Robert E. “Bob” Lee, a retired Energy Department personnel management specialist, died May 5 at his home in Silver Spring. He was 90.

He had complications from colon cancer, said his son Charles Lee.

Mr. Lee, a native Washingtonian, began his career in the federal government as a civilian employee of the Navy Department in the late 1940s. A career-long specialist in personnel management, he worked for the Food and Drug Administration, NASA and the Customs Service before joining the Energy Department. He retired in 1979 as a personnel management supervisor.

Robert Edward Lee was born in the District and was a 1939 graduate of Eastern High School. He attended the old Benjamin Franklin University and, in retirement, received a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Maryland in 1991. He served in the Army during World War II.

As a teenager, Mr. Lee formed his own dance band, The Aristocrats. He played the drums and piano for more than 70 years, performing at weddings, parties and high school proms.

A genealogy enthusiast, he traced his heritage back to a Union army officer of the Civil War and an officer in George Washington’s Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.

His memberships included the Society of the Cincinnati and the Society of Mayflower Descendants.

Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Lily Buckholtz Lee of Silver Spring; three children, Charles Lee of Damascus, James Lee of Ashburn and Susan Humphrey of Silver Spring; and four grandchildren.

— T. Rees Shapiro