LEALON VERNON CASSELS
June 30, 1928 ˜ October 30, 2019
Lealon “Lee” Cassels passed away peacefully on October 30th surrounded by family as a result of respiratory and heart failure. He was preceded in death by the love of his life and dear wife, Lucille, who passed three days earlier from pneumonia. He was also preceded by his mother, Vioma; and son, Stephen. He is survived by his son, Scott and wife Karla; daughter, Susan and husband Mike; grandchildren, Ryan, Nikolas, Victoria and Mitch; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Born in Denver, Colorado, Lee and his mother, Vioma, moved when he was a child to Seattle, where he began working at a young age to support his family. This early work ethic drove his life-long success.
Lee and Lucille met in New York City and married in 1952 in San Louis Obispo, where Lee was stationed for the U.S. Army. After his service, they moved to Pullman, Washington, where Lee received a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Washington State University in 1955.
Lee began his career at Peter Kiewit & Sons Construction as an Engineer in Vancouver, Washington, building highways and other civil construction projects from Northern California to Alaska.
By 1960, Lee and Lucille had three kids and a 12 x 60 trailer that they lived in throughout the Pacific Northwest as he moved to build exciting construction projects. When driving I-5, I-90, I-84 and I-205 throughout the Pacific Northwest, you will pass by Lee’s work. He also ran Kiewit’s fixed plant operations in Vancouver and served as manager of its Hawaii operations. His successful career ended in 1990 after 35 years at Kiewit. His incredible work ethic served him well, yet he would always say that it was the unyielding support of Lucille that allowed him to experience his professional and personal success.
In retirement, Lee and Lucille enjoyed traveling, hunting and fishing. They would often venture to Canada and Alaska in search of salmon, halibut and bottom fish. Family and friends could always count on “fresh fish” from Lee and Lucille after their trips. This was a tradition that Lee really prided himself on. Hunting with his kids and grandkids was also a special part of his life. Deer in Montana, waterfowl and upland birds in Eastern Washington and Oregon were favorites. He always enjoyed sharing the bounty with friends in Vancouver.
Lee will be remembered for his 35 years devoted to Kiewit and construction, an industry that has continued to evolve but is still based on hard work, resolve and commitment Lee’s strengths. He will be remembered for raising Steve, Scott and Sue with love and the highest ethics. He will be remembered for being a “softy” with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren because, as he would say, “I want to.” And what he will be most remembered for is his deep, devoted love of Lucille, the wife that supported and loved him, and filled his life with joy. They were together in life and are now together in heaven.
The family will be holding a private service on Wed., Nov. 6th. A Celebration of Life luncheon will follow for friends of Lee and Lucille and family from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at Royal Oaks Country Club, 8917 NE Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver, 98662. Dress is business casual.
If you would like to send condolences or tributes online,
please go to www.columbian.com/obits or
To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Columbian on Nov. 4, 2019.