Longtime friend of the Batteau Festival, Mike Lee, has died.

The photos above were taken during the 2018 JRBF at Bent Creek as the State Park batteau was departing. 

Longtime friend and supporter of the James River Batteau Festival, Mike Lee, has died on June 3rd, 2019.

Mike has helped the JRBF for many many years in all kinds of ways! He owned a huge strip of land along the river on the Amherst County side of the James River, across and down-river from Percival’s Island.

Mike helped the Pride of Campbell County II batteau launch at his beach in 1989. The batteau was pulled up-river by the Lynchburg Lifesaving Crew when the water was swift.

Mike’s campsite and beach have been used by many other batteaux over the years for launches and to tie up to soak. A few years ago this beach was used for the river rescue safety training before the JRBF. Mike was very generous and let countless people camp at his site before the batteau festival and at other times.

Thank you to Mike for all his kindness over the years!

Rest in Peace Mike Lee.


Mike Lee Memorial Fund

You may donate to the Batteau Festival in memory of Mike Lee using the PayPal donation button below:

Please note that you can mail a check if you don’t want to use a credit card or PayPal account:

Make your check out to: “VC&NS” with the “for” line as “Mike Lee Memorial Fund”.
Mailing Address: VC&NS, 3806 South Amherst Highway, Madison Heights, VA 24572

Funds received for the Mike Lee Memorial Fund will be used towards the James River Batteau Festival’s worthy goals.


Michael Eugene Lee, 67, of Madison Heights, died on Monday, June 3, 2019, after a short battle with renal cancer. Born September 28, 1951, Mike was a son of the late Aubrey Eugene Lee and the late Doris Faye Ewers Lee. Mike is survived by his wife, Adelaide Draper Lee, and their children, Elizabeth Lee and Draper Lee and his wife, Amanda, and their children, Aubrey and Mackenzie. Mike is also survived by his daughter, Michelle Lee and her children, Dylan and Lauren. Mike is survived by brothers, Randall Lee, and Eric Lee and his wife, Jennifer, nephews, Daniel Lee, and his wife Casey, and Adam Lee, and niece Alaina Lee. Mike was an avid lover of the James River and the outdoors. He passed that love along to his children and all who interacted with him. He also had a passion for genealogy and for local Civil War and WWII history. Mike and Adelaide recently moved back to the family land where Mike grew up. He loved sharing stories and the history of the property. His German Shorthaired Pointer, Annabelle, was his constant companion. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 9, 2019, at 429 South Hillcrest Drive, Madison Heights. A funeral will be held on Monday, June 10, 2019, at 1 p.m. at the Ewers’ Family Cemetery located at the end of S. Hillcrest Dr. Memorial donations in memory of Mike may be made to Jones Memorial Library (www.jmlibrary.org) or the James River Batteau Festival (www.vacanals.org). Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Madison Heights, is assisting the family, (434) 929-0055. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.tharpfuneralhome.com. (Obituary as published in the News & Advance, June 8th, 2019.)