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Our Self-Written Obituaries – Raymond Lee, Blacksburg, USA

The 18th death.

[Text by Raymond Lee; photo by Andrew Eng]

Raymond Lee, 30, passed away today in Blacksburg, VA. He was a researcher and doctoral student at Virginia Tech, where he was building a computer model to estimate how water and pollutants flow down a forested hillslope. He had published peer-reviewed papers on topics including water quality in drinking water reservoirs and evaporation in Himalayan lakes.

Mr Lee was born in San Francisco, CA, and had residences around the world, including Yosemite National Park, southern California, New England, and Delhi, India. At one point, he was homeless. He had worked day shift as a zoo caretaker, swing shift as a hotel porter, and graveyard shift as a baker; other jobs included dishwasher, retail sales associate, security guard, and government bureaucrat, before he decided to be a scientist.

Mr Lee didn’t have a cellular phone or watch; he would look at the sun or walk past a bank to tell time. Before earning his driver’s license at 27, he had driven a car, SUV, meter maid cart, and auto rickshaw. Mr Lee was not a lover of the money.

He is survived by friends, spanning in age from 20s to 80s, and lovers around the world, and by his bicycle, with which together he traversed 8,000 miles of cool redwood forest, hot desert, granite mountains, azure coast, and the most cosmopolitan conurbations.

Our Self-Written Obituaries invites people to write their obituary in 200 words. The idea is to share with the world how you will like to be remembered after you are gone. (May you live a long life, of course!) Please mail me your self-obit at