Hiawatha Arvis Arlee

March 8, 1936 ~ February 1, 2021 (age 84)


Hiawatha Arvis Arlee


Hiawatha Arivis Arlee was born on March 8, 1936 to Jessie and Salonia Arlee in Detroit, MI.  He passed away on February 1, 2021 of natural causes at the age of 85.  He was a retired Civil Engineer who worked as a Supervisor Survey Tech/Land Surveyor for the city of Detroit Department of Public Works and where he retired in 1997. 

He attended Miller High.  One of his proudest accomplishments was when he returned to school as an adult to get his GED, which he accomplished in 1967.  Afterwards, he attended Macomb Community College where he took Mathematics courses to prepare for Civil Service examinations that lead to promotions. 

As a Master Mathematician, he was instrumental in supervising the design of numerous projects in the Detroit area.  These projects included: Jefferies Freeway (I-96), the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix, and the Detroit People Mover in Downtown Detroit.  He was a devoted husband to his late wives, and a doting father, mentor to his children, and a trusted friend to many. He made each of us feel that we were his favorite. He felt that nothing was “too good for his children”.  His children were his world.  He encouraged exploration and open-mindedness, music appreciation, spirituality, and love of life.  He was passionate about traditional and modern jazz, enjoyed horse-racing (especially the Kentucky Derby, DRC and Hazel Park), and horseback riding.  In addition, he enjoyed reading, and playing penny poker, hunting, bowling with friends and family as well as watching sports, especially football, boxing, and basketball.  He was a wealth of knowledge about history, religion, animals, and culture.

Hiawatha Arlee was preceded in death by his parents, Jesse and Salonia Arlee, his first wife Margie Arlee, his second wife Diane Ireland Arlee, siblings: Yvonne, Richard, Herman, Bennie, Cleveland, and Charles, and his stepmother Ora.  He leaves to mourn a son Stanley Arlee, a daughter Lenore Arlee, his granddaughter Raquel Chantal Adams, his great-grandson Aaron David Adams, his stepdaughter Dianna Ireland, stepson Tommie Ireland, and a host of other nieces, nephews, and friends.

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