Obituary for Robert Martin Lee | Russon Brothers Funeral Directors

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Robert Martin Lee

October 31, 1923 ~ March 12, 2019 (age 95)

Robert Martin Lee passed away on 12 March 2019. He was born 31 October 1923 in Salt Lake City to Karl Christian Lee and Johanna Sauer Smith.

Growing up on 1100 East, he walked to Douglas Elementary, Roosevelt Junior High, East High and the University of Utah. In his nineties he could still sing all the words to "A Utah Man am I!"

He contributed generously to organizations that provide free surgical care for children born with cleft lips and palates. Growing up with a cleft palate, he was mocked by children because of his garbled speech. A major turning point was an elementary school teacher who looked past his poor speech and realized how bright he was. After that, his scholastic achievement soared.

As a teenager he discovered the wonder of electricity while building crystal radio sets in his basement. He went on to serve as a Naval communications technician in WWII and received a bachelors degree in electrical engineering. His early career was spent designing the first commercial computer for Bendix Corporation, and later managing computer centers in California, Utah, and India. While in India he wrote the first chapters of a book on Fortran programming that was later published by McGraw Hill.

He met his wife Nila Stubbs when they both played violin in the Utah Symphony. He said, “Out of all the millions of women she was just the right woman for me." They shared a passion for music, and complemented each other in many ways: he was reserved, she was outgoing, he liked to think things through, she liked to sail into action, he had a keen sense of humor, and she loved to laugh.

Together they raised nine children, giving them the best musical training available wherever they lived.

Music reached the deepest recesses of his soul! He sang nursery rhymes to his children, played string quartets with friends, and took the family to hear Handel's "Messiah" every Christmas.

On June 17th, 2011, when Robert and Nila were both 87 years-old, they were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple.  Robert was not a believer most of his life but attended church regularly with Nila after his retirement.  Bishop Rigby, Bishop Hansen and later President Langheinrich at Friendship Manor Branch were important mentors on his journey to the temple, as well as the warm and welcoming members of the Emigration 6th Ward.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and infant son Martin Stubbs Lee. He is survived by children Susan (David) Andersen, Katherine Cordova, Karl Lee, Lisa (Eric ) Evans, James (Kim) Lee, John (Donna) Lee, Richard Lee, Raymond (Shanna) Lee, Marco Lee, twenty-nine grandchildren, and twenty great-grandchildren. The family expresses deep appreciation to our brother Karl for the years he has cared for our Dad, and to the wonderful caregivers at Mount Olympus Rehabilitation and Good Shepherd Hospice.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 11:00 am at the Yalecrest Chapel at 1035 South 1800 East in Salt Lake City. There will be a viewing from 9:30 to 10:30 am prior to the funeral.  Interment at Salt Lake City Cemetery.  Funeral services directed by Russon Mortuary.  Online guestbook available at

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