Mary E. Lee obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Mary E. Lee

July 23, 1922 - November 14, 2012

Obituary


Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Ullrich Lee was born in San Antonio, FL to Catholic German Immigrands, Max Ullrich an Barbara Hoffman Ullrich. Betty was the youngest of eight, having four older brothers; Bill, Franz, Felix and Peter and three older sisters; Monica, Rose and Toni. Her father was the village blacksmith that constructed the rails for Holy Name Academy, her future hight school. Her childhood memories included rowing the boat for her Dad and Mom when they went out fishing on Lake Jovita and helping her Dad clean the fish and turtles they caught. Later she...

Mary Elizabeth "Betty" Ullrich Lee was born in San Antonio, FL to Catholic German Immigrands, Max Ullrich an Barbara Hoffman Ullrich. Betty was the youngest of eight, having four older brothers; Bill, Franz, Felix and Peter and three older sisters; Monica, Rose and Toni. Her father was the village blacksmith that constructed the rails for Holy Name Academy, her future hight school. Her childhood memories included rowing the boat for her Dad and Mom when they went out fishing on Lake Jovita and helping her Dad clean the fish and turtles they caught. Later she made the mistake of letting her husband, Ralph J. Lee, know that she knew how to clean fish! She was seven years old when her mother died. Soon after, her father returned to Germany "on business" and returned with her step-mother, mina. Betty stayed at Holy Name Academy with the Benedicine Sisters, across the street from the Ullrich home, while her Dad went back to Germany. She attended St. Anthony's Church and school as a child and graduated form Holy Name Academy in 1940, being the only one of her siblings to go on to higher education. When Betty was 13 years old, she, her Pop, and brother Pete took a touring car trip to PA for her brother Felix's wedding. On the way, they hit a chicken in the road. Her Pop didn't believe in wasting food, so they stopped at a Tourist Court to cook the chicken.The Tourist Court had little wooden cabins with beds, stoves and outhouses that were shared with the other cabins. During that same trip, they also visited NJ to view the Hindenburg. After High school graduation she went on to graduate from nursing school at Holy Name of Jesus Hospital in Gadsden, AL in 1943 and then joined the US Army of satisfy her desire to travel. After Basic Training at Camp Rucker in Alabama, her first tour of duty was at Camp Blanding in Starke, FL, where she served as a general staff nurse and then as an Obstretrics nurse. Eventually she boarded the USS Comfort in California and sailed to the Philippine Islands where they stayed for a month. They slept in chicken coops in the same area as POW soldiers, taking showers in roofless stalls (which the flyboys appreciated) and meeting Joe Hermann's brother Edward, and his brother-in-law Frank Mauck and other American friends halfway across the world in Philippines. Next stop was Moji, Japan (about two months after the detonation of the first atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan) at the 122nd station hospital which was converted from a Japanese Business Building. The highlight of her duty in Japan was that she met Ralph Lee, the man she would later marry. Ralph had grown up in Dade City, FL and Betty in San Antonio, FL, but had not met until he was one of her patients in the hospoital where he suffered from sever pneumonia for three months. Betty remembered in Japan saying; "I met Ralph in bed and didn't see him with clothes on for three months". They remained friends in Japan, where upon his recovery, he became the mess sergeant for the hospital. Betty was an officer and Ralph was an enlisted man, so they would have clandestine meetings away from Army personnel, in the busy streets of Japan or at quiet hillside cemeteries. They soon found that they shared many common interests, including gardening and fell hopelessly in love and began to plan their future in Florida for after the Army. After finishing her tour of duty in Japan, she boarded the USS General John Pope. Upon arrival at Fort Lawson in Seattle, disembarking from the ship was halted when an outbreak of typhus as reported. After three days of quarantine, on and off the ship, the quarantine ended. She received an honorable discharge on May 10, 1946 She moved to Bartow, FL to work and wait for Ralph Lee's return from the Army. When he returned to the US, he called her up and they had a whirlwind romance and one day when she got off work, he came by and said; "Get the day off tomorrow". So on July 29, 1946, she quietly married Ralph, and her parents, living in San Antonio, found out she was married in a wedding announcement in the paper. After they married, Ralph and Betty moved to Dade City and lived and worked in town. She worked as a nurse for Dr. Wardlaw Jones, and helped Ralph, who worked as a cook at a diner and owned his own Cab Service, and served as Constable for Dade City from 1948-1951. Her first child, Randolph Max Lee was born during a hurricane in 1949, during the days before they began to name hurricanes. After Randy was born, Betty went to work for Dr. Stanfield for the next 15 years. In may 1961, her second son, Ernest Franklin Lee was born. In the mid 1960's Ralph was employed by Florida Power at the Crystal River Nuclear Plant, so they moved to Homosassa. After the death of her husband, Betty traveled quite a bit and enjoyed family gatherings, especially at the home of Paul and Wanda Hermann for several annual events. Betty was predeceased by all her siblings and is survived by Randy (Beverly Adams) Lee and their daughter Michelle Lee (John) Zuidema and their daughter Cloe; Ernie (Cindy Wood) Lee and their children Melanie, Elena and Ian. She is also survived by all nine Herrmann nieces and nephews and their offspring, most of whom live in and around San Antonio, FL, and many Ullrich nieces and nephews and their offspring, in and out of the state of Florida. Betty entered into her Eternal Reward on November 14, 2012. A funeral service will be held at Wilder Funeral Home, Homosassa, FL at 2:30 pm on Sunday November 18, 2012. Family and friends will be received from 12:30 pm until the hour of service.