Rock Lee

Rock Lee

Robert Isaac “Rock” Lee, Jr., 86, of 124 East Canvasback Drive, (Bells Island) Currituck, NC died Monday, November 25, 2013 at Sentara Barco.  Rock was born in Norfolk in 1927 to the late Robert I. Lee and Mamie Lee.  He grew up in Raleigh, NC and played baseball for Needham High School and Carolina Trailways semi pro team in 1943.  He attended and graduated from Virginia Episcopal School (1943-45) where he made all prep teams in football, basketball and baseball.  He entered the Navy July 4, 1945 and played baseball for the Patuxent River Naval Station Marine team.  In 1946 he began four years at North Carolina State where he played baseball and graduated with a degree in General Engineering.  Later, he received a Master’s degree in the teaching of mathematics at the University of Virginia.

Mr. Lee taught at his alma mater, V.E.S., for thirty-three years, and at Rustburg High School for four years. He was head of the math department at both schools and coached football, basketball and baseball.  Two of his football teams won Virginia Prep league titles in 1969 and 1981.  The 1969 team was undefeated.  He was dedicated to his profession and tried to bring out the best in every student he taught and every player he coached.  For twenty-six years he travelled to Lynchburg and was the starting pitcher in the “Rock Lee Alumni Baseball game.”

After retiring from teaching in 1986 he moved to Bells Island.  He coached baseball for one year at Knapp Junior High and was a volunteer coach for the Currituck County High School baseball team for four years.

He is survived by his wife, Bettye, and his five children; Linie Frankfort and husband Mac of Lynchburg, VA, Patrick Lee of Ashville, NC, Jodie Patterson and husband Stuart of Williamsburg, VA, Rodney I. Lee and wife Robin of Lynchburg, VA, and Kevin S. Lee and wife Allison of Greensboro, NC; twelve grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.

A Memorial Service will be held in Langhorne Memorial Chapel at Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg, VA on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. with the Rev. Adam White, Chaplain, VES, officiating.  A reception at the school will immediately follow.    Memorial gifts in his honor may be sent to Animal Lovers Assistance League, PO Box 61, Maple, NC 27956 or Virginia Episcopal School, 400 Ves Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503.  Twiford Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 405 East Church Street, Elizabeth City, NC is assisting the Lee family.  You may express condolences by visiting

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Condolence Messages

  1. Wanda Sanders

    Ms Bettye
    Mr rock was loved by everyone. He could fill ones days with conversation about sports. My heart and prayers go out to you and family.

  2. Charles & Judy Pickell

    Betty , Our prayers go out to your family. Rock was a very special person that cared about kids and baseball. He had a big influence on our son ( Charles Pickell Jr) and we were blessed as parents to know him.

  3. Emily

    What a wonderful man. He could tell a story and remember all the details, he could sing beautifully, he was a strong Christian man. My condolences to his entire family. Heaven received one heck of an angel today.

  4. Donnie Simpson

    So sorry to learn of Rock passing away. I loved spending time with him. I cherish the time we went to West Point to a football clinic. He was truly one of the great ones.

  5. Jim and Barbara Courtney

    It was nice to begin to truly know Rock at the Sunday night dinners. He was a true sports fan and could talk sports like a pro. We will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and the entire family.

  6. sheila rose tyler

    Bettye and family,
    I always enjoyed talking with Rock and know that he will be missed. He was a true southern gentleman. My prayer for you and your family is that our Lord and Savior wrap his arms around you and bring you comfort and peace.
    God’s blessings,
    Sheila Rose Tyler

  7. John Woolard

    Bettye and family. What a great man! We’ll miss him!…and am grateful for all the personal memories…coach, teacher, mentor! Peace to you all.
    John Woolard VES ’76

  8. Les and Bonnie Morgan

    Bettye, We so enjoyed the Sunday night dinners with you and Rock present. He always had a ready smile, a quick laugh, and a little joke to cheer us all. I always enjoyed talking sports with him and usually learned something in the process, because once a coach, always a coach. He will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  9. Bev and Harv Belcher

    Rock was bigger than life and truly will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you, Bettye and your family. May your memories of him fill you with joy and peace . We know you will miss him but know that you will see each other again. Much love and many blessings.

  10. Brandon, Julane and Adeline Belcher

    We send our deepest condolences to you guys during this difficult time. Please know that each and everyone of you are in our prayers! Rock was an incredible man with an outstanding and lovable personality who lit up the room anytime he entered! He will be greatly missed!

  11. Vince and Janet Garrenton

    Although we only knew Rock a few short years, we found him to be an incredible man! He always had a story to tell and a smile on his face. We will miss seeing him walking the dogs around the neighborhood and know that Bo has been reunited with his beloved Rock. Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family!

  12. Aubrey Snowden

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Please know that Rock will be missed by all who knew him.

  13. Phil Garmey

    It has been my privilege to have taught, coached and served as an advisor to many students at Virginia Episcopal School for more than forty years. In my earliest days at VES, Rock’s reputation for excellence, dependability and understanding of adolescents prepared me for a long and wonderful relationship with Rock.In so many ways, he was my “idol” when I was a rookie teacher and I can say that he taught me countless critical things about good teaching and about dealing with kids. Simply put, and no offense to anyone intended, Rock was “The Man” for many of us at VES as we learned the ropes. Rock’s room in the mansion of heaven will be richly furnished with great love from countless ( former ) young people. Rest in peace, Rock. You have earned it.

    Phil Garmey, Teacher

  14. Cory Scott

    I can truly say that this is a very sad day for me and for Currituck County! Mrs. Lee I want to tell you that I am very sorry for your loss and my thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Mr. Lee had a HUGE influence on me and the way I went about playing baseball! My senior year we were 23-1 and Mr. Lee was with us the entire time. He was a huge part of our team and taught us to fight and never give up and that’s what made that team very special! I will miss him dearly and I know he is wearing his Detroit hat through the gates with a huge smile! I love you Mr. Lee and thank you, thank you for all you did!!!

  15. Billy Stallings

    So sorry to hear of the passing of Coach
    Lee. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this time. Coach Lee touched the lives of many young men not only during his time with Currituck baseball but throughout his life.His knowledge and experience definitely had a impact on me,other coaches and the young men during the years that he spent at Currituck.May God bless you and be with you during this time.

  16. Claudia H. Mann

    Dear Jodie, Pat and Linie,
    I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. I went to the alumni-student baseball game this past spring, but he was on the field the entire time and I didn’t get a chance to speak to him. Linie and I had a nice visit though. Among my many memories of our special childhood is how Rock and my dad dominated the horseshoe pit every year. My heart goes out to you all. –Claudia

  17. Chris Hooper

    Mrs. Bettye, I am sorry to hear of Mr. Rock’s passing. I have always enjoyed knowing you both. Let me know if I can ever help you. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Chris

  18. Becky Howard

    Bettye, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. God Bless you and your family at this difficult time.

  19. Don Matthews

    Mrs. Bettye-
    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Rock was a great man, a great friend to my father, Donald Richard, and helped our son in baseball back in 2004/05. His travels to Farmville Virginia will always be remembered. My dad had such fond memories of his experiences at VES and always talked of Rock as a close and personal friend. Dad is in heaven and I am sure that Rock has joined him there. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and your family and heal your broken hearts.
    Much love,
    Don and Donna Matthews, “Matt”, and Brittany
    Farmville Virginia

  20. Bob Hover

    Bettye and family:

    Rock was a wonderful colleague and friend in his short stay at Rustburg. I appreciated him taking me under his wing in the math department and especially enjoyed him being a friend always.

  21. Robert and Pam McMahon

    We are so very sorry for your loss. Rock was a great man! You and Rock were some of our first friends on the island and Bells Island will not be the same without him! Please let us know what you need and we will be there to help! Thoughts and prayers for you and your family!

  22. Tim & Sue Lawler

    Our Dear Bettie,
    Our sincere Condolences on Your lose of our Beloved ROCK. He will be Greatly missed by us. He was sunshine on any day. The most colorful storyteller we have ever met. His Love for you was ever present as he talked. Your Rock has touched us so. We have only Love and Respect for You and Rock. May GOD Bless you all the days He has for you. With the Peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
    In His Love, Tim & Sue

  23. Eric Hill Norfleet

    My teacher, My coach, but most of all my friend! His influence set values for me and many, many other boys that have served me well for more than 50 years. I grieve his departure, will miss him, and never forget him. God bless.

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