On Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, Clarence “Lee” Chafin II left his earthly body and flew to the heavens to join his family that went before him after a long and courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56 years old. Lee was born to Clarence and Alta Chafin on May 13, 1956, in Weisbaden, Germany, and was the youngest of three children. His father Clarence was an active military man and the family soon moved from Germany, back to the United States to Ft. Smith, Arkansas, then to Miami, Oklahoma, Ft. Lewis, Washington, Raymond, Washington, and eventually settling in Grayland, Wash., when Lee was 10 years old. Lee attended Ocosta School District in Westport. After high school he worked as a carpenter for nearly 20 years in the Grays Harbor area. At the age of 29 he welcomed his first son Clarence “Lee Jr” Chafin III, into his life and four short years later welcomed his second son Mathew Scott Chafin. Lee raised his children on his own for most of their life and spent all of his free time involved in his sons’ school activities and coaching their Little League baseball teams. One of his proudest accomplishments was being able to coach a Children’s Special Olympics baseball team.
In 1996, Lee and his boys moved to Wilbur, Wash., to be closer to his sisters, Peggy and Anna. While living in Wilbur, Lee worked as a farm hand and janitor at the Wilbur School District. But his true passion was coaching girls’ JV basketball and track. When he was not working or coaching you could always find him at the lake fishing. Lee was a musically talented man and often played his harmonica, guitar, or banjo for family members. He truly loved being around all his nieces, nephews, and sons and spent a lot of time sharing stories of his life with them. He will always be remembered as a loving, and caring father who had a hard head and never backed down away from anything. Lee will forever be in our hearts.
Lee was preceded in death by his mother (Alta), father (Clarence), and sister (Peggy). He is survived by his sons: Lee Jr. and Matt (Stephanie) and granddaughter Kaylie all of Creston, Wash. His sister Anna (Bud) Gould, stepmother Dolly Chafin and stepsiblings: Tim Street, Dan (Juanita) Street, Larena (Wally) Lake, and Jonelle Chafin. Nieces: Cherokee (Richard) Stanczak, Jenny Burns, Jerri (Todd) Pirtle, and Teddra (Rod) Lake. Nephews: David (Shawna) Hudnall, Russell (Adrienne) Graham, James “Buzzy” (Lisa) Wilken Jr., Tyrell Rutledge, Brian Fletcher, Shane and Dylan Mustard and Rush, Tim, Travis, Brennan and Kyle Street. Along with many great-nieces, great-nephews, and close buddies: Jake Eggleton and John Dawson.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 at 11 a.m., at the Sonrise Church, 103 Knox St., Wilbur, Wash. Pastor Tom VanDerEnde will be officiating services. Everyone is welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Special Olympics in memory of Lee.
The family would like to give a special thank you to Wendy Hughes and the Amedysis Hospice team: Jeannie, Marcy, Nichole, Christy, Marsha, and Gloria for the wonderful care you gave Lee and all of us these past six months. We couldn’t have taken care of Lee without your constant support and uplifting words of encouragement. You all are truly amazing women.
Legacy Memorial of Omak was in charge of arrangements.