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Lea, C. Russell

Charles Russell Lea U.S. Navy WWII
Charles Russell Lea U.S. Navy WWII

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Date of Birth: 3/12/1905
Died On: 28-Jan-55
Street Address: 34 Mendota
Service Number: 135191
Branch of Service: U.S. Navy - USS LST 449 , 23 Nov 1944

Veteran Code: USN-139

Charles Russell Lea

Charles Russell Lea was born in New York in 1898. In Rye his family lived at 34 Mendota Ave and were members of Christ Church. Charles served as an officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II.


City Councilman C. Russell Lea, fifty-six, died suddenly Friday night while attending a business dinner at the St. Regis Hotel, New York. An investment banker, he was a member of the New York firm of Reynolds & Co. Mr. Lea was born at Meadowbrook, N. Y., March 26, 1898. He attended Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and Colgate University where he played on the varsity football team.

He left college in 1918 to join the U. S. Navy Flying Corps in World War I. Following the war he was active in Squadron A. During World War II he served as commander of an LST during the North African campaign and the landings in Italy. Later he was commodore of an LST flotilla during the Philippines invasion. He retired as Captain, USNR. (See Discharge Records for Awards)

Mr. Lea formed the investment firm of Liebenfrost, Evans & Lea in 1925, and later joined Eastman Dillon. Following World War II he joined Reynolds & Co. When Rye was incorporated as a city on January 1, 1942, Mr Lea became its first county supervisor, but resigned the following April to enter the Navy.

He was elected a member of the City Council in 1947 and served continuously since January 1, 1948. He was chairman of the police committee and as police commissioner was in general charge of the entire department. Keenly interested in civic affairs, Mr. Lea was active in the Community Chest and served as campaign chairman in 1941. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Rye Y. M. C. A. for many years.

Mr. Lea married Evelyn Russe of Memphis, Tenn., in 1921, who died in 1949. In September, 1950, he married Annette Baker Torrey of Grosse Point, Mich. Surviving besides his wife are a son, C. Russell Lea, Jr., and four step children, Mrs. Frank Peck, William F. Torrey, Jr., Emory M. Torrey and Randall F. Torrey. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at Christ's Church with the rector, the Rev. Dr. Wendell Phillips, officiating. Associates of Mr. Lea in the city government and New York business associates joined with many friends who attended. Members of the Rye Police and Fire Departments paid their respects at the William H. Graham Funeral Home.


The Lea-Busse Wedding in Memphis, Tenn. - An out-of-town wedding of interest to many in Brooklyn was solemnized in Memphis, Tenn., on October 19th, when Miss Evelyn Russe, daughter of Mr. and Mrs.. William Henry Russe, of Memphis, became the wife of Mr. Charles Russell Lea. Mr. Lea is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Reginald Lea, who formerly lived in Brooklyn, but now make their home in White Plains, and a brother of Mr. .Frederick C. Lea, of 1177 Dean Street. The ceremony was performed at nine o'clock in St. Mary's Chapel, with the Very Rev. I. Harding Noe officiating, in the presence of about fifty guests, and was followed by a reception and dance attended by four hundred persons. Mrs. E. C. Gause, of Memphis, attended the bride as matron of honor, and Miss No-reen Cathey, also of Memphis, was bridesmaid. Mr. Clifton A. Hipkins, of Montclair, N. J., acted as best man for the bridegroom. The bride wore a gown of white lace and chiffon, and the matron of honor was in yellow georgettes The bridesmaid wore blue georgette

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