Obituaries

Lee Vanterpool

A celebration of life ceremony will be held on Sunday, Aug. 12, 2018, for Lee Vanterpool, who passed away June 23, 2018 in Conyers, Ga.

"Lee Vee," as he was affectionately known, was the distinguished voice and prominent face of media in the Virgin Islands. A consummate media and performing arts professional, Lee began his long career first as a dancer and studied with world-renowned choreographer George Balanchine, followed by performances with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater.

When told by a casting director in New York that he had a "golden voice," Lee leaped at the chance to turn it into a career opportunity and became a commercial spot and voice-over artist. After studies at New York University, Lee gravitated to broadcast journalism and accepted the invitation to return home to St.Thomas as the WBNB-TV news anchor and continued in that role in the station's new identity as Channel 10.

With several years as a fixture on local television and as a well sought after master of ceremonies, Lee then relocated to Hollywood, Ca., where he worked in actor-producer Brock Peters' production company as an executive manager for 15 years. For Lee, returning to St. Thomas meant returning to the airwaves again; this time it was radio where both he and brother Mel Vanterpool were the dominant on-air personalities.

Lee's next media career move was when he accepted the position of director of media services for the V.I. Legislature, a position from which he retired in the mid 1990s. However, retirement was short-lived as Lee then went to work in the executive branch of government as a spokesman for the Charles Turnbull administration. 

Never far from the airwaves, following his second retirement "Lee Vee" was back in front of the microphone at Radio One, hosting both the morning show and his ever-popular Sunday Jazz Show. For most people that would have been a full plate, but not Lee, with his committed passion to dance and the performing arts, he still found time to be a cast member in several productions of the UVI Community Playhouse, teach at St. Thomas School of Dance, and take on the role of principal dancer in the annual production of the Nutcracker.  In the mid 2000's Lee signed off the local airwaves permanently and moved to the mainland. His love for his island home never waned as he always welcomed calls and visitors with "word from home".

A celebration of life ceremony honoring Lee's memory will be held at Shed 4, Magens Bay beach, on Sunday, August 12, 2018 beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Lee is survived by his loved ones: brother, Mel D. Vanterpool; sisters, Lillian "Sadie" Moolenaar, Linda Vanterpool, Charleann Matthias, Donna Phillip, Denice Hicks, AnnMarie Vanterpool-Brown, Emilia Vanterpool; nieces, Barbara Canton-Jackson, Tammy Isom, Melissa Vanterpool-Isom, Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy, Alison M. Foy, Michelle Moolenaar-Battle, Winnika Phillip-DeGout, DuanJae Phillip Crooke, Mylika Hill, Atiya Robertson, Isla Rose Vera; nephews, Gideon Wirsiy, Troy A. Dowdy, Christopher D. Isom, David Vanterpool, Charles Vanterpool, Che (Vanterpool) Forgeron, George E. Moolenaar III, Hahlikay Matthias, Kahmall Matthias, Jahlanie E. Brown, LaZon W. Phillip, Anthony A. Hicks, Asim J. Hicks, A'Xavier Hicks; numerous great-nieces and great-nephews; the Raimer and Vanterpool families; brothers-in-law, George E. Moolenaar II, Donald Matthias, Ronney Brown; sister-in-law, Gilda Stafford; special cousins, Doris W. Todman, Alfred Raimer, Laverne S. McCurdy; godmother, Ena Knight; and many friends and colleagues.

Sincere gratitude to caregivers, the Buddhist community of the Virgin Islands, and all friends and family for their loving support and assistance.

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