Obit: Lee, Dennis H. (1956? - 2018)

Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt 

Surnames: Corwin, Higgins, Johnson, Krans, Lee, Lammi, Massicotte, Parins, Ralph, Schinderle, Schultz, White

----Source: The Ladysmith News (Ladysmith, WI) 11/18/2018

Lee, Dennis H. “Smoke” (1956? - 16 NOV 2018)

Dennis H. “Smoke” Lee, 62, of Aurora, died after a long battle with Small Cell Carcinoma.

Dennis led a very active and productive life. He lived his first 18 years of life in Wisconsin and graduated from Ladysmith High School. He fished the Flambeau River every chance he could and also camped with his family traveling to all parts of the US. Dennis put in almost 40 years on the rail and had to retire due to his illness with severe rheumatoid arthritis.

He started working for the Soo Line Railroad in 1976. He then worked for Wisconsin Central and Canadian National Railroad on the engineering gang and loved every minute of it. He was a trackman and operated Tamper #2 for decades and was sent all over the Midwest as he was one of the best. He worked on the same series of tracks in six states hence the three railroads buying each other out. His job took him all over the Midwest and saw beautiful landscapes that we all wish we could see via rail system. He fished a lot and it was his very favorite thing to do. Every weekend Dennis traveled to Canada in his station wagon along with his boat and dog, Buford, in his single years.

Dennis married Kathy Higgins in 1984 and had three amazing children, Jacob, Kaitlin and Elliott. Though Kathy and Dennis parted ways after 10 years of marriage, he remained close to his own three children along with two of Kathy’s other four children, Tony Higgins and Kelly White. In 2001 he met Laurie Mae (Lammi) Massicotte, and they wed in 2005 in the hills of the Sequoia Mountains in California. They were married by Dennis’ sister, Christine Ralph, and honeymooned in their favorite place on Earth, Yosemite, Calif. He added one more amazing child, Valerie Massicotte, to his list of wonderful children. Dennis and Laurie made a beautiful home and yard over the decades together for family and friends to gather at along the Menominee River and spent a lot of time on it fishing and simply enjoying nature together.

Dennis also loved football; he played it in high school and loved to watch it (all teams), followed it, but his heart was always with the Green Bay Packers and chose them as his favorite from a very young age. Bird hunting was another sport Dennis loved. It was dear to his heart, and he loved taking Gunnar (his treasured and favorite dog ever) into the woods for partridge. He bred English springer spaniels for a while. Classic rock was his favorite music; going to many, many rock concerts with Laurie. He also loved U.S. Old West history, crime stories and shows. Dennis was a proud and direct descendant of George Soule (11th great-grandfather) and Francis Cooke also (11th great-grandfather) of the Mayflower through his mother, Betty’s maternal side of the family. His spirit was contagious, his sense of humor priceless and his love never ending. He is going to be missed immensely by all who got to know him and love him.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey Amundsen Lee and Betty Mae (Schultz) Lee; infant sister, Cindy Belle; brother, Terry; brother-in-law, Walter Ralph; sister-in-law, Denise Parins and brother-in-law, Peter Lammi.

Dennis is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Laurie; his children, Jacob (Sasha White) Lee of Greenville, Kaitlin (Joshua) Corwin of Gladstone, Mich. and Elliott Lee of Green Bay; his stepchildren, Valerie Massicotte of Kingsford, Mich., Tony Higgins of Stoughton and Kelly and Ed White of Bakersfield, Calif.; his grandchildren, Avril, Cassandra, Cannon (due in Dec), Dawson, Ed Jr., Anna Lee, Harper, Jensen, Lylah, Sammy and Tanner; his ex-spouse, Kathy (Don) Johnson of Amberg; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Everett and Marian Lammi of Menasha; his sister, Christine Ralph of Porterfield, Calif.; his sisters-in-law, Eugie Lee of Ladysmith, Tina (Dale) Schinderle of Clayton and Vicki Krans of Kingsford, Mich.; his nieces, Juliet, Ginger, Stacy, Ashley and Brittany and his nephew, Rory.

Private family services will be held. Burial will be in the spring at Riverside Cemetery in Ladysmith, overlooking the Flambeau River where he fished as a young boy. Keep your tail up in Heaven Smoke. We love you!

Condolences may be expressed to the family of Dennis “Smoke” Lee online at

The family has entrusted the Erickson-Rochon & Nash Funeral Home of Iron Mountain with the arrangements.

Note: Birth information was not published with obituary.



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