DANVILLE – Hershall E. Lee, 81, of Danville passed away at 6:45 a.m. Monday (Dec. 10, 2012) at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Medical Center in Danville.
He was born on Sept. 27, 1931, in Westville, to Lawrence and Nora Wamsher Lee. He married Marian Stockanes on May 12, 1962, with whom he had two children, Larry Lee and Sylvia Lee of Las Vegas, formerly of Westville, and a granddaughter, Stephanie Hayward, also of Las Vegas. They survive. In 1975 he married Katherine Scarlett, with whom he had two children, Daniel Grinestaff and Jennifer Lee of Danville. They also survive, along with many nieces and nephews.
Also surviving are a sister, Fannie Buck of Attica, Ind.; and a brother, David (Betty) Lee of Cayuga, Ind.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, David Grinestaff; five brothers, George, Charles, Ernie, Bob and Jack; and four sisters, Pauline Lee, Ruby Cripe, Hazel Lamb and Wilma Nipper.
Hershall attended Fairchild, Union and Lincoln grade schools and graduated in 1946. He graduated from Danville High School in 1950, and then attended Danville Junior College and the University of Illinois, and graduated from Eastern Illinois University.
He became a certified purchasing professional in 1985. He spent most of his years in the field of supervision and management for Allied Signal Inc., from which he retired in 1994.
Hershall enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and was honorably discharged in 1954. He took his basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and further training at Adjutant General School in Fort Lee, Va. He served at Reese in Lubbock, Texas, and in the Korean War with the 5th Air Force Advance Headquarters near Seoul.
After the war, he served at Chanute Air Force Base in Rantoul. A letter of commendation, the rank of staff sergeant, four medals and two battle stars were awarded to Hershall while in the military.
Hershall played an instrumental role in the development and dedication of the Vermilion County Korean/Vietnam War Memorial in Danville, as well as the Illinois Korean War Memorial in Springfield.
During the dedication of the Vermilion County Korean/Vietnam Memorial, Hershall read the names of all of his friends who had also served in the Korean War. As he read the name of close friend Robert E. Wurtsbaugh, he decided he wanted to do something in his memory. From this idea, the Illinois Korean War Veterans was born. The first chapter in Danville is named in Bob's honor, as is the birthplace of the Illinois Korean War Veterans Association. At the time, it was the largest chapter in the National Korean War Veterans Association.
He also was a key factor in the development of several other programs for vets, including the Korean War veterans license plate and the Illinois Korean War Vets Highway, and was heavily involved in groups such as American Legion Post 210, AMBUCS, POW/MIA, as well as many, many others.
A service to celebrate the life of Hershall Lee will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Danville, of which Hershall had been a member. Burial will follow at Danville National Cemetery, where military rites will be performed by American Legion Post 210. The Rev. Michael Heidle will officiate. Visitation will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13, at Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center, A Life Celebration Home in Danville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project.org.
Please join Hershall's family in sharing memories, photos and video of his life through his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com.