A final farewell for Eric Lee

Eric Lee, pictured here in July of 2018. Photo by Cris Vilela.


Thanks to the incredible generosity and support of the people of Kingston, a public memorial service for Eric Lee will take place on Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019.

Perhaps best known as ‘The Elevator Guy,’ Eric Lee, also a former mayoral candidate in the most recent municipal election, passed away on Monday, Mar. 4, 2019 at his apartment. As has been outlined since in articles from Kingstonist, no next of kin stepped forward to claim Lee’s body and organize his end of life services. After a call for next of kin or anyone with information regarding next of kin to come forward, it became clear that no one was willing to do so. In response, a few concerned Kingstonians stepped up to ensure that Lee is given a proper send off, and organized a GoFundMe page to raise funds to cover the costs of having Lee cremated, as well as the costs of giving him an appropriate urn, a final resting place, a headstone to mark it.

As the campaign continued, more than 100 people have contributed to the fund, which has now raised almost enough funds to cover all costs. Additionally, some very kind and generous individuals have come forward to offer their assistance.

Rick Lawrence, a funeral director with Tompkins Funeral Home in Gananoque, first came forward to offer his expertise and services to ensure Lee’s cremation and inurnment were seen to. Lawrence has volunteered many hours doing extensive research in an attempt to locate the final resting place of Lee’s father, which sadly came to a dead end. Lawrence then worked many hours to organize and see to Lee’s cremation, order an urn, and work with Cataraqui Cemetery to secure his final resting place in a cemetery that can be visited by Lee’s friends, right here in central Kingston.

Wedding and funeral celebrant Connie Howes of City Hall Weddings Kingston also stepped forward to offer her services, and will be overseeing the service on Thursday, which will be held in Memorial Hall at City Hall. The rental fee associated with using that room was covered by an anonymous donor.

Michelle Stenson, owner and operator of Chartreuse Flower Works has offered to create some of her beautiful arrangements for the service, which will subsequently be placed at Lee’s final resting place following the service and inurnment.

Zoe Yanovsky, owner of Pan Chancho bakery, has generously donated cookies for those at the service to enjoy as they converse and reminisce about Lee and his life here in Kingston, and the Union of National Defence Employees Local 681 donated $200, which was used to cover the costs of an obituary in local publications to ensure the public was made aware of the service. The union also sent along the following message:

“May you rest in peace. You will be missed by an entire city.”

Please join the community that will come together to celebrate the life of Mr. Eric Lee on Thursday, Apr. 25, 2019 at Memorial Hall in City Hall, beginning at 11 a.m. Following a short service, the public is invited to join the service at Cataraqui Cemetery for Lee’s inurnment.

Thank you to all who have contributed to ensuring these end of life services could be carried out properly – as mentioned before, Lee spent many years of his life ensuring his ailing father was cared for up until and after his death, and Lee deserves that same care and respect. Anyone who is still able to contribute can do so here.


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