Lee Angelich, a quiet man of faith, passed peacefully on Friday, February 3, 2012, after a short illness. Lee was born in Wilmington, California on August 2, 1920, to Bozo and Bosilka Angelich, of Serbia.
Lee proudly served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy on the USS Rixey in the Pacific. He was awarded the 3-Star American Theatre and Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon and the 2-Star Philippine Liberation Ribbon.
His notoriety of being "Coach," "Mr. Angelich," "Uncle Lee" and "The General" followed him in the public and private sector. He was the eternal optimist, with a zest for life. Lee lived each day to the fullest and was always thankful for his rich heritage and faithful family.
Lee was an extraordinary coach, which led to his election into the Fresno Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008. He guided basketball teams at Kerman High, Porterville High and Fresno High to eight league championships and an overall record of 255-76 from 1947 to 1963. His Kerman team won the Central Section small schools championship, and his Fresno High teams won four consecutive North Yosemite League titles. He is one of the few coaches to win Central Section titles in two different sports. In addition to basketball, he also coached the Fresno High boys' track-and-field to a championship in 1957. He remains one of the winningest high school basketball coaches in Central Section history.
Lee's coaching reputation led to his involvement in international basketball, including organizing and coaching the Libyan national team that participated in the North African Games in 1961.
After retiring as a coach and educator, he was a successful Realtor.
Lee was a member of St. Peter the Apostle Serbian Orthodox Church since 1955. He was also an active member of the St. Peter's Men's Club.
Lee is survived by Dorothy "Dot" his loving wife of 66 years; and by his adoring daughters, Judith Ward and her husband David of Houston, Cathy Esajian and her husband Larry of Kingsburg, and Susan Boitano and her husband Danny of Clovis. He is also survived by his brother, John Angelich and his wife Marian of Fresno; and his sister-in-law, Olga Angelich of Fresno.
He was "Jeds" to seven grandchildren, and 15 great grandchildren; and Uncle Lee to 17 nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held at Stephens and Bean Chapel on Friday, February 10, 2012, from 2:00 to 7:00 p.m., followed by a Prayer Service at 7:00 p.m.
A Celebration of Lee's Life will be held at Stephens and Bean Chapel on Saturday, February 11, 2012, at 11:00 a.m.
Donations in memory of Lee may be made to St. Peter's Church, 3502 N. First St., Fresno, Ca. 93726, and Nancy Hinds Hospice, 1416 W. Twain Ave, Fresno, Ca. 93711.
Arrangements under the direction of Stephens & Bean Funeral Chapel, Fresno, CA.