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Josephine Elizabeth Morris Lee


1922 - 2019
Josephine Elizabeth Morris Lee Obituary
Josephine Elizabeth Morris Lee

Monticello - January 18, 1922 - July 18, 2019

Josephine Elizabeth Morris Lee, aged 97, passed away peacefully at her home on July 18, 2019. The elder daughter of Elizabeth Henry and Louis Gramling Morris, Jo was born in her grandparents' home on East High Street and was a lifelong resident of Monticello. As the elder of her girlhood "pack," she was the leader of many adventures and not a small amount of fun mischief - stories that her children and grandchildren loved hearing time and again.

Jo graduated from Monticello High School in 1939, having been voted the most popular girl in her senior class. She was known for her fun-loving spirit and great talent in dancing, especially the jitterbug! Jo met Thurman T. "Hank" Lee while a student at Florida State College for Women, and they married one year later, on January 22, 1941.

Jo was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Monticello, where she served as Elder and Deacon and was active in the Presbyterian Women's organization for many years. She was an avid bridge player and member of the Wednesday afternoon bridge club. A very devoted participant of the Founder Circle of the Monticello Garden Club and the Jefferson County Historical Association, she ran the Historical Association's White Elephant shop for many years, helping to preserve the community treasures that she greatly appreciated.

Jo enjoyed exploring antique shops throughout the southeast and loved fresh flowers and the many birds that frequented her bird feeders. She had an eye for arranging flowers wonderfully. Her sincere warmth, engaging smile and friendliness drew people to her. She loved her family, friends, church, and community with fervor and was fervently loved in return. Her family and friends fondly remember her inviting home that was filled with color and beauty, her sense of fashion, her melodious and contagious laughter, her fun spirit, and her famous iced tea! Jo embodied strength of character and was an eternal optimist, looking always for the good in both people and in the periodic challenges of life.

Jo is predeceased by her beloved husband of 65 years, Hank Lee. Her survivors include her children, Linda Lee Wheeler (Cary) of Monticello and Dr. Louis Lee (Barbara) of Thomasville, GA ; her grandchildren, Elizabeth Walker (Derek), Lee Wheeler (Becky) of Tallahassee, Robert Lee (Megan) of Denver, CO, Jo Walthall (Ryan) of Thomasville, GA, and Dr. William Lee of Chattanooga, TN. She delighted in seven great-grandchildren, ages eight months to 14 years. Also surviving her is her cherished sister, Marianne Miller of Monticello, nieces Joy Johnson (Dozier) and Elizabeth Smith (Mike), and nephews Gibby Miller (Maxie) and Morris Miller (Anita). Numerous friends amassed over nearly a century of generous loving and living hold special memories of Jo, as do the kind caretakers who tenderly cared for her in recent years. Those who loved Jo all feel a void in their lives now that she is gone, but their hearts remain full because of her love and spirit. They rejoice in the promise that they will be reunited with Jo again.

A celebration of Jo's life will be held Saturday, July 20th at 11:00 AM at the First Presbyterian Church of Monticello. She will be interred at Roseland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Monticello: 290 E Dogwood Street Monticello, FL 32344. Beggs Funeral Home, Monticello Chapel is handling the arrangements.
Published in Tallahassee Democrat on July 20, 2019
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