Obituary of Gibson (Gil) Lee Chee
January 31, 1928 - Princes Town, Trinidad and Tobago
September 6, 2023 - Calgary, Alberta
Gil lived a life that was full.
Gibson (Gil) Lee Chee was born January 31, 1928, in Princes Town, Trinidad and Tobago, to Hevelina and Albert Lee Chee, and was the eldest child of thirteen children. Growing up in the Lee Chee household was split between Princes Town and Table Land where daily chores and going to school were the norm. After graduating from Presentation College in San Fernando, Gil continued working in the family business and eventually took a lab technician position at Texaco. Around this time, he committed to his future wife Mavis (nee Mohammed). Knowing that his future would be limited staying in Trinidad, Gil elected to go to Canada to further his education. His final destination was Calgary which changed his future in several meaningful ways. In Calgary, he boarded with the Levesconte family, who took him in and made him part of the immediate family. He was considered a son and brother to Iris (Daniel), Ivor (Norma), Micheal (Patricia), David (Marrion), and Yvonne (Ken). This relationship continues with the next generation of children and grandchildren. In January 1965 Mavis made her trek to Calgary where she married Gil. They continued to reside in Calgary with their two children.
Gil enrolled in the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (renamed SAIT) graduating as a Land Surveyor, which led to him enrolling in the Civil Engineering program at the University of Saskatchewan. During school breaks, Gil would return to Calgary to live with the Levesconte family. In his final years of university, Gil took a summer position as a surveyor with the Government of Canada and worked on the Banff to Radium, and the Banff to Jasper, highway construction. After graduating in Civil Engineering, he was employed by Gallelli and Sons Construction as a Quality Control Engineer. There he continued to work on his craft for the next 30 years at the same office and throughout several mergers. He retired from Lafarge in 1994. He leaves a legacy of concrete design in many of the city and provincial structures. The Calgary Tower, Calgary International Airport, the Saddledome, University of Calgary Oval, Bow Valley Square, Bankers Hall, and the Old Man River Dam to name a few.
When Gil was not working, he could be found in the garden, striving to have the best lawn in the neighbourhood. He loved cultivating his plants for his garden. His other passions were fishing, both fly fishing on the Bow and offshore salmon fishing. Gil and Mavis were staunch Stampeder football fans, being season ticket holders for 52 years. Gil and Mavis would travel annually back home to Trinidad for Easter until travel became too difficult for them. All their families and friends in Trinidad will always cherish the memories of those visits and family reunions.
Gil will be missed as a brother, father, grandfather, and uncle. He is survived by his children Gregory (Tanya), and Lori (Ian); his six grandchildren Matthew, Eric, Katherine Lee Chee, Jack, Alec, and Kerran Paine; brothers George (Kim Fong), Cleve (Moni), Ainsley; sisters Eulah (Lin Ling), Belulah (Lani), Ava Ann, Yvonne; and many nieces, nephews, and family spread out across the world are left to mourn his passing. He was predeceased by his wife Mavis, his parents Hevelina and Albert; Iris, Daniel, and siblings Carlton (Liu Foon), Michael (Luna), Edward (Sue Fong), Francis (Nuxzi), Maurice (Juan Fong), Daphne (Lin Sin), Micheal, David, and Ivor.
Dad peacefully left us on September 6, 2023, in our family home. He could not have remained living at home without the support of some exceptional people. We would like to thank Ruth and Tom Kuelker, Joan Thomas, Alethia Davis, and Rowena from homecare and the staff of Ohana and Saige homecare services.
A Celebration of Gil’s Life will be held at a later date. Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Gil’s family here