Lee Munz Jr. was born in Houston, Texas, on December 17, 1958, to Lee Munz Sr. and Patricia Merriann Sheridan Green Munz. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Friday, March 20.
At age two, he attended the Speech and Hearing Center in the Houston Medical Center. At age five, he attended Houston’s Special Education program for hearing-impaired students. At age nine, he attended Magnolia School for Children with Learning Disabilities in New Orleans. When his family moved to Oak Ridge in 1969, he attended Daniel Arthur School and later was enrolled in Oak Ridge Schools, where he graduated in 1978.
He worked in a school-work vocational placement with the TVA Job Corps and attended Tennessee Vocational School at Smyrna, Tennessee, where he earned certification in Food Services and Custodial Maintenance. Lee worked part-time at The Soup Kitchen and at Boeing. He worked full-time for Lockheed Martin and Bechtel Jacobs from 1988 to 1998.
He was diagnosed with kidney disease in 1995. He served for 25 years as a Volunteer Coach at Robertsville Middle School with, in his words, “winning” football, basketball, and track teams. When he retired as Volunteer Coach due to his illness, Robertsville coaches designated the Coach Lee Munz Annual Award for the Most Dedicated Football Player. After his love of family and many friends, football and other sports have remained Lee’s most important love. Some of Lee’s fondest memories were all the Special Olympics in which he participated and provided speeches of encouragement to other participants, and his Scouting activities including Camp Buck Tom from junior high school through high school.
Lee’s family is grateful for the love of the Robertsville coaches, faculty and staff, and team players who have made his life a rich adventure, and the members, ministers, and staff of First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge for the way they took Lee in and loved him well through the years. His family deeply appreciates the loving care we have received during Lee’s long illness from health care providers, the FUMCOR Stephen Ministry by his special friend Chet Morris, and so many others in the community and beyond.
Lee is survived by his mother, Ann Munz; his sisters, Julie Munz Baumgardner (Jay Calvin Baumgardner), Chattanooga; Diane Munz Scarbrough (Roy Foster Scarbrough), Louisville, Tennessee; his niece, Ashley Marie Baumgardner, Chattanooga; uncles and aunts, William Albert Green and Linda K. Green, San Marcos, Texas; Elaine and Anthony Torkelson, Houston, Texas; and many cousins in Texas and California.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lee Munz Sr. of Nashville; paternal grandparents, Ferd and Babette Weinreich Munz, Houston, Texas; maternal aunt, Jayne Sheridan Green Shaver, Burnet, Texas; Albert and Marie Green (maternal adopted grandparents), Houston and Burnet, Texas; and maternal grandparents, Vestal May Owens and Kenneth W. Sheridan, Marion, Indiana.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church Enduring Gifts Fund Music Program, Robertsville Middle School Booster Club, First Things First, Chattanooga, TN (firstthings.org) or The Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge.
A Celebration of Lee’s life will be held on Saturday, April 11, at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Oak Ridge. The family will receive friends at a reception following the service. Please bring a copy of your favorite picture of Lee or a card sharing your favorite memory of Lee.
An online guest book can be signed at www.weatherfordmortuary.com.