The great Herb Lee, San Francisco’s first Chinese-American police officer and a golfing fixture at Sharp Park since the 1970’s, passed away November 1, 2017 at the age of 84.
Herbert Patrick Lee was a native San Franciscan, a San Francisco State student, a U.S. Navy veteran, and in 1957 became the first Chinese-American officer on the San Francisco Police Force. For details, see Herb’s obituary in the San Francisco Chronicle:
"Mr. Lee was a recruiter and a mentor to countless young officers and served as executive director of the Police Activities League, overseeing athletic and enrichment programs for poor children. Many of his PAL cadets went on to become cops, as did his son. He was also the first president of the California Asian Police Officers Association. Police Chief Bill Scott called Mr. Lee “a true pioneer.”
At Sharp Park, Herb was a member of the Thurmons – a group of mostly Asian-American retired professionals and civil servants who played on Thursday and Monday mornings. Hence the name. He was enthusiastically involved in the Save Sharp Park campaign, including his handwritten June 3, 2010 letter to then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, which reads in part as follows:
“As a retiree and 77 years old, I find Sharp Park very convenient and good for my health. I’ve been using Sharp Park for over 30 years. I have never seen anyone abuse any natural environment or animals at any time. If I had, I would have stopped them. My group of about 20 golfers are mostly my age. It’s very important to continue to allow elder San Francisco retirees the enjoyment of golfing at Sharp Park.”
Herb loved life. In addition to golf, he bowled, played and sang in the “All-Blue,” a Police Department rock band, and fished the Bay in his 25-foot fishing boat, the Ah-Choo. He will be missed.
Memorial donations may be sent to one of Herb’s favorite causes - The Chinatown YMCA (LINK HERE) or via mail at: