Friends and family remember Richland pilot - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Friends and family remember Richland pilot

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Many people in the Tri-Cities area are mourning the loss of a Richland man named Lee Morris.

He was the Alaskan Airlines pilot we reported on earlier this week. He was found dead on a freeway off ramp in Burbank, California on Tuesday.

A lot of attention has surrounded the way in which Lee was found, but Sunday that was not the focus. Lee's memorial was about celebrating his life.

Lee's family did address the way he was found by saying there was no foul play and they believe he likely suffered from a medical event, but was not in pain. Then the memorial moved on to remembering the well-loved guy.

Hundreds of people came together Sunday at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick to remember Lee Morris. People spoke about the man they say had a great sense of humor and was always there for his family and friends.

"He was really a very caring guy and he wanted to do as much as he could for his friends. And he had friends in all circles of his life and he would bring his friends together in various ways," said lifelong friend, John Horton.

Lee was also admired as an accomplished pilot in the friendly skies. He flew for Alaska Airlines for twenty-six years.

"You do have those names that you see on your schedule that when you see those names you get excited and that was Lee. You knew it was going to be a great trip," said James Veitz, one of Lee's copilots.

Many Alaska Airlines coworkers came to honor their friend, a part of their flying family.

"Anytime you lose somebody it really affects you and especially somebody you fly with a lot. We have a lot of people at Alaska Airlines and you don't see everybody all the time, but especially when it's somebody that you do see a lot, that really hits home," said Veitz.

The thing that people kept saying at the memorial was how lee could create strong bonds with everyone. Friends said he made everyone feel like his best friend. Family members said he was fun and loving. The simplest and best way to describe lee was always..

"Great friend," says Horton.

Lee grew up in the Tri-Cities, attending Kamiakin High School and then he went on to attend Washington State University in Pullman.

While there may have been some questions about how he passed, there's no question about how he will be remembered, as a great man.