Leroy (Lee) M. Quaas, 66, passed away unexpectedly but peacefully, surrounded by his family, on July 9, 2008, in Sacramento, California.
Lee was born to Charles and Dorothy Quaas in Maple Plain, Minnesota. Raised as a Minnesota Farm Boy, Lee combined his natural acumen with his cultivated work ethic to win a scholarship to Valparaiso University. Graduating with honors, Lee was quickly hired by the burgeoning California Department of Highways in 1964.
Lee spent his formative career years building bridges on many of todays Los Angeles freeways. After a short assignment as Assistant County Engineer of Imperial County, California, he followed his wifes desire to return home and embarked on a 25 year career with the City of Tempe in 1972. During his stewardship, he marshaled the citys explosive growth and directly influenced the formation of its current character. As a former President of the American Public Works Association as well as a champion of new engineering technologies, Lee strove to make the greater Tempe area the example other municipalities wished to emulate. His retirement as City Engineer in 1997 marked the end of an extraordinary professional career.
His retirement years where split between his love of travel, adoring his four grandchildren and two nieces, and working as an engineering consultant.
Lee will be dearly missed by all who knew him. A Gentle Giant in multiple ways, Lee was often sought out for his infallible wisdom, innate sense of fairness, and genuine approachability. A champion of personal character and accountability, he served as an inspiring example to both friends and family alike.
He is preceded in death by his beloved wife Patricia Francis De La Cruz Quaas, whom he married on April 10, 1966. His courage and faith guided him after her premature departure in 2000.
Lee leaves his sons Theron Quaas of Phoenix, AZ, Travis Quaas of Littleton, CO, and Thad Quaas of Davis, CA, as well as one daughter, Tara Quaas of Phoenix, AZ. He is also survived by brothers Marvin Quaas of Cedar Rapids, IA and Randy Quaas of Maple Plain, MN; Grandchildren Mia and Kian St. Louis of Phoenix, AZ, Ethan and Colette Quaas of Davis, CA; Nieces Racheal and Pilar De La Cruz of San Diego, CA, Jill Heyerdahl of Cedar Hill, TX; Nephew Mark Quaas of Howard Lake, MN.
A memorial service will be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 1035 E. Guadalupe Road, Tempe, AZ at 10 am on Saturday, July 26th.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Autism Speaks, 5455 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 2250, Los Angeles, CA 90036