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'All Our Dad Wanted Was To Be Everyone's Dad'; Durham Coffee Shop Owner Memorialized

Kong Lee and his children, Diana and Raymond, in a photo posted to the Kaffeinate Instagram.

The owner of a coffee shop who died in a gas explosion in Durham will be laid to rest this week.

Kong Lee owned Kaffeinate, a popular gathering spot on North Duke Street that was destroyed in the gas line explosion that shook buildings in downtown Durham on April 10.

The explosion has also been blamed for the death of utility worker Jay Rambeaut.

Lee's children have described him as a fatherly figure to his employees as well as his own family.

"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 post on Instagram.

At least three fundraising sites have raised nearly $200,000 for the Lees. They hope to reopen the coffee shop one day.

View this post on Instagram The staff at Kaffeinate used to joke that all our dad wanted was to be everyone's dad. 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. - We would like to invite you to celebrate our dad's life, love, and impact with us. The visitation will be Tuesday, May 7th 4-7pm. The funeral will be Wednesday, May 8th at 11am. Both events will be at New Horizon Church in Durham (100 Horizon Place Durham, NC 27705). - Our deepest gratitude to New Horizon Church and Hall-Wynne Funeral Service & Cremation for helping us through this time. Our deepest gratitude also to all of you for everything. - We hope you will join us so our dad can smile down and see how large his family has grown. - Diana and Raymond A post shared by kaffeinate (@kaffeinatenc) on Apr 30, 2019 at 1:33pm PDT

Kong Lee's public visitation is Tuesday afternoon from 4 to 7 p.m. at New Horizon Church in Durham. His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday morning. He was 61.

Will Michaels is WUNC's Weekend Host and Reporter.
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