Lee Robert Chisnell, age 87, resident of Sun City, AZ passed away peacefully on December 27, 2019. Born in Royal Oak, MI during the Great Depression, Lee was the oldest of 3 children born to Robert and Roberta Chisnell. Lee started his career as a draftsman and mechanical engineer, working for Jered Industries, eventually working his way up to supervisory positions with the company. He spent some time as an Army soldier during the Korean War, serving most of his time in France as a field engineer. In 1955 Lee married his high school sweetheart, Beverly Yates, and they had one child, Leslie Chisnell, before Beverly passed away in 1961. Lee remarried Barbara Foley Chisnell (1934-2011) in 1962, and together they had 8 more children.
Although he was a successful engineer, Lee always dreamed of being a farmer, so in 1974, he and Barbara purchased a chicken farm in Hamburg, WI. With 15,000 chickens and assorted other animals, Lee kept very busy and had many opportunities to partake in his favorite hobby, swearing. He loved to tell of his many escapes from death on the farm, including nearly being crushed by a tractor, surviving 14,000 volts of electricity, nearly drowning in chicken manure, and being trampled by several bulls and cows. In his and Barb’s last few years on the farm, Lee took a second job teaching drafting at Northcentral Technical college, where passing on his knowledge, skills, and stories to students.
In 1999, Lee and Barb moved to Sun City, Arizona, where they met wonderful people and had many happy memories. Lee loved spending his golden years in the sunshine and warmth of Arizona. Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Roberta (Trufant) Chisnell, his first wife, Beverly (Yates) Chisnell, his second wife of 49 years, Barbara (Foley) Chisnell, and his daughter, Cheryl Chisnell. He is survived by his brothers Jerry (Zouwan) Chisnell and Roland (Judy) Chisnell, daughter Leslie Chisnell, daughter-in-law Kathel Dunn (Cheryl Chisnell), daughter Teresa (Mike) Mortell, son David (Ann) Chisnell, daughter Colleen Chisnell (the late Gerald Dienstl), son Jerry (Debbie) Chisnell, son Christopher Chisnell (Sandi Hargrave), daughter Amy (Andrew) Rowe, son Roy (Nikki) Chisnell, and by his many grandchildren.
A private memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Lee’s name can be sent to Hospice of the Valley, https://www.hov.org/donate/ or the American Liver Foundation https://liverfoundation.org/for-patients/donate-now/.
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