PTHS Hall of Famer Hermes Lee Dies Sunday | Sports
It’s hard to think of Hermes Lee in terms of a single life. Just when a life came to fruition, this place was shut down quickly, horribly, but it built itself a new life, where its achievements were even greater.
Lee, a 1968 graduate of Paducah Tilghman High School and a 2019 PTHS Hall of Fame inductee, died Sunday at the age of 72.
Lee was a rising star in track and field from the start of his high school career, setting the school record in the 440-yard sprint at 49.8 seconds and helping his team win the 1966 track and field title. was the anchor for the 4×220-yard relay team – setting a high of 49.1 seconds in his leg of this event – and completed the 100-yard and 220-yard dashes. He lost just one race in his sophomore season of 1966 and received two college scholarship offers.
On March 5, 1967, during his junior year, Lee was hit by a car while crossing the road after church services, breaking both legs and ending his track career.
After working for the Caterpillar Company in Peoria, Illinois, for a year, he saved money to attend college at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, then known as Paducah Junior College, where he graduated in 1971.
He got a scholarship from the Ford Foundation, which allowed him to choose which university to attend. He chose the University of Missouri at Rolla, where he graduated magna cum laude in 1973 with a degree in electrical engineering. He would later obtain the prestigious certification of professional engineer.
Lee began his professional career as an electrical engineer for Union Carbide in Paducah. He then went to work in Nevada, working for Pioneer Chemical in Las Vegas before becoming a plant supervisor for a chemical company in Henderson.
Twenty years later, he joined H&M Architects and Engineering in Jackson, Tennessee, where he was born.
In 2004, he accepted a position with Smith, Seckman and Reid Construction Inc. in Memphis, where we worked until — and after — his retirement.
During his career, Lee has done engineering work in several hospitals, prisons and schools and worked on an engineering project for Bosh Appliance. He oversaw Nevada’s Colorado River Commission Base Management Company, which supplies power to western states.
A resident of Humboldt, Tennessee, Lee has also been active in community projects, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Paducah and Henderson, Nevada, as well as the regional interfaith association, city council and county commission meetings, the Dream Center, the Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and more.
“He did all of these things and never stopped — never stopped doing,” Lee’s sister Arlene Norvell said. “…He trained over 45 engineers, and he did a training session for the WC Young Community Center.”
Originally named Herms, his father changed the spelling – but not the pronunciation – to Hermès.
Hermes was the Greek god of speed, which Lee had early in his life, but he did better at the Greek god by building a new life that was even more successful than the first through the talents of his mind and a persistent work ethic. .
This article was edited by David B. Snow at 11:00 p.m. May 31, 2022.