Absher died on May 13, and funeral services were held on May 16 at First Baptist Church in West Jefferson. He was buried with military honors at West Jefferson Municipal Cemetery.
Lee Absher was owner and operator of the former Jefferson House upscale clothing store in West Jefferson for 38 years. He served his community as a member of the West Jefferson Board of Aldermen, as a member of the Lions Club, and a charter member of the Jaycees in West Jefferson. While serving on the board of aldermen, Absher was instrumental in many community improvements and the growth and revitalization of the downtown area of West Jefferson.
Former West Jefferson Mayor Dale Baldwin remembers Absher as an “outstanding citizen” and a successful businessman who was always up to date with the happenings of the Jefferson House and town of West Jefferson in general. Baldwin went on to say that Baldwin was “one of the best businessmen” he had ever known. During the Jefferson House’s “heyday”, Baldwin explained, the Ashe County store was known throughout North Carolina, Virgina, and Tennessee.
“He knew exactly how his sales went and knew how the town operated,” Baldwin said. “He was an outstanding citizen and worked real hard for the town of West Jefferson.”
Gwynita Steele of Blue Ridge also remembers Absher as a “good businessman.”
He is survived by: his wife, Barkley Moore Absher of the home; three sons and their wives, Mark and Vickie Absher of West Jefferson, Phil and Terri Absher of Troy, NC, and Scott and Tara Absher of Finksburg, MD; seven grandchildren, Steven, Richie, Morgan, Brad, Matthew, Madison, and Caroline. He is also survived by a niece, Vicky Helms, of Raleigh, Boone Family Funeral Home obituary stated.
Memorials may be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 180, West Jefferson, NC 28694 or to the Wake Forest University Health Science for Lung Research Fund, Attn. Development and Alumni Affairs Office, Medical Center Blvd., Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1021. Arrangements were handled by Boone Family Funeral Home of West Jefferson.