Samuel Kenneth Dee was born to Edward David and Minerva (Smith) Dee on 16 August 1909 in Concord, Massachusetts. He entered Williams College in September 1927, graduating in 1931. In 1933, he married Ethel M. Lawrie; they had one son, Robert W. Dee, born May 1944. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy during World War II, working in the Bureau of Naval Personnel and the Army-Navy Petroleum Board.
Dee joined the Koppers Company in 1946, becoming Assistant Manager of the Central Staff Control Section in 1951, and Manager of the Section in 1954. In 1962, he was named Manager of the Administrative and Control Department of the International Division. Koppers operated numerous timber treatment facilities throughout the United States, and over the years Dee lived and worked in Chile, Brazil, and the Philippines.
Dee died 24 January 1995 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was survived by his son Robert, his second wife, Inez (Lynch) Dee, and his stepchildren, Carol Baringer, Edwin Hassenstein, and Kurt J. Hassenstein.