Remembering Our Friend, Robert H. Lee

Robert H. Lee Tribute

It is with great sadness that we announce our very close YMCA friend, member, volunteer and donor, Robert H. Lee, passed away on February 19th, 2020, at the age of 86.

Robert was a significant leader in our YMCA. It was more than 55 years ago when he first joined the Downtown YMCA. His earliest memories are of coming to the Y with his father to swim. Born to Ron Bick Lee and King Choon, Robert was the sixth of seven children. Following in his father’s footsteps, Robert grew up to be a business man with a strong work ethic and a deep commitment to community philanthropy.

Robert co-founded Wall Financial Corp. in 1966 before founding Prospero Group in 1979 where he built a strong real estate presence in Canada and the United States. The impact of his leadership is felt in Vancouver not only through his remarkable career, but also through his tireless commitment to many charitable boards and foundations. 

More than 55 years after his first visit to the Y, Robert gave back to the place he had come to love by donating to the Robert Lee YMCA—a centre in the exact same spot where he had first learned to swim. This centre of community in his name now welcomes thousands of people each year. He also is the Honorary Chair of the What Really Matters Capital Campaign.

We are especially mindful of his loving wife, Lily, his four children, Carol, Derek, Leslie and Graham, his beloved grandchildren, and all of the Lee family. Our thoughts and condolences are with them as they grieve this great loss.

On behalf of everyone at the Y who knows and loves Robert, we want to express our deepest condolences.

We will continue to honour Robert as we help more people to reach their potential. His legacy lives on through the many children and families in our community that he has strengthened through his generous philanthropic efforts.

Bob, you are missed by many in the community and by your family at the YMCA.