"He was a stickler for numbers he always gave exact numbers not an estimate," said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead.
"He always had my back and I truly will miss him. Because of his leadership, there are department heads who are more involved with the budgets. Because of that we were able to get thru the last few years with the economy as hard as it was."
He was a native of Nashville and was preceded in death by parents Kay William Lee and Lillian Clark Lee and by uncle and aunt I.H. Reed and Vera Lee Reed -- who raised him after his mothers death when he was four.
Mr. Lee attended Vanderbilt University and received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.
"Russell loved the Commodores," said Debbie Jessen, assistant to Mayor Craighead. "Last year during the Music City Bowl, he was elated when Coach Franklin brought the team to victory. It was one of his happiest moments! He has a mug bearing a picture of the scoreboard from that day.
"Russell also loved to tell a joke. I loved to watch his face as he delivered the punch line. His laugh and his expression were always better than the joke. I looked forward to him telling the next one."
He enjoyed golfing, traveling, and spending time with his family. Mr. Lee is survived by fiance, Pat Clayton Garner and her children, LeAnne, Carrie and John -- all of Murfreesboro.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to P.A.W.S. or the Beesley Foundation in his memory.
Woodfin Memorial Chapel is located at 1488 Lascassas Pike, Murfreesboro.