Harrison Township, MI (Saturday, February 18, 2023) - Dick Lee, the founder of the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame and the Berlin Raceway Hall of Fame as passed away on February 17, 2023. Lee, who was very well known in racing circles began just as many of us do, in the role of a race fan. He attended races at the now-defunct Grand Rapids Speedrome in the 1950’s before deciding that he could drive as well as anybody else so he started driving for a bit in 1957 before putting other drivers in his cars.
In 1980, Dick started doing oil paintings of race cars of the 50’s, 60’s, and 80’s. It was during this time that He organized and founded the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame with the formal founding date of 1982. Dick had the vision and the idea to honor excellence in Michigan Racing. What started out as an oval track hall of fame has developed into an organization that honors not only the Oval Track stars of the past and present but also those involved in many other facets of racing including but not limited to Drag Racing, Road Racing, Boat Racing, Airplane Racing, Snowmobile Racing, and Motorcycle Racing.
Dick Lee was the first Executive Director of the Hall of Fame and served in that position and will always carry the title of Executive Director Emeritus. Dick also published, along with another Hall of Fame founder, Allan Brown, The Michigan Auto Racing Yearbook which covered the season statistics for all of the Michigan Race Tracks.
Dick was very involved in West Michigan Racing and over the years has assembled and published books on the history of racing in West Michigan. He was also the official Berlin Raceway Historian and published the Berlin Raceway program for 15 years.
Dick was a friend to many, a diligent records keeper and historian, and indeed his work will go on through the books he has written, the records he has amassed, and his founding of the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Each and every person that has been and will be inducted into the Hall of Fame is there because Dick Lee had an idea and took action to make it happen. His legacy will live on through the Hall of Fame and the knowledge he shared with the Racing Community.
Per Dick’s wishes, there will be no public memorial.
Story - Dave DeHem
Photo - Michigan Motorsports Hall of Fame