Lee Paul Houghton

Jun 17, 1933 – Aug 26, 2015

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 Lee Paul Houghton, 82, a longtime resident of Kent, WA, died peacefully on Wednesday afternoon, August 26, 2015.


He was born in E. Arlington, Vermont on June 17, 1933, the son of the late William J Houghton and Mary (Blyther) Houghton. He was a 1951 graduate of Arlington High School, and attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, graduating in 1954.


Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1954, he served 1 1/2yrs in Korea as a Private First Class before being honorably discharged in 1956.


Lee returned to Vermont after leaving the Army to marry his childhood sweetheart, Kathleen Knapp, on Feb. 25, 1956.  After their wedding, the couple drove cross-country for their honeymoon, arriving in Seattle, WA. Lee worked for Boeing in the machine shop and Kay was an R.N. at Group Health Hospital. The couple subsequently had two daughters, Tanya and Deena.


While working at Boeing, he returned to college and graduated from Highline Community College in SeaTac, WA in 1971, and from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA in 1973, with a B.A. in Business and Marketing.


After graduating from UPS, Lee obtained a job with Hallidie Machinery Co. in Seattle, where he was a salesman, and in 1981, became sales manager and vice-president of the company.

He retired from Hallidie in 1999, and became an independent representative for several different machine companies.


Lee enjoyed many different sports especially golfing, skiing, biking, hiking and traveling around the world. He loved skiing and biking with his oldest daughter Tanya and her family, and he enjoyed numerous trips around the world with his youngest daughter, Deena. He was also a devoted animal lover and had many pets throughout his life.


 He was a member of Christian Faith Center and loved the Lord. Lee served the Lord through loving and helping people. He always had a ready smile for anyone he would meet, and he loved to laugh. Lee exemplified what it meant to be a true "people person.” His greatest joy was being with his family.

He spent the last four years of his life at Young at Heart Adult Family Home in Puyallup, WA. "Uncle Lee"/"Papa" received excellent care from the staff and was loved by all. 

Lee was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers and his wife Kathleen, who died on July 9, 1983.


He is survived by his daughters Tanya Richards and Deena Houghton, his son-in-law Jearl Richards, three grandchildren: Kaylee Richards (Cook), Carsten Richards and Quade Richards, a great granddaughter, Kinley Cook and numerous extended family members.

Gifts in Lee's memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association.


Signie Fowler
Des Moines, WA
Sep 6, 2015

Tanya and Deena,

We were so sorry to hear that your Dad passed away.

We remember him as a kind and generous person and

we feel blessed to have known him.

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Ed and Signie Fowler

Sig and Margie Skartland

Tony Parr
Bellevue, WA
Sep 2, 2015

I worked with Lee at Hallidie Machinery for 10 years. Lee, Hal, Doug ,Larry and I had a great tiome working for Bud.

Lee was a great salesman that every one loved... thats tough to beat.

Its hard to forget his smiling face, his friendship, humor, golf game and dedication. And apple pie and ice cream at Andys Diner.

Love to Tanya and Deena and family


donnalee owens
burlington, ky
Sep 1, 2015

Sympathy & thoughts to Deena & Tonya. Lee was so very proud of his daughters. Keep your memories of your wonderful father in your hearts.

Tony Berry
Victoria , BC
Aug 31, 2015

Lee, was a true dear friend who I met in 1972 through business. We played golf together, and he came to Victoria quite a few years to play with our fun group. He was always teased because he played only with yellow golf balls, he said so it kept him apart from the rest and he could find his golf ball. So we all used yellow balls one year, just to harass him. He took it well and laughed, but said he would get us back.

I bought millions of dollars of equipment through Lee, and he was the finest sales person I ever met, and I trusted him completely. When Lee gave his word, you could count on it!!!

I will miss him, and the fun we had together.


Shelly Bjorlo (Upchurch) Evie Bjorlo
Des Moines, WA
Aug 30, 2015

Tanya, Deena and family. Mom shared with me today about the passing on your Dad. we were so saddened to hear this. We both have such fond memories of you and your family living on 194th St. He was the nicest neighbor anyone could ask for. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Elynn Clayton
Kent, WA
Aug 30, 2015

I was so sorry to hear of Lee's passing. I didn't know Lee well (I was his pet sitter for his kitties Andy and Duggy so saw his kitties more often than I saw him) but his kindness, and his love for his family shined through, and I always enjoyed our chats when I did see him. The last few years were difficult for him and his family so I hope they can now find peace. My thoughts are with his family.

Susan and Jack Bernard Sr
Milton, WA
Aug 30, 2015

So sorry to hear of Lee passing but know he is safe in the arms of Jesus. He was a dear and generous friend to Jack and know they had a great friendship. They had a lot in common including their time in the service in Korea and their church attendance. I am so thankful for the call to let us know that Lee had slip away to heaven, our prayer for all your family. Love Jack and Susan

Donna Hastings
Canton, MS
Aug 29, 2015

I am so sorry to hear the news of your dad, but I know he has been through a lot over the final years as well as y'all. I'm thinking about y'all!!!

Steve & Judy Houghton
Manchester, Vt
Aug 29, 2015

He was a wonderful man and a great uncle. Cherish your memories Tanya and Deena. Think of him often as will we.

Steve & Judy Houghton
Manchester, Vt
Aug 29, 2015

He was a wonderful man and a great uncle. Cherish your memories Tanya and Deena. Think of him often as will we.

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