Hershall E. Lee, 81, of Danville passed away at 6:45 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10, 2012, at the VA Illiana Medical Center in Danville.
He was born Sept. 27, 1931, in Westville, to Law-rence and Nora Wamsher Lee.
He married Marian Stockanes on May 12, 1962, with whom he had two children, Larry Lee and Sylvia Lee of Las Vegas, Nev., and formerly of Westville, and a granddaughter, Stephanie Hayward, also of Las Vegas. They survive.
He later married Katherine Scarlett in 1975, with whom he had two children, Daniel Grinestaff and Jennifer Lee of Danville. They also survive, along with many nieces and nephews.
Also surviving are a sister, Fannie Buck of Attica, Ind.; and a brother, David (Betty) Lee of Cayuga, Ind. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, David Grinestaff; five brothers, George, Charles, Ernie, Bob and Jack; and four sisters, Pauline Lee, Ruby Cripe, Hazel Lamb and Wilma Nipper.
Hershall attended Fairchild, Union and Lincoln grade schools and graduated in 1946. He graduated from Danville High School in 1950, and then attended Danville Junior College, the University of Illinois and graduated from Eastern Illinois University. He became a Certified Purchasing Professional in 1985. He spent most of his years in the field of supervision and management for Allied Signal, Incorporated, from which he retired in 1994.
Hershall enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and was honorably discharged in 1954. He took his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and military school at Fort Lee, Va.. He served at Reese in Lubbock, Texas, and in the Korean War with the 5th Air Force Advance Headquarters near Seoul. After the war, he served at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul. A Letter of Commendation, rank of staff sergeant, four medals and two battle stars were awarded to Hershall while in the military.
Hershall played an instrumental role in the development and dedication of the Vermilion County Korean/Vietnam War Memorial in Danville, as well as the Illinois Korean War Memorial in Springfield. During the dedication of the Vermilion County Korean/Vietnam Memorial, Hershall read the names of all of his friends who also had served in the Korean War. As he read the name of close friend Robert E. Wurtsbaugh, he decided he wanted to do something in his memory.
From this idea, the Illinois Korean War Veterans was founded. The first chapter in Danville is named in Bob’s honor, as is the birthplace of the Illinois Korean War Veterans Association. At the time, it was the largest chapter in the National Korean War Veterans Association. He also was a key factor in the development of several other programs for veterans, including the Korean War veterans’ license plate and the Illinois Korean War Veterans’ Highway and was heavily involved in groups such as the American Legion Post 210, AMBUCS, POW/MIA and many, many others.
A service to celebrate the life of Hershall Lee will begin at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, where Hershall had been a member. Burial will follow at Danville National Cemetery with military rites performed by American Legion Post 210. Pastor Michael Heidle will officiate. Visitation will be 3-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, A Life Celebration Home, in Danville. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.org.
Please join Hershall’s family in sharing memories, photos, and video of his life through his Tribute Wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.