Mary Lee, 91, passed away Saturday, October 27, 2012. She was born February 28, 1921, in Salinas, the 5th of 11 children born to the Chin family.
Mary attended Salinas High School and then Hartnell College, where she met and later married Jimmy Lee. In the 50's, they managed Lee's Thrift Market, a "Mom & Pop" grocery store on Market Street. In 1962, they left the grocery business and opened the Rice Bowl, a Chinese restaurant in Valley Center. It was there that Mary was able to express, and became known for, her exceptional cooking skills. After running the Rice Bowl for more than 20 years, they sold the business. Mary then worked part time at the Della Rose salad shop. She enjoyed her work there very much, largely due to the strong friendships she built with her colleagues. Mary finally retired in 1999, 14 years later, at the age of 78.
Mary is survived by her children, Larry, Jim, and Leslie; grandchildren, Tina, Garrett, Greg, John, Christine, and Carl; great-grandchildren, Dylan, Daniel, Regan, Brennan, and Kieran; brothers, David, Henry, and Parker; sisters, Blanche, Martha, and Nancy.
Memorial service will be held Saturday, November 17, 2012 at 11:00 a.m., in the Struve and Laporte Chapel, 41 W. San Luis Street, Salinas, CA 93901.
Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home. Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com