John Y.Y. Lee’s daughter Susan Lee recently advised that her father passed away on June 29th after a lengthy illness at Carson City, NV.
It was my honor and privilege to have known Y.Y. since 1968. By all acounts, he was universally regarded as the “narcotic agent” for the Hawaiian Islands where he served from 1966 to 1982. Y.Y. was of the “old school” law enforcement generation. He approached the job as a tough, hard working and totally dedicated professional who honorably served his country in times of war and peace. Throuhout his career, Y.Y. received numerous letters of commendation and awards.
John Y.Y. Lee was born in Honolulu, Hawaii on April 17, 1927 and passed away in Carson City, NV on June 29, 2012. At age 18, he enlisted in the U.S. Army at the conclusion of the WWII and served in Germany . He again served with the U.S. Army, 11th Airborne Division, during the Korean War from 1951 to 1953. After military service, Y.Y. attended San Jose State University where he received a B.A. in Police Administration in 1958. Y.Y. began his law enforcement career with the San Jose Police Department, serving from 1956 to 1958. Federal narcotic career began in 1958 with the FBN District Office in San Francisco. In 1966, Y.Y. was transfered to the Honolulu FBN office where he “rebuilt” the one man office, working closely with Honolulu Police Department. As he approached the then manatory retirement age of 55, Y.Y. retired in 1982 as DEA Agent in Charge of Hawaii and Guam. In 1987, he accepted the position of Executive Officer, Honolulu Police Commision where he served until 1998. In later retirement years, Y.Y. moved to Carson City where he enjoyed volunteer work with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office. He is preceeded in death by his wife Janet in 2001. He is survived by sons Patrick and Jay of Honolulu, daughters Susan Lee of Carson City and Lani Lee of Boston, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.Tags: Chi Pi Sigma, Justice Studies Alumni