once she realised she was getting beautiful drawings of chickens within a thank you card in return - Lee and Stephanie were soon on a weekly supply of eggs! His remote controlled boat models were works of art and he enjoyed displaying them at various exhibitions and shows when he lived in Spain. He was also an avid fisherman and loved nothing more than relaxing by the water watching the wildlife and occasionally getting bothered by a fish on the line. Maybe not quite as often as he would have wished.
Fortunately for Stephanie he was quite a dab hand in the kitchen too, particularly baking and decorating cakes. The artistic streak again and lots of us are going to miss his Christmas cakes. He entered the Corsley Village Show in Wiltshire with an example of his cake decorating and was flattered to receive a special best in show prize.
He came through cancer in 2006 while he and Stephanie were living in Spain and some of the results of that treatment are what has brought us to this situation. He never let his past ill health stop him living his life as fully as possible.
Lee had a favourite poem that he would like you to hear. It is by Leo Marks and was written during the Second World War when poems were used to encrypt messages and this one was issued to Violette whose moving story was told in the film Carve Her Name With Pride.
The life that I have
Is all that I have
And the life that I have
The love that I have
Of the life that I have
Is yours and yours and yours
A sleep I shall have
A rest I shall have
Yet death will be but a pause
For the peace of my years
In the long green grass
Will be yours and yours and yours
Rest in Peace Lee