Doris “Dolly” M. (Warner) Lee, a long-time resident of Columbia Falls, Montana, died unexpectedly Monday the 13th of May at North Valley Hospital in Whitefish, Montana.
Born in 1930 in Manchester, MT. Dolly spent part of her growing up years in Auburn, Washington before moving to Columbia Falls with her parents and three older brothers. She graduated from Columbia Falls High school in 1949. While in high school, Dolly served as the newspaper and yearbook editor and was well known as a great dancer.
Dolly married George “Pat” Lee in 1952 at the Methodist Church in Columbia Falls. The newlyweds moved to Port Townsend, Washington where Pat finished out his tour of duty with the U.S. Army. In the years that followed, the couple lived in various parts of Washington and Montana, settling down for a time with their four daughters – Patricia, Vicki, Cheri and Kerri – in Bigfork, MT. While living in Bigfork, Dolly was the editor of the local paper. Dolly and Pat raised Hereford cattle and grew Christmas trees. Moving to Conrad, Montana in the early 1970s, Dolly worked as an office manager for a local accounting firm for many years. Eventually Dolly and Pat made their way back to home to Columbia Falls where they have lived since 1983.
For much of the time since returning to Columbia Falls, Dolly found her passion and pursued her creative ambitions. She took up oil painting. Her talent was rewarded with many sales of her beautiful work. Dolly took creative writing classes at Flathead Valley Community College and eventually had her poetry published. She received recognition from the International Society of Poets at an awards ceremony in Washington D. C. Not only did she paint and write, but Dolly loved playing the piano.
Dolly was a loyal patriot. She was instrumental in the fundraising to save “Old Main” at the Montana Veteran’s Home. She was an active supporter for the installation of the Veteran’s Memorial Wall at Marantette Park in Columbia Falls and proudly showed off the names of her brother, husband, grandson, and nephew on the wall.
Besides her civic and career successes, Dolly’s true spirit was in her unwavering Christianity. She was up every day at 3am to pray for family and friends. She believed all things are possible through Christ our Savior. She was faith in action every day of her life. Prior to her passing, Dolly was a regular attendee at Journey Church in Columbia Falls.
Dolly is survived by her husband, Pat; her daughters, Patricia Lee Jenkins (Michael) of Tacoma, WA, Vicki R. Lee of Columbia Falls, Cheri Lee Mamuzich (Michael) of Missoula, and Kerri Lee O’Farrell (Chuck) of Tacoma, WA; her grandchildren Chad (Sarah) Baumann, Travis (Annie) Baumann, Ricky McKnight, Daniel (Carmen) McKnight, Nicole Mamuzich, BriAnn Mamuzich Waddell, Jillian Mamuzich, Andrew O’Farrell, Heather O’Farrell and Sean O’Farrell; and her great-grandchildren Brylee Baumann, Aiden Baumann, Cortlyn Baumann, Jozlyn Baumann, Tannin Baumann, Jai Baumann, Malaysia Baumann, Anthony McKnight, Teah McKnight, Shia Crawford, Persia Crawford, and Michael Mamuzich.
Dolly was preceded in death by Ben and Leota Walton (parents), her brothers Parley, Benny and Bob Walton, and their wives, Bernie, Norma and Irma Walton.
Graveside services will be held at 2:30pm, Saturday, May 18, at Glacier Memorial Gardens in Kalispell, followed by a reception with family and friends at Journey Church, 5091 US-2, Columbia Falls, MT.
In lieu of flowers, her daughters request donations be made in the honor of Doris M. Lee to Montana Veteran’s Home Memorial Foundation.