Saturday, December 20, 2014



Mrs. Marian Louise Woods Lee, 95, Ottawa, widow of the late Howard C. Lee, passed away Monday, June 16, 2014 at a skilled care facility in Baldwin City, Kansas.

A funeral is planned for 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 21, 2014, at Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, Ottawa, with The Rev. Larry Carrier officiating.  She is to be interred beside her husband in Highland Cemetery, Ottawa. Family members plan to receive guests 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2014, at the funeral home.

She was born Oct. l9, l918, in Terre Haute, Indiana, the eldest child of Le Roy and Hazel Murphy Woods.

Educated in the public schools of Terre Haute, she enrolled there for two years at the former teacher’s college now known as Indiana State University.

On July 9, 1939, she married Howard C. Lee, of Albia, IA, where their marriage thrived on his work as a letter carrier.

Late in the summer of 1944, they moved themselves and two sons to Pueblo, Colorado, the point of departure for the rail route to which he was assigned as a new U.S. Railway Postal Clerk. After he was reassigned to Kansas City, they relocated again, to Ottawa, Kansas, in early 1952. By then, the family had grown to include four sons and a daughter.

In the next three years, she bore another daughter and a son, the last two of her seven children. For nearly 60 more years, she lived to witness the arrival of 21 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren, all of whom survive and from whom she took immense satisfaction. In her last illness, she rejoiced to know that two of her grandsons’ wives are due this year to deliver two little girls to the lengthening roster of her great-grandchildren.

Throughout her adult life, and wherever she lived, she immersed herself in the religious life of various Protestant churches, including the Ottawa First Baptist Church where she taught Sunday School. Later she joined the Ottawa Bible Church and remained a member until her death. Before its dissolution, she was elected president of the Ottawa Christian Women’s Club. For several years, she volunteered at the Ottawa LifeCare Center, where she served the needs of young women who did not wish their children to suffer abortion.

When she was not absorbed in her children’s lives, she painted, sewed, read, wrote poetry, and played the piano.

As the last of her children matured, she worked at several part-time jobs. At the age of 61, she sailed through an instructional course for Certified Nurse Assistants. That training helped prepare her for the enormous and exhausting care she gave her husband in his last 15 years, as he suffered the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Three months after his death in 1997, her physicians discovered the coronary artery disease which for her last 17 years they managed to forestall with stents and other means. At length, she succumbed to the effects of a lymphatic cancer that suddenly and aggressively spread in her last weeks.

Survivors include five sons, David A. Lee, and his wife, Janice E. Lee, Ottawa, William E. Lee, and his wife, Janice A. Lee, Ottawa, Timothy H. Lee, Ottawa, John P. Lee, his wife, Jane Larson Lee, Kansas City, Missouri, and Richard A. Lee, Denver, Colorado; and two daughters, Mrs. Deborah L. Donaldson, and her husband, John R. Donaldson, Lawrence, Kansas, and Mrs. Rhoda A. Barker, Napa, California.

In addition to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she also left a brother, Howard A. Woods, and his wife, Norma Woods, Milton Florida; 15 nephews; and five nieces.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and a brother, Sgt. James E. Woods, a decorated combat veteran of World War II (his widow, Mrs. Evelyn Bridges, survives, in Cement City, Michigan).

The family suggests memorials to the Ottawa Bible Church, LifeCare Center or the Franklin County Cancer Foundation through the funeral home.

Condolences may be sent to the family through

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