Cover photo for Ellen H. Lee's Obituary
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1920 Ellen 2020

Ellen H. Lee

April 26, 1920 — February 14, 2020

Ellen Hayes Lee, 99, a longtime resident of Norwich, died peacefully on Valentine’s Day after a valiant struggle with a long illness. Born in Newport, Rhode Island, on April 26, 1920, Ellen was the second of five children of John F. Hayes, a professional golfer, and his wife, Anna O’Neill Hayes. As a child and teenager, Ellen enjoyed time spent on the golf course with her father, swimming and time at the beach, socializing, and was a keen horse rider. Ellen’s mother was the only one of seven sisters to have children. The Hayes children were surrounded by an abundance of love and affection.

Ellen graduated from Rogers High School, in Newport. As the eldest daughter, she was the first of three Hayes sisters to graduate from St. Elizabeth’s College, Convent Station, NJ. While there she accompanied a classmate for a weekend in Binghamton, NY. During that visit, she was introduced to Ed Lee, and “the rest was history.” Following graduation from college, Ellen worked at the State Capitol in Providence. On May 12, 1944, Ellen and Ed married in Greenwood, Mississippi, where Lieutenant Lee was stationed with the Army Air Corps. Following his discharge, Ed returned to complete law school in New York City prior to the young couple moving to Norwich where Ed joined the family law practice. During this time, Ellen stayed in Newport where their first child, Cynthia, was born in 1946. A son, Edward John “Johnny,” was born two years later but tragically died at three months of age. Subsequently, the couple were blessed with two more daughters, Virginia and Nancy.

Ellen was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She was a devout Catholic and an active member of St. Paul’s Church. She enjoyed socializing and relished her many wonderful friends. Ellen will be remembered for her quick wit and sense of humor. She enjoyed and was highly skilled at knitting, needlepoint and sewing. Ellen was an active member of the community in ways such as volunteering with the food pantry and more quietly through random acts of kindness. She cherished her time raising her three accomplished daughters and seeing their progress as individuals. She and Ed were proud and active grandparents.

A few years after Ed’s death, in 2008, Ellen moved to the Chenango Valley Home. Six years ago, she moved to the Residential Health Care Facility at the Chenango Memorial Hospital.

Ellen is survived by her three daughters, Cynthia Maynerd (Jack Brereton), of Newport, RI, Virginia Lee, of Norwich, and Nancy McGann (Tom), of Longmont, CO; five grandchildren, Katherine Maynerd Louis (Patrick), Lee Skillin (Mary), Cory Skillin (Heather), Andrew McGann (Katie), and Mollie McGann Carpenter (Sean); nine great-grandchildren; her sister, Mary Coogan; her sister-in-law, Marilyn Hayes; and several nieces and nephews. Ellen was predeceased by her husband of 64 years, Edward J. Lee; her son, Edward; granddaughter, Emily Maynerd; son-in-law, Ron Maynerd; her brothers, Patrick and John; and her sister, Anne O’Connell.

The family is grateful for the many years of care provided to Ellen by the staff at the Chenango Valley Home, Chenango Memorial Hospital, and Hospice and Palliative Care of Chenango County.

A public graveside service for Ellen will be held at 11:00 am on September 26, 2020, at St. Paul’s Cemetery. To ensure the safety of all in attendance, please observe appropriate social distancing and sanitary practices, including facial coverings.

Contributions in Ellen’s memory may be made to the Edward J. Lee Law Scholarship, c/o Greater Norwich Foundation, NBT Bank, 56 So. Broad St., Norwich, N.Y. 13815, Chenango Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, 179 North Broad Street, Norwich, NY 13815, or the Chenango Valley Home, 24 Canasawacta Street, Norwich, NY 13815.

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

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Saturday, September 26, 2020

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