Passed peacefully in his sleep on Thursday, February 4, 2021 at the age of 82 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Lee was born on July 9, 1938 in Grand Blanc, Michigan. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Swartz Creek, Michigan and enjoyed playing games with friends and teammates – particularly on the basketball court painted on the floor of the hay loft of the family barn. Lee attended Grand Blanc High School where he earned honors as a member of both 4H Club and Future Farmers of America, played varsity basketball, and led the varsity baseball team in hitting his Senior year. Lee graduated in 1956 and his yearbook photo is captioned ‘I dare not be as funny as I can be’. Lee received his B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1960. Lee married Leora Angeline Trivellin of Flint in 1960 and they lived in Ann Arbor as he earned his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1964. Following completion of his graduate studies, Lee and Leora moved to Cleveland, Ohio where Lee accepted a position as a research chemist at the B.F. Goodrich Research Center in Brecksville, Ohio. Lee’s innovative polymer research at B.F. Goodrich led to him being named as an inventor on a number of U.S. and international patents that have been cited by more than 100 subsequent publications. Following retirement from B.F. Goodrich, Lee joined the product development team at Tremco, a commercial sealants manufacturer, in Beachwood, Ohio before retiring a second time. Solving problems was always his passion – it was his profession, but it was clear that he enjoyed designing experiments that answered questions – whether they confirmed a hypothesis or not. Lee was a loving and devoted father of two sons, sharing his passion for sports by tirelessly pitching batting practice at the backstop he built on the family property, coaching little league teams, playing catch and basketball with his sons. He shared his love of animals – he loved to walk with and talk to his dogs, his appreciation for nature and his ability to nurture both plants and tractors (including a vintage Ford 9N). Always working on a project around the house he would often say “all right, quit your whining and just get it done” and “a good job is when you do the very best that you can do – because there is nothing less you can put your name on.” Lee was generally quiet – leading by example, generous, kind and forgiving. Lee was enormously proud of his four grandchildren and enjoyed every opportunity to have each of them tell him about their accomplishments in school and encourage them to pursue their passions. All of us are grateful for all of the unselfish and generous sacrifices he made for his family. We find comfort that he is now free of Alzheimer’s worldly grasp and know he will always be rooting for the home team!
Lee was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Lena Traynor. Lee is survived by his wife Leora of Grand Rapids, his sisters Marion Taylor Gillis of Flint and Sharon Day of Swartz Creek, his sons Carl (Darcy) Traynor of Lake Forest, Illinois, and Steven (Dayna) Traynor of Grand Rapids; grandchildren Jack, Andrew, Sydni and Grayson Traynor.
A private interment will take place at Sunset Hills, G-4413 Flushing Road, Flint, Michigan on Thursday, February 11, 2021. Given current COVID restrictions, the family is planning a memorial service later this year. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to PAWS Animal Rescue at pawsanimalrescue.net (formerly known as Last Chance Rescue-Flint), the Humane Society of Genesee County at geneseehumane.org, or a charity of your choice. Your condolences may be shared with the family at Gerst Funeral Homes at gerstfuneralhomes.com