Evelyn Lee(1922 - 2014)

Evelyn Marie Lee

Evelyn Marie Lee passed away peacefully on Monday, February 3, 2014 after a valiant struggle with Alzheimer's disease. Evelyn was born May 28, 1922 in McCook County, South Dakota to Adelaide (Reitz) and Clark Keefe. She was the oldest of three children. A sister, Harriet (Keefe) Park, preceded her in death and a brother, Gerald Keefe resides in Sioux Falls.

Evelyn attended country grade school and graduated from Salem High School in 1940. She then went on to business school in Mitchell, SD. Upon completion of her schooling she went to work for Lee Loan Company in Mitchell as the Office Manager.

In 1947, Evelyn married CM (Mike) Lee in Hamilton, Montana. They lived in Missoula for about a year before returning to Sioux Falls where Mike had one of their three loan offices. Evelyn and Mike had a lot of fun traveling throughout the U.S. and into Canada. They also enjoyed golfing, bowling and playing cards with their family and friends in Montana and SD. Sewing, crafting, crocheting and crossword puzzles were favorite hobbies for Evelyn also.

Evelyn and Mike had two daughters, Nancy Viano and Pat Clowney. Evelyn always treasured her visits with her six grandchildren - Jeff and James Viano and Frank, Caroline, Michael, and Annie Clowney. The grandchildren often greeted their Grandma at the door with a new puzzle as many happy hours were spent sitting at the table together and delighting in each piece to the puzzle they found. Grandma's Christmas cookies were always a favorite to make and to eat, too! It never was resolved whether the "trees or the wreaths" tasted better, though.

Many years were spent working as a bookkeeper and receptionist for Dr. Warren Opheim. In later years she worked part time in the office at Ted Tufty Dodge. She often commented about the fun she had at her jobs because of the wonderful people she worked with. Although unable to attend the last several years, Evelyn was a long time member of the First United Methodist Church in Sioux Falls.

Friends and family gathered for Evelyn's 90th birthday celebration in 2012. Although her expressions at the party were hard to read, after it was over she said, "We sure had fun!"

Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband Mike; her parents Adelaide and Clark Keefe; her sister Harriet (Keefe) Park and her brother-in-law, Harry Park. She is survived by her daughters, Nancy (Ron) Viano of Boise, ID and Pat (Chip) Clowney of San Diego, CA; her grandchildren, Jeff Viano and great-grandchildren Owen, Liam, Gavin, and Carys of Boise, ID, James (Heather) Viano and great-grandchildren Ryan and Alex of West Jordan, UT, Frank Clowney of Tempe, AZ, Caroline, Michael, and Annie Clowney of San Diego; her brother, Gerald (Linda) Keefe of Sioux Falls; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff at Good Samaritan Village in Sioux Falls and to the nurses with the Compassionate Care hospice program for their compassionate and loving care of our mother and grandmother. She was a steady rock and a loving force who taught us how to approach life with optimism and zest. While we grieve our loss, we rejoice that she is now with loved ones in Heaven.

Memorial services will be held Monday, July 7, 2014, at 11:00 am, Miller Funeral Home, 13th and Main, Sioux Falls, SD. Visitation will be for two hours prior to the Memorial Service. Condolences and remembrances can be posted at millerfh.com. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Evelyn's name to the Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy at 925 Busse Road, Elk Grove, IL 60007.



Published in The Argus Leader from July 3 to July 6, 2014