Eunice Lee, 95Eunice Mitchell Lee, 95, died May 7, 2012 in Alexandria.
Eunice Mitchell Lee, 95, died May 7, 2012 in Alexandria.
Eunice was born to Louis and Ruth (Qualey) Lee of rural Aneta, North Dakota, on August 27, 1916, the oldest of the four Lee children. Her father died when Eunice was 5. Her youngest sister was born a week after her father’s funeral. Eunice, her three siblings, and her mother remained on the farm for one year, then moved into Aneta to live with the grandparents, Anfin and Serena Qualey.
In 1934 Eunice graduated with honors from Aneta High School. Because her mother had graduated from Valley City Normal School and had been a teacher for several years, Eunice, her two brothers, and a sister also attended Valley City Teachers College. Eunice graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary and secondary education. She taught in North Dakota, Minnesota, Alaska and Missouri. She took further work at Wheaton College and graduate work at Moorhead State College and Alaska University. While teaching in Minnesota she became a born again Christian.
She entered the WAVES, U.S. Navy in 1944 as a music specialist, working in the recreational area in band and small music ensemble. She liked to tell about the time her string ensemble played for a White House going-away banquet for Stephen Early, where she met President Harry Truman.
Her love of teaching led her back to her former teaching position at Tech High School in St. Cloud.
In 1947 Eunice went to Central Bible Institute in Springfield, Missouri as an English instructor. It was there that she met Gerald Stephen Lee of Audubon, MN. They were married on July 9, 1948 and returned to CBI, where Gerry finished his studies, graduating in 1950.
They began their pastoral ministry at the Assembly of God Church in Wadena. After seven years they entered Home Missions work in Alaska, with Eunice teaching and Gerry pastoring.
The trip up the then “Alcan Highway” pulling a 30-foot trailer was an experience of thrills and dangers. That year Eunice taught at Fort Richardson Army Base while Gerry assisted in establishing a pioneer church in Anchorage.
The next eight years they pastored and built a new church building in Homer, Alaska, and Eunice taught school to supplement the family income. Both daughters were born while they were in Homer. From there they moved to Wrangell Island, where again Gerry pastored and Eunice taught in the public school.
Returning to Minnesota in 1970, they pastored for four years in Lexington before moving to Alexandria in 1974 as caretakers of the Lake Geneva Christian Center. They retired in 1983 and moved to their home in Alexandria.
Her husband passed away in Alexandria on June 29, 1996. Since then Eunice has continued to live in Alexandria.
She is survived by her daughters, Lois Ruth Lee of Alexandria and Cheri Lee of Portland, Oregon; grandchildren, Jered Lee Sloss, Lindsey Ann Sloss, Kevin Lee Sloss Jr., and Joseph Gerald Sloss. Also surviving is her brother, Robert Hillesland of Owatonna and many nieces and nephews.
Eunice was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Gerald; stepfather, Andrew Hillesland; brothers, Luverne Lee and Russell Lee; and sister, Lois Lee Kolstoe.
Funeral services were held May 11 at Living Waters Assembly of God Church in Alexandria with the Rev. Sam McKay officiating. Music was provided by Mary Anderson, Karen Wibstad and Doug and Debbie Holmgren. Interment was at Oak Grove Cemetery in Detroit Lakes with Kevin Sloss Jr., Joseph Sloss, Kent Lee, Alan Hillesland, Robet Overmoe and Dale Wibstad serving as pallbearers.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.
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