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1926 John 2024

John Lee

November 14, 1926 — June 13, 2024

Paul John Lee ("John"), of Madrid, Nebraska, passed away on June 13, 2024, at Chase County Hospital in Imperial Nebraska at the age of 97-a life well lived.

John was born in Perkins County, Nebraska, on November 14, 1926, to Rue and Della (Costin) Lee Jr. He was the fifth born of six children. John attended Madrid High School and graduated in 1945 from the Nebraska School of Agriculture in Curtis, Nebraska.

John was a devoted husband to Erna Rae Erlewine, whom he married in Madrid on November 21, 1951. Their union was blessed with four children, Teresa, Doug, Bryan, and Jay. John and Erna made their home south of Madrid where they farmed and raised cattle and hogs. John held a deep love for the land and he continued to farm and ranch in Perkins County for the remainder of his life. Throughout his life, John was a devout Christian and a member of the Madrid United Methodist Church.

John never shied away from hard work. He had a special knack for ensuring everyone toed the line . . . his way. John was one-of-a-kind and known for many things-especially being frugal and possessing a larger-than-life personality. He held a monopoly on shrewdness and dispensed quotable one-liners that he reliably shared any time he wandered in public. He was a man of many talents, but his ability to connect with people was exceptional. John outlived many of his family members and friends. However, his ability to connect with others made him countless friends spanning generations. Some of these strong friendships were with others up to fifty or more years younger than him. There is no doubt John's legend will live on.

John profoundly loved his wife, children, and many grand- and great-grandchildren. He was especially proud to see all his grandchildren graduate and get married. He loved kids of all ages and always seemed to develop a special bond with those who grew up around the farm-even treating hired men's kids like his own. After John could no longer drive, John would still go out of his way to give kids a piece of candy by any means necessary, including driving his lawn mower.

John had a sweet tooth and would never turn down an offer of ice cream or chocolate. Much like the life of a farmer, life is a gamble and John loved a good trip to the casino. He was always looking for aces, loved slot machine tournaments, and openly displayed his excitement at a craps table. If you were lucky enough to make a trip to Vegas with John, it most certainly is a fond memory.

John was truly "one-of-one." John was full of stories-some true and others exaggerated-but all of them enjoyable. Running into John always stirred a conversation that resulted in a smile or laugh which held on for a lot longer than expected. He was good-hearted, endearing, hilarious, legendary, and devious-even if sometimes it came off as being a little "grouchy."

John leaves behind a tremendous legacy-one that filled the hearts of many generations with laughter, joy, and countless memories. If one were to write a book about John's life, it would be a bestseller.

Rest easy, John, your work here is done. Don't worry. . ."we'll close the gate."

John is preceded in death by his parents; beloved wife, Erna Rae; son, Doug Lee; and grandson, Matthew Lee; brothers, Robert and Francis Lee; sisters, Katherine Coleman, Mary Nutt, and Dorothy Otten.

John is survived by his children, Teresa (Ricky) Nowak of Bennington, Bryan (Chris) Lee of North Platte, and Jay (Dana) Lee of Madrid; daughter-in-law Penny Lee of Grant; fourteen grandchildren, twenty-eight great-grandchildren, one great-great grandchild, and many other relatives, descendants, and friends.

Memorials for John are suggested to the Madrid Cemetery or the Perkins County Senior Center. Condolences may be shared at

Services will be held on Wednesday, June 19, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at the Grant United Methodist Church. Interment will be in the Madrid Cemetery.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Bullock-Long Funeral Home in Grant.

Bullock-Long Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John Lee, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation for John Lee

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Mountain time)

Bullock-Long Funeral Home

409 Warren Avenue, Grant, NE 69140

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral for John Lee

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Mountain time)

Grant United Methodist Church

Warren Ave, Grant, NE 69140

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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