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Margaret Lee

1922 - 2020
Margaret Lee Obituary
Margaret Lee
Jan. 20, 1922 - March 3, 2020
Los Gatos
Margaret Lee, 98 years young, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, passed away peacefully at her home in Los Gatos surrounded by loved ones. Margaret was born into a California pioneer family, the great granddaughter of Dean Jewett Locke, MD, emigré via wagon train with the Boston-Newton Party in 1849. His homestead, Locke's Ford, is today Lockeford, CA. Her mother, Agnes Marie Stewart Locke, a nurse, married James Fernie, an engineer, of Scotland. As a child in Santa Cruz, Margaret was home-schooled until age eight. She entered public school in the fifth grade, two grades ahead of her peers and graduated from high school at fifteen. She worked summers on the Santa Cruz boardwalk and received her AA from Salinas Junior College, now Hartnell College, at eighteen. In college Margaret—a vivacious green-eyed raven-haired beauty—met John Ward Lee, a tall handsome gifted athlete from Gilroy. The couple married in March 1942. During World War II, they moved frequently as part of John's military service in the Army Air Force Training Command teaching pilots to fly. Margaret was fun-loving, articulate and engaging, well-read, well-traveled and admired for her stylish 'fashionista' dress and elegant home décor. After the war, the pair moved to Gilroy to raise their growing family. While caring for her four daughters, Margaret joined accounting firms in Gilroy and San Jose. Long after others retire, Margaret maintained her private accounting/tax preparation services until her 98th year. But motherhood was her primary focus, instilling in her girls the highest values of responsibility and integrity. Birthdays and holidays were always special events, celebrated with love and flair. Blessed with more energy than most, Margaret was also passionate about a variety of sports. In college she mastered equestrian jumping, clearing hurdles up to 4'9"—a metaphor for her love of life and pursuit of the next higher goal. After college, she enjoyed roaming the hills hunting wild game with John. She passed on her love of swimming, cycling and skiing to her daughters and enjoyed downhill skiing into her eighties. She enjoyed sailing in Hawaii, Maine and the Caribbean, white-water rafting in the Grand Canyon and New Zealand and loved being part of a weekend competitive sailing crew on the San Francisco Bay. In her extensive world travels, she was proud to have scaled the tops of volcanoes from Bali to Martinique, Hawaii to Pompeii. Gardening was another passion, her home always graced with beautiful flower arrangements. In her later years, after John's early death at 59, Richard Capparella, with his engaging personality, large loving family and Italian love of all things food, was a source of great joy to her and their large circle of friends.
Margaret is survived by her long-time companion Richard Capparella, sisters Agnes Norskog and Sandra Rabenstein; four daughters: Lynne Ehlers, Nicole (Kleinberg) Akerman, Stephanie (Maier) Lee, Laurie Lee and adopted daughter Marilyn Marx; five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren: Rebecca (Ehlers) Reategui (Ryan); Zachary Kleinberg (Zorenza & Yvette), Taylor Kleinberg (Jaime), Nicolas Maier (Max, Hugo & Zoe) and Max Maier. Margaret was loved by all. She will be deeply missed.
A Celebration of Margaret's remarkable life is in preparation. Donations in her memory may be made to Mills College or Vitas Hospice.

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Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times on Mar. 22, 2020
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