Patricia F. Lee was born on December 30th, 1931 in Covington, Kentucky to Charles and Mary Ryan. She passed away at 91 years old on August 6th, 2023, in Wheat Ridge, Colorado after battling an illness that eventually caused internal organ failure.
Patricia married William E. Lee in the Cincinnati, Ohio on December 5th, 1953. They were happily married until William's passing in 2002. They began building their family in Ohio, then Kentucky, and then settled in Colorado where they finished raising their 6 children who went on to create beautiful families of their own.
Patricia raised her children in the Welby area while her husband was an over the road 90% of the time driving semi-truck for many years supporting the family financially. She didn’t learn to drive until she was 36 years old. While raising her kids she worked in the school cafeteria in her neighborhood schools and also became active in the Assumption Catholic Church where she was instrumental in building the church to what it is today with planning/working on various events and teaching bible studies and catechism to the youngest parishioners. The church was so impressed with Pat that they convinced the Archdiocese to help fund her college education to become a Paraprofessional Teacher. During her college years she would do home visits teaching preschool children in the Adams County, and then started teaching preschool at Central Elementary and Alsup Elementary in Commerce City. She retired from teaching when she was 67.
During her retirement she bonded with her widowed brother-in-law, Tom Lee and became great friends which sparked a new love for life, they hung out together weekly and took road trips back home or just discovered new places together. They were instrumental in keeping the Lee family together for the past several years.
Pat spent many years perfecting her talent for crocheting and taught it to many others. She made all her children and grands a blanket over the years (even dogs and cats) and enjoyed making each of the grand girls a special barbie doll. She enjoyed watching sci-fi movies, reading, doing crossword/word find puzzles, and spending time with family was her most favorite activity and she always brought her Watergate salad to gatherings. After her arthritis in her hands got worse, she enjoyed coloring in coloring books by herself or with her great grandson for the past couple of few years.
Pat was the sweetest person in the world and will be missed dearly by her family and anyone who knew here. She was a beautiful woman with the biggest heart, definitely one-of-a-kind and we were truly blessed to have her in our lives. She taught all of us many lessons; to love each other unconditionally, to be forgiving of those who cause us heartache, to be loyal to family and to be a great friend to neighbors in our community and church, to step up and help out whenever we can, to be thankful for everyday as it’s a blessing, and look for and find the beauty in every day.
For the past couple of months, she battled a sickness that wasn’t diagnosed effectively but she was so thankful for the help she got at the hospitals and rehab center and voiced it often. Almost everyday when the nurses would come in to introduce themselves she would reach out, place both her hands on their cheeks, and thank them for helping her. Occasionally she would even tell them she loved them, and they would fall in love with her the way we all have. Some even asked if they could adopt her as their own Grandma and she would always say “Sure.”
Patricia is preceded in death by her parents, Charles and Mary Ryan, by her husband of 49 years, William, and by her eldest son, Bill in 2019. She is survived by her children and their families: Mary Lee with 3 children, 8 grandchildren, and 1 great grandchild; Connie Montoya and her husband, Ben, with three children and two grandchildren; John Lee and his wife, Patty, with three children, fifteen grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren; Michael Lee and his wife, Dawn Watters, with four children and six grandchildren; and Joseph Lee. She is also survived by her extended family (nieces, Mary Yockey and Margaret Lee, and nephews, Tom Lee and Bob Lee and their families) and many friends from the community where she lived and co-workers she worked with over the years.
Funeral services will take place Wednesday, August 16th at Assumption Catholic Church (2361 E 78th Ave, Denver CO) with viewing at 12:30 a.m. and Mass at 1 p.m. Reception for all who loved Pat will be at Horan and McConaty (9998 Grant St, Thornton, CO) at 2:30 p.m. After cremation the Internment will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery (Denver CO) on 23 August at 10 a.m. where she will be placed with her beloved husband Bill.