To be held at a later date
Michael Allan Lee
June 27, 1968 - October 10, 2021
Michael Allan Lee, 53, died suddenly on October 10, 2021, of undetermined causes. He was preceded in death by his father Jim, his cousin Dan Sundeen, and all four of his grandparents. He is survived by his mom Linda, his sister Kathy, his niece Esther, his partner Pascha Dunbar, many aunts, uncles, and cousins, and hundreds of friends.
Michael was born in St. Paul on June 27, 1968. His older sister calls him "the best gift my parents ever gave me." He attended Kellogg High School and St. Olaf College, and formed deep and lasting friendships at both places. Michael worked as an actor, director, and teacher, coaching hundreds of kids through creating their own theatre pieces and bringing them to the stage. He also was the "front of house" person for 10 years with Martin Williams Advertising, and more recently for Broadhead.
Michael was a force of nature, a gifted and creative soul who brought his sense of fun, curiosity, and exuberant joy everywhere he went. He was a familiar face on Twin Cities stages for 30 years, delighting audiences and always challenging himself and his colleagues to bigger and deeper adventures. Offstage, he was the same - genuine, engaging, and deeply kind. He was up for anything, onstage or off, willing to try anything new - and he was funny, so damn funny. Michael gave everything he had to everything he did. He embraced life fully, with true joie de vivre, which is a thing that would sound cheesy and disingenuous if you said it about almost anyone else.
Michael was deeply committed to his family, and kept in touch with his many cousins, even those far away. Maintaining and nurturing connections between people was very important to him. He was equally committed to his many, many friends, and he showed up for them in big and small ways. And even though you could count on Michael to bring the fun, he was also deeply thoughtful and wanted to ponder and discuss the serious questions. And he would slow down and just be present when that's what was needed. He was generous with his time, his care, and his love.
Michael leaves behind a world full of people who are stunned and devastated that he is gone. It is precisely because his presence was so real and meaningful that his absence is felt so deeply. And we could write a thousand more words here, and still not begin to approach the wonder that was Michael Lee.
We will have a memorial service and gathering in a few months, and we will announce it here and on social media.
Michael was always mindful of the needs of those around him, especially those who were struggling. With that in mind, we would like to encourage memorial gifts to Love One Another 363 or to a place of your choosing. Or just look around you, and meet the needs of your neighbors.