Bill Lee, The Baseball Undertaker

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A lifetime baseball fan, Bill was born in Kansas as Bill Oswald. His father, also Bill Oswald, died from a sudden heart attack when Bill was 5 years old. After his father's death, he and his mother moved to the West Coast where she remarried and his stepfather adopted him, giving him the name of Lee. Eventually the Lee's ended up in the Imperial Valley of Southern California where Bill was raised.

As a boy Bill followed the Pacific Coast League before the Dodgers and Giants moved to the West Coast. He saw many major league stars at the beginning of their careers on their way "up", or at the end of their careers on their way "down". He also followed major league baseball through the colorful re-creations of Gordon McClendon, who called himself "The Old Scotchman", on his Liberty Broadcasting Network. This is when he began wondering "What happened to . . ?" after they left the limelight of a relatively short baseball career.

Educated as an engineer, Bill attended the University of California, Berkeley, and received his BS in Engineering Science at Arizona State University. He later earned his MBA at Cal Poly, Pomona, and has credits toward a masters degree in history at Utah State University. A pioneer in automated information systems, he designed, programmed and managed computer-based systems for nearly 30 years, leaving his paying job as Director of Information Systems for a multinational electronic component manufacturer in 1987. Since that time he has been busier than ever, working as a self-employed family and local history researcher.


A native of Goshen, Indiana, LaVonne's great joy in life has always been music. She started playing the piano at an early age, and still enjoys playing to this day. She also played the clarinet and sang, and was active in her high school band, orchestra and glee club. She attended International Business College in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was a secretary at StarCraft when it was still Star Tank and Boat Company in Goshen.

In 1963 she moved from Goshen to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she was the secretary for the Director of the Parks and Recreation Department of City of Scottsdale. She says that was the "best job she ever had." It was in Scottsdale where she and Bill met each other in 1969. They were married two years later. In 1977 she and Bill moved to Riverside, California, where she worked as secretary/bookkeeper in the corporate office of A. M. Lewis, a large grocery wholesaler serving Southern California, Nevada and Arizona.

Since 1987 LaVonne and Bill have been working together as self-employed family and local history researchers. Doing this work, they have traveled all over the United States working as professional genealogists, as well as accumulating a great amount of information on family names related to both of them. This effort has produced not only The Baseball Necrology, but also a number of books of public record abstracts they are now offering to the public.

The Lee's now live near Foley AL, and plan to spend less time traveling and doing research. They have accumulated a wealth of information they are compiling into more books and websites they will be offering in the future.

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