Obituary of Lee J. Fleckenstein
Lee Joseph Fleckenstein passed away on April 5 at age 92. He was the eldest child of Alphonse and Margaret Fleckenstein and was predeceased by his wife, Joan, and brother, Ray.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Lee earned a BA in chemistry from Carnegie Tech and a PhD in organic chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a commissioned Army officer in the Korean War and volunteered for overseas duty, which found him stationed in Anchorage Alaska. He drove across the continental U.S. to meet the car ferry to Fort Richardson and that trip inspired many subsequent cross-country trips with his family.
Lee was a senior researcher at Eastman Kodak for more than 30 years, where he earned several patents for his work and the respect of many colleagues who became lifelong friends. Following his first retirement from Kodak, he passed the patent bar exam and began a second career as a patent agent, working at Rochester firms Nixon Hargrave and Jaeckle Fleischmann, retiring for good at age 80. He enjoyed excellent health for most of his years, and never missed a day of school or work.
Lee was an avid reader, concert goer, museum patron and attended the Shakespeare festival in Stratford Ontario for 50 years with Joan. Always interested in new places, he took his family to 38 states in a station wagon and traveled with Joan to Europe and the Middle East. He quietly did many good works, including refugee resettlement, tutoring in the jail, and volunteering at a homeless shelter. A communicant of St. Joseph’s Church for 60 years, he served as Parish Council President, head of the Tithing Committee, was a CCD teacher and regular lector, and helped found a volunteer group that provided programming at the Rochester Psychiatric Center for more than 25 years.
Lee is survived by children, Leah (Jay), Luke (Cristy), Maura, and Sheila (Oliver); by his grandchildren Nathan, Bennett and Avery Caldwell; Lauren, Linden and Ryan Fleckenstein; and Julian and Flynn Wilcox; his sisters, Mary Grace Beck and Alice Gusherowski; 12 nieces and nephews, as well as honorary family members who knew him as “Uncle Lee.” The family especially wants to acknowledge Maura’s tireless support which enabled him to live independently at home, even as he coped with cancer and failing eyesight in later years.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at 11 AM on Friday, April 28 at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, 43 Gebhardt Road, Penfield New York.
In lieu of flowers, please consider giving blood (Lee donated 55 gallons over his lifetime) or a donation to Dimitri House in Rochester, where he was a shelter volunteer for 18 years.
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