Lee (Butch) DeMars was born to Lyman (Cye) and Leona DeMars on April 24th 1940 in the Neche Hospital. He lived his early years on his Grandpa and Grandma DeMars’ farm in rural Bathgate. His family moved to Pembina where he graduated from High School. Lee and his family moved to Neche in 1961 where he met Linda Guenther and they were married on November 9th 1963.
To this union 5 children were born: Kerry (Carole) Grafton, ND; Kelly (Carole) Warren, MN; Kevin (Janette) Fargo, ND; Kim of Neche, ND; Kristopher of Neche, ND; 8 Grandchildren: Cyndi (Skip) Schreffler; Kylle (Katie) DeMars; Fauna (Grant) Asp; Jazmyn (Justin) Johnson; Kaely (Jack) Nerby; Addie DeMars; Alyssa (TJ) Erickson; Nicole DeMars; 9 Great Grandchildren: Theodore DeMars; Selah, Arrie, Ella Mae, Jewel Asp; Boe Hailey, Jolene Johnson, Baby Nerby.
Lee chose farming as his career. He was employed by Russel Vosper and Dick Hardy for 30+ years. He farmed into his 70’s finishing off his career with Wilwand Farms driving brand new John Deere combines. What a way to go out.
He loved his city. He served as an alderman and then the mayor for 16 years. He was instrumental in the forming of the Neche Economic Committee. He hosted the league of cities welcoming all city councils from the entire state. He loved the administration part, but you could find him on the front lines battling the floods in the spring and on the snowplow cleaning streets in the winter. He was chosen to receive the states first outstanding mayor award. He was a member of the Neche Fire Department and one of the founding members of the Neche Quick Response.
His real passion was singing. He was the go to man for singing at wedding and funerals. He sang in the church choir, community cantatas, and was one of the original members of Gospel Theater. He sang with a barbershop quartet for many years, where one of the highlights was to introduce the barbershop sound to the students at school, where he also incorporated his sons into the quartet. He was proud of joining with his son Kevin to record an album, where you could not tell one voice from the other. His final singing career was with his daughter Kim where they sang gospel music concerts all over the county and beyond. To include churches, fairs, nursing and special needs homes and homeless shelters. They even got to sing on the River Boat Cruise in Grand Forks.
He felt by sharing his voice it was bringing Glory to God. His signature song was The Lord’s Prayer. Lee went to the Lord on Sunday May 23rd, 2021. He was preceded in death by his parents Lyman and Leona DeMars and his son Kristopher.
A celebration of life service will be held at the Park Center Cemetery, Thursday May 27th 2021 at 2:00 pm. Visitation will be held 1 hour prior to the service. The family prefers no flowers. Bring your own chair. A time of fellowship will follow at the Neche Fire Hall. Please come and join us.
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