Lee Araps, 85, of Mooresville, N.C., passed away peacefully at home on April 6, 2021, surrounded by the love of his family.

Son to Frank and Thekla Araps, Lee was the youngest of five. He graduated from Asbury Park High School, where he played center for the varsity football team, served as class treasurer and was voted Class Optimist / Best Natured. It was during these years that Lee developed his culinary skills at the family beachfront restaurant and recognized his love of fishing and gardening.

He embarked on a 34-year distinguished career in telecommunications with New Jersey Bell. He started as a Splicer/Lineman, while attending night school at Rutgers University. He was promoted into management and progressed through leadership roles in Operations, Labor Relations, and Finance during his tenure with the company.

Lee married Meryl in 1960, and most recently they celebrated a lifetime of love and dedication with their 60th wedding anniversary. Together they raised four children in Monmouth County, N.J. In the late sixties, they discovered the beauty of central Maine, where together he and Meryl built a cabin on a lake. For Lee, it was a true joy to share this little slice of heaven with close friends and family.

Lee and Meryl moved to North Carolina for their retirement years and no matter where they were, it was always home. During these years, they enjoyed golfing, traveling, and spending time with their grandchildren. These years allowed Lee to dive into his woodworking hobby, leaving his family with many handcrafted treasures to cherish.

Lee served as a model of integrity, commitment, and passion for every endeavor he undertook. Through his example, he taught his children and grandchildren that anything is possible with vision and hard work. Lee leaves a legacy of a bonded loving family, rich traditions, a strong work ethic, a generous heart, and a life truly well lived.

Lee was predeceased by his parents; his brothers Thomas Araps and George Araps; and his sisters Irene Peterson and Anastasia Petrow. He is survived by his beloved wife Meryl Araps; his children Stephen Araps and wife Eileen, Diane Araps, Lauren Spatig and George Araps; his grandchildren Samantha Lenz and husband David Lenz, Alexandra Barteldt, Michael Araps, Andrea Spatig, and Emma Spatig; and his loving extended family of cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on April 17, 2021, at St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church, 134 Talbert Pointe Drive, Mooresville, NC, NC 28117. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on April 16, 2021, at Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Protection of the Holy Virgin Monastery, 2343 County Road 403; P.O. Box 416; Lake George, CO 80827.

Cavin-Cook Funeral Home, Mooresville, is serving the Araps family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.