Jill Wiley Lee
Jill Wiley Lee
  • February 25, 1927 - January 23, 2017
  • Carmel, California

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Jill Mitchell Wiley Lee passed from this life on January 23, 2017, just shy of her 90th birthday and with a bridge game planned for the next day.

A southern gal to the end, Jill's life was a rich tapestry of adventures and destinations. Born in Ohio in 1927, she recounts some of her more formative years in Sea Island, Georgia, with her mother Rose Mary Wiley, father Dwight Mitchell Wiley, and sister Patricia.

It was in Seattle, living with her "sisty" and her husband John, where she met Ed, a WWII veteran enrolled in the PhD program in Nuclear Physics at the University of Washington. John approved of her new suitor "Steady Eddie" and the four became fast lifelong friends. Jill and Ed were married on February 1, 1952. Their first, Patricia, was born in Seattle; Bryce, Mitch, and Jill in New Jersey while Ed was working at Bell Labs.

In 1959 Jill and Ed moved their whole family and their dog Mac to California in a DeSoto station wagon. They settled in Carmel Valley into a charming ranch house on the banks of the Carmel River where they spent the next thirteen years raising their children. Jill had so much fun as she taught them to read, love animals, swim, ride and play tennis. For years Jill volunteered her time at the Junior League working with disabled children and assisting with fundraising. She was a member of Colonial Dames, the Beach Club, and Casa Abrego, also forming lifelong friendships with many people through her and Ed's shared passion for Bridge. Jill was a voracious reader and inspired a profound love of reading and learning in her children. Harrison Memorial Library was one of her favorite places in Carmel and she checked out stacks of books each visit. Both Jill and Ed loved gardening and playing tennis, well into their 70s.

In 1973, with the kids growing up and out, Jill and Ed moved into Carmel, from a small beach cottage at the foot of 8th Avenue to Casa Laiola, before settling into their forever home on Casanova. They fell in love with the beautiful hand carved craftsmanship of the original builder and owner, Scottish craftsman John Macey. They spent the next 40 years there, enjoying the closer proximity to their friends, Carmel, and the beach.

Jill began her work as a Guide for the California Department of Parks and Recreation in 1975 where she was able to combine her love of California history, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Monterey Adobes with her love of learning details about each and every person she met. Though retired in 1988, Jill continued her passion for history and meeting people from all over the world.
Her love of travel, inspired by the adventures of her childhood, was fulfilled by many exciting trips with her family. Years before the internet and websites, Jill planned incredible itineraries for her family of six and had every last detail arranged in advance. Jill and Ed's favorite trips involved visiting their children and grandchildren and also their adventures in search of information about their genealogy.

Jill lived her life to the fullest and enriched the lives of all whom she touched through her generosity, warmth, kindness and gracious hospitality. Always young at heart, Jill had friends ranging in age of 21-100 and managed to stay connected through phone calls, cards, daily texts and Facebook.

Jill was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved husband, Edwin Lee after 56 years of marriage, and her sister Patricia Virden Holing. She is survived by four children, Patricia Lee Schminke (Robert), Bryce Lee (Barbara), Mitch Lee, and Jill Lee (Malcolm), grandchildren Bryce and Helen Lee, Dwight, Emily and Katherine Hobbs, great-grandchildren Gideon, Cassie and Daphne Lee, and John, Dwight and Emily Holing. Her first cousins, Closey Dickey, Terry Phillips, and Don Faulkner and their families, held a special place in Jill's heart throughout her life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Carmel Foundation, PO Box 1050, Carmel, CA 93921; Harrison Memorial Library, PO Box 800, Carmel, CA 93921; Marlborough School, 250 South Rossmore Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 25th at 3pm at Church in the Forest, 3152 Forest Lake Road, Pebble Beach, CA
Arrangements under the direction of The Paul Mortuary, Pacific Grove, CA.