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Mary Lee (Knox) Nourse

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Nourse Mary Lee Nourse (nee Knox) of LaBelle, Florida and formerly of Columbus, Ohio, passed away peacefully at her home in Labelle, Florida on April 3, 2017. Born April 4, 1930 in Middletown, Ohio. A life-long Roman Catholic, Mary Lee's childhood was spent in Middletown where she attended primary and secondary school. From a very young age she had an affinity for dancing; receiving formal instruction in Ballroom and Contemporary Dance. Regularly participating and succeeding in local and regional dance competitions. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the College of Mount Saint Joseph, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1952. After graduation she moved to Columbus, Ohio and was employed as a Buyer for Lazarus Department Stores. It was there she met her husband, Thomas R. Nourse. The couple was married on May 18, 1953 in Middletown, Ohio. Mary Lee continued to work for Lazarus for several years. In 1964, as department head for the Toy Department, she delivered Lazarus's first ever million dollars in annual toy sales. She was the assistant store director for the then newly opened Lazarus Store at Westland Mall when she left the company to spend more time with her family. Mary Lee was deeply involved in the activities of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, Parish and School in Columbus, Ohio. She was instrumental in starting the Parish Bingo and the Country Fair, fundraisers still held today. Her fundraising expertise was also provided to St. Charles Preparatory School. She was President of the Lincoln Village Women's Club and The Lincoln Village Resident's Association. Mary Lee was active in the business and social leadership at Oakhurst Country Club and the West Franklin County Republican Club. Relocating to Labelle, Florida in 1992 after Tom's retirement, Mary Lee became active in the Aqua Isles community and later in the renovation and opening of the Port Labelle Golf Club & Hotel. When not working on her many interests, she enjoyed cruising throughout the Caribbean. She was preceded in death by her husband Thomas and her younger brothers Thomas Paul and Richard. She is survived by her children, Jeffrey (Jo Ann), Ruthie (Mark) and Robert (Kathryn); her grandchildren, Laura, Jennifer, James, Alexander and Elizabeth; and great grandchildren, Madalyn, Lillian and Charlotte: and many other family members and friends in Florida and Ohio. A Catholic Mass to celebrate Mary Lee Nourse's life and accomplishments will be held at 12 noon on Saturday, April 22 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church located at 434 Norton Road, Columbus, Ohio 43228.

Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Apr. 10 to Apr. 12, 2017
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