Cover photo for Michael James Lees's Obituary
Michael James Lees Profile Photo

Michael James Lees

July 13, 1937 — June 6, 2023


AIKEN, SC - Captain Michael J. Lees, US Navy (Ret.), 85, passed away June 6, 2023.

Mike was born in 1937 in Honolulu, Hawaii the son of Captain James S. and Gail A. Lees. After graduating from San Lorenzo High School, San Lorenzo, California, he attended the University of California, Berkeley for one year where he was a member of the NROTC unit.  He then entered the U.S. Naval Academy where he was a member of the 14th Company, the track team, and the year book staff.  

After graduating he spent 18 months on a surface warship and then attended Submarine School. He then served on six submarines commanding two, USS Daniel Boone and USS Andrew Jackson. Staff assignments included the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Board and Deputy Commander of Submarine Squadron Fourteen. His final two assignments included command of a Submarine Tender, USS Canopus, and Commanding Officer of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Training Center. He retired from the Navy in 1987 and was awarded the Legion of Merit plus a number of other medals/awards. He received a Master’s Degree in Oceanography from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, La Jolla, California.  

Civilian employment included five years as a consultant with Arthur D. Little in Charleston, South Carolina, and eight years with Westinghouse at The Savannah River Plant in Aiken, SC.  

Upon retirement Mike became an avid golfer.  He did volunteer work mentoring grade school kids and doing tax returns for underprivileged people.  He was a lifetime member of the USNA Alumni Association, a member of The Naval Submarine League, a member of The Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness, a member of the Aiken Center for the Arts, and the First Presbyterian Church of Aiken.

In addition to his wife Sara Myers of Aiken he is survived by his children, Sharon E.(Bruce) Hayes of Tinton Falls, New Jersey and his son James W. (Allison) Lees of Summit, New Jersey, Step children Amy (Philip) Merry of Aiken, SC and Greg (Patience) Boozer of Gilbert, SC and two sisters, Patti Gail (Jim) LaGregs and Sue Reed, both of California.  He was blessed with twelve grandchildren and two great grandchildren.  

A Service will be scheduled for a later date at the Naval Academy, followed by inurnment at the Naval Academy Columbarium.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, NY 10306,
Michael J. Lees, Class of 1960 , USNA
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