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July 21, 2013

D. Harcourt Lees Jr., 91, dies at home in Warrenton

Photos/Douglas Lees
Mr. Lees served the Warrenton Hunt Master of Foxhounds from 1968 to 1981.
Leading the Warrenton Hunt.
D. Harcourt Lees Jr. of Warrenton, known to many as the quintessential Virginia gentleman, died at home Sunday, July 21, after a brief illness.

Click here for complete obituary.

Mr. Lees, 91, for decades owned and operated an insurance and real estate firm. He was a past president of the Fauquier County Chamber of Commerce and the Fauquier Club and a former director of The Fauquier Bank. He was a longtime member of Warrenton Rotary Club.

He had a lifelong passion for horse sports. Mr. Lees served as the Warrenton Hunt Master of Foxhounds from 1968 to 1981. He continued to ride to the hounds until 2001.

A Warrenton native, he loved practical jokes and parties.

Mr. Lees and the late Billy Wilbur made their legendary “Midnight Ride” after a hunt ball in the 1950s. On horseback and still in tuxedos, they visited a half-dozen farms, procuring cocktails along the way.

A 1997 profile in The Fauquier Citizen, described Mr. Lees’ impeccable manners. Always well dressed — or “turned out” — he bowed and tipped his hat when meeting friends and strangers on the street.

“His manners are flawless,” the late Byrd Greene told Don Del Rosso, who wrote the newspaper profile. “But they’re manners from the heart; he’s a gentleman because it’s inside of him.”

His wife Eleanor Thomson “Scottie” Lees died in 2000.

His son, Douglas Lees III, survives.

The Rev. J. Richard Winter will conduct a graveside service at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, at the Warrenton Cemetery. A reception in remembrance of Mr. Lees will follow at the Black Horse Inn near Warrenton.
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