Shirley Lee, 80, passed away peacefully after a long illness in Spokane with her son Shane, at her bedside on July 19, 2018. Shane tenderly cared for her since the passing of her husband in 2015.
Shirley was born in Jackson, Wyoming to Jean and Elinor Wannschaff on December 26, 1937. She was described by classmates and later her employers (including her future mother-in-law) as the smartest, hardest working lady they knew. Following her graduation from Kellogg High School, she met the man who became the love of her life, Harold Neil Lee, when he returned from military service in Korea. They were married December 9, 1956 in Pinehurst, Idaho.
Shirley followed her husband’s law enforcement career throughout Idaho. She was skilled, organized and efficient. She worked in office management for several businesses including General Telephone Company in Coeur d’Alene before finally retiring from the Shoshone County Prosecutors office. Shirley was the boss wherever she went, officially or not.
Shirley loved her family, her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She liked to play cards and games of all kinds. She was an ardent fan of the Zags. Always expecting to win, she enjoyed games of chance. She loved rodeos, honky-tonks and dancing. She enjoyed horseback riding and floating the river especially with children and grandchildren at their home on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River in Pritchard.
Shirley was a great listener and always made time to visit with her children and grandchildren. She was funny, the life of the party with a sharp tongue and quick wit. She wrote big, talked loud, and laughed hard. She was protective of her family. Everyone felt a little safer with Gramma around.
Shirley is survived by daughter Michele Unsworth (James), son Shane Lee (Julie); grandchildren, Journee Davis (Micah), Lucas Ziegler, (Arta) Brianna Wilkening (TR), Jessica Draper (Barron), Sage Unsworth, Sophia Lee and eight great-grandchildren; her sister Karen Tomich (Lonny); brother-in-Law James Mook; sister-in-law Jeanie Wannschaff; and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 59 years, Harold Neil Lee; her son Monte Neil Lee; her mother Elinor Moore, father Jean Wannschaff; sister Katy Lea Mook; brother Orlen (Bud) Wannschaff.
A memorial celebration of her life will be held in September in Pritchard, Idaho.