Lee Statom

December 4, 1925 ~ February 18, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old


     Lee Bingham Statom passed away peacefully on February 18 at the age of 97 in his Arroyo Grande home. He was deeply loved by his family and many members of the community.

     Lee was raised in Alta Loma, California on his parents’ small avocado ranch. After graduating high school he enlisted in the Navy and proudly served during WW2 on the destroyer Cony.

     Thanks to the GI Bill, Lee continued his education at UCSB graduating with a degree in music.  He was a jazz aficionado with a beatnik bent and fell for his more classically trained classmate Else Jensen. His natural charm won her over and they were married in her hometown of Solvang at Old Mission Santa Ines in 1952. The newlyweds moved to the South County where Lee started his career at Oceano Elementary as a music teacher. During summer breaks, he earned his Master’s degree in music at Claremont Graduate School. Lee continued teaching music for 33 years in the Lucia Mar School District—primarily at Orchard and Paulding Middle Schools. After retiring he led the Arroyo Grande High School jazz band until 1991.

     Lee influenced thousands of students, many of whom tell tales of his unique and passionate teaching style. In addition, he played in many local bands such as the No Deadwood Band and enjoyed trips to Europe performing with Cuesta College jazz groups. He kept playing until the age of 94 when Covid shut down his Madonna Inn gig with the Rose Garden Band.

     Lee was a devoted Catholic and longtime parishioner of St. Patrick’s Church in Arroyo Grande where he served as music leader, lector, and Eucharistic minister.

     Lee is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Else, as well as his five children [Kevin (Marilee), Melanie (Jim Conroy), Stephanie, Brendan, Miles], five grandchildren (Alex, Nick, Joe, Eleyce, Augustus) and four great-grandchildren (Paul, Louie, Anders, Fin). Lee will be greatly missed but will live on in the many lives he touched and inspired.

     Services for Lee include a Rosary/Vigil at 3:00 on Sunday, March 5 at Marshall-Spoo Funeral Chapel, as well as a funeral Mass and reception at St. Patrick’s Church on Monday, March 6 at 11:00. A graveside burial service at the Arroyo Grande Cemetery will take place on Tuesday, March 7 at 10:00.

     Donations in Lee’s name may be made to St. Patrick’s Church or any local charity. Condolences can be sent through the Marshall-Spoo Funeral Chapel website.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lee Statom, please visit our floral store.


Vigil Service
March 5, 2023

3:00 PM
Marshall-Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel
1239 Longbranch Ave.
Grover Beach, CA 93433

Mass of Christian Burial
March 6, 2023

11:00 AM
St. Patrick's Catholic Church
501 Fair Oaks Ave.
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420

March 7, 2023

10:00 AM
Arroyo Grande Cemetery
895 El Camino Real
Arroyo Grande, CA 93420


© 2023 Marshall Spoo Sunset Funeral Chapel. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility