Cover photo for Clarissa Abby Spear Lee's Obituary
1938 Clarissa 2024

Clarissa Abby Spear Lee

February 5, 1938 — June 2, 2024

Clarissa Abby Spear Lee

“And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”-Psalm 23:6b

Clarissa (Cris, Crissie) Abby Lee passed on June 2, 2024 into the arms of her Savior. Crissie is truly merry and fully herself in Jesus’ perfect presence. Crissie has gone home.

Clarissa Abby Spear was born on February 5, 1938 in Shawnee, OK to Chauncey (deceased 1974) and Gladys Spear (deceased 1983). She spent her childhood in West Liberty, IL. Married and divorced to Ron Lee; together they had three children: Lisa Bernhardt (Kevin), Rhonda Martinez (Elias), and Randall Lee (Virginia). Cris is survived by her much loved grandchildren and great-grand children. Crissie is also survived by her beloved sister, Emily Sue Fleming, niece, and great-nieces.

Education, Accomplishments and Employment:

  • Graduate of Newton Community High School, Newton, IL
  • Eastern Illinois University in Charleston with a Bachelor of Science in English
  • National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, DAR- Doctor Susan Anderson Chapter, Arvada, CO.
  •  National Society United States Daughters of 1812, Onondaga, NY
  • 50-Year member of Elect Lady Chapter Order of the Eastern Star of Illinois, Mattoon
  • Employed in the auto industry at Honda Windward in Kaneohe, HI
  • Active in the American Business Women’s Association, Honolulu, HI
  • Retired from Montgomery Ward, Westminster, CO


Cris was an independent woman, and private person who lived life on her own terms. It’s difficult to share 80 years of life in a few paragraphs, and so to give insight on her notable life we her family, want to share why we loved her.

· Sentimental, Passionate and Generous- Crissie saved and treasured every card received from her loved ones and friends. Mom was a lifelong and avid San Francisco 49ers fan, every year hoping for a Super Bowl win. For nearly 20 years she packed Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes, which she loved, and generously gave to many other charities.

· Compassionate- Mom loved animals, and she considered all our pets over the year’s part of “The Family”. However, her most cherished companion was Fluffy Puff, her 20-year old green-eyed, grey-striped kitty cat. They absolutely adored one another.

· Talents and Abilities- The most surprising was her ability to find Four-Leafed Clovers. She’d scoop one up nearly everywhere she went, truly dozens over the years. Mom liked to paint, water color mostly. Ask about her “Puddle People”. She learned to throw pottery and made many pieces our family now treasures. She was a flautist playing in marching bands, and had an eclectic love of music. Everything from Classical to Elvis, Show Tunes to Waylon & Willie. Crissie was also an avid reader who loved espionage and murder mysteries. Her books were precious to her, and she was never without one. Mom was known for her Green Thumb. Crissie always had a variety of plants in her apartment, each with its own story. For example, from a peach she ate, she buried the pit and grew a tree that bore fruit of its own. By far, her favorite plant was her 30-year old and 20-foot long Bamboo Tree affectionately named Carmen. Carmen traveled around her apartment as it continued to grow, and is still a member of our family.

· Nature Lover- Even in later years she could be seen out on long walks. She greatly enjoyed hot deserts, sunny beaches and walking in the rain, and fog. Mom could also be spotted driving her 1991 Honda Civic, just taking in the sights.

· Patriot of all things American- Her flag “The Stars and Stripes” always flew proudly at her home. She had a deep respect for “Old Glory” which hangs in the Smithsonian. Fourth of July Fireworks thrilled her, and she never missed celebrating Independence Day. In 2005, Mom marched with DAR family members and DAR sisters in the Washington D.C. Independence Day Parade, as part of a 60-foot American Flag.

· World Traveler- Her life was a series of journeys. Mom visited most of the Fifty United States and lived in dozens of them. She particularly loved White Sands, NM, San Francisco, CA, and Ka’a’awa, HI. Bravely she toured the Orient. Cris stood smiling on the Great Wall of China and saw places many people of that time would not consider visiting. She traveled the British Isles and found mystic Scotland haunting. France held a special place in her heart and was referred to as her favorite European country. Crissie swooned at the Eiffel Tower and always wanted to return to Paris.

· Archiver- Her worldwide travels led her to become a lifelong, detailed and dedicated archiver. Mom created hand-written albums for each of her numerous adventures. These albums were a source of great pride to our Mom. They are packed with photos, souvenirs, and interesting facts.

· Genealogist- Perhaps her largest undertaking was documenting our family history. Mom found great joy in creating these albums knowing that her family would always have her “labors of love” at our finger tips. Crissie was loved by “The Family” as she often called us and we will miss her. Mom was a quiet follower of Jesus, and worshiped Him at Arvada Covenant Church. She had several scripture verses underlined in her Bible, and this was one of her favorites.

“For with God nothing shall be impossible” -Luke 1:37

Please join Cris’s family for her “Celebration of Life”

August 24, 2024 at 10am

Kevin & Lisa Bernhardt’s home

7763 Brentwood Court, 

Arvada, CO 80005

 Mom’s favorite refreshments will be served immediately following this casual gathering in our backyard. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Clarissa Abby Spear Lee, please visit our flower store.


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