CARMEL – Lucille “Lucy” M. Lee, 93, died peacefully on April 18, 2016 at Putnam Hospital Center after a long, interesting life. She was born on August 15, 1922 in San Francisco to her parents Lewis Theilacker and Marie Jacinto Theilacker. The family, which included Lucy’s siblings William, Teresa and Grace, resided in Albany, Calif. Lucy graduated from Albany High School and then, hairdressing school. It was during elementary school that she met Robert “Bob” J. Lee and they later married on November 14, 1943. As his art career took off, they lived in numerous places including Long Beach, Calif., Reno, Nev., Chicago, New York City and finally Carmel, N.Y. where she resided for 59 years in the same home.
During her life, Lucy worked first as a beautician, then stayed home to raise her children, Stephanie Lee Harris and Robin Lee Michel. She started her second career as a receptionist at Heritage Hills of Westchester in Somers, N.Y., a job she loved and held for more than 20 years. The Lees were immersed in the art and jazz world, knowing many prominent artists and illustrators. They loved traveling throughout the world, entertaining and vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard Island. Lucy was known for being an excellent gourmet cook and hostess; her friends waited all year for her renowned Christmas party. She and her best friend, JoeAnn Whipple, met through volunteering at the Eagle Eye Thrift Shop, which benefited Putnam Hospital Center. Their 50-plus year friendship was filled with adventure, antiquing and travel, especially after Bob died in 1994. She was devoted to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Lucy was predeceased by her parents and siblings. She is survived by daughter, Dr. Stephanie Lee Harris and her husband Dr. Jonathan Harris of Coral Springs, Fla.; daughter, Robin Lee Michel of Plantsville, Conn.; former son-in-law, William C. Michel; grandchildren Daniel, Benamarie and Jacob Harris, Kimberlee, Drew and his wife Shannon, and David Michel; great-grandchildren, Christopher, Kamari, Kayla and Cameron; and numerous nieces and nephews. The family is extremely grateful to her dedicated and loving caregivers including Irene Esposito, whom she regarded as a third daughter, Jean Marie Holmes, Eve Hillyer and Linda Turtoro; they all made it possible for her to remain at the home she loved until the day she died. Also mourning her loss are her best friends: JoeAnn Whipple, Pat and Jim Nagle, and Donald Townsend.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 28 at the Whipple-Feeley Chapel at Putnam County Veterans Memorial Park, 201 Gypsy Trail Road in Carmel, from 2 to 4 p.m., with a remembrance celebration at 3 p.m. Her cremains will be placed at Martha’s Vineyard, the place she loved best.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts can be made to Putnam Hospital Center Foundation, 340 Stoneleigh Ave., Carmel, NY 10512 or the The American Kidney Fund, 11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852.
Cargain Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.