Charles E. Lee, Retired OCC Educator, Dies


Charles E. Lee, a longtime counselor and psychology professor at Orange Coast College, has died, school officials said Tuesday. He was 77.

Lee, who taught at the college for 22 years, died Friday after suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than a decade.

Lee joined Orange Coast’s faculty in 1962 and retired in 1984, college spokesman Jim Carnett said. He lived in Costa Mesa for 32 years.

“He was always very popular with students, and that buoyed him over the years,” Carnett said. “Former students would stop him and chat. That really kept his spirits up.”


Beside counseling students and teaching, Lee could often be spotted at athletic events on campus, Carnett said. He officiated track meets and attended college football and basketball games, as well as crew races. He enjoyed running and playing handball during his time on campus.

“He was a fitness nut before it became a fad,” Carnett said.

Lee served in the U.S. Navy for 21 years and attended the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

He worked as a supply officer aboard the USS Lexington and USS Natoma Bay, Carnett said. He served at duty stations in Cuba, Japan, Guam and Alaska, among other locations.


Lee earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and his master’s degree from Ohio State University. He also attended Stanford University and Ventura College.

He is survived by his wife, Doris Lee, and two children, Linda Lee of Santa Ana and Steve Lee of Costa Mesa.

Funeral services are pending. Family members are arranging for Lee to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Family members ask that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to: the American Parkinson’s Disease Assn., 351 Hospital Road, Suite 106, Newport Beach 92663.