Memorial Service Planned For Shop Owner Killed in Durham Explosion


Picture Taken From the Lee Family’s Facebook

Riley Reeves, Sophomore Editor

A gas explosion three weeks ago in downtown Durham shook both the streets and the community of the city to the core, killing beloved local coffee shop owner Kong Lee and leaving 25 others injured.  Lee’s children have announced a memorial service for their father, inviting the people of Durham to a visitation on Tuesday, May 7 from 4-7 p.m., as well as a funeral service on Wednesday, May 8th at 11 a.m. Both events will be held at New Horizon Church in Durham, located at 100 Horizon Place.

“The staff at Kaffeinate used to joke that all our dad wanted was to be everyone’s dad.” Diana and Raymond Lee said in a recent post about their late father. “The best part of all of this has been getting to see all the people who felt our dad’s love and have now come to love us in his honor.”

Durham rushed to support Lee’s family after hearing about the loss, and many students at Durham School of the Arts who were regular customers at Kaffinate immediately took to social media to share their sorrows with the Lee family. Overwhelmingly, they shared how kind and loving he was to everyone he encountered.

PSNC utility worker Jay Rambeaut also sustained fatal injuries after the explosion and died on Thursday, April 25. His funeral was held on April 30th, and a  GoFundMe has been set up for Rambeaut’s family.

Over $150,000 has been raised for the Lee family, and they plan to eventually re-open Kaffeinate to the public.  Dianna and Raymond Lee are thankful for the support they have gotten and ask that people come to the Memorial service to honor their dad’s life. “We hope you will join us so our dad can smile down and see how large his family has grown.”