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Jay Right Lee was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Feb. 2, 1853, and had he lived until February 2, would have been 75 years of age. He was next to the youngest child in a family of five and the last to survive, his oldest brother, W. M. Lee who spent most of his life in this vicinity, having passed away two years ago.
Jay R. Lee crossed the plains with the family in the early sixties settling in Walla Walla, where he grew to manhood. He married Nancy Ann Pointer, Sept. 19, 1880, at Dayton, Wash. To this union were born 12 children of whom 10 are living.
Mr. Lee is survived by his wife, Mrs. J. R. Lee, and the 10 children, namely, Mrs. P. J. Neal, Port Orchard; Mrs. Thomas, Walla Walla; Mrs. Jake Shinkoskey, Stockton, Cal.; Mrs. Win Delano, Hooper; Mrs. Harold Thomas, Bremerton, Wash.; Mrs. Bert Vinson, Portland; Mrs. F. M. Day, Folsom, Cal.; J. M. Lee, Colfax; Clarence Lee, Plummer, Ida.; J. R. Lee Jr., Stockton and Willie Lee of Ellensburg, a son by a former marriage.
Mr. Lee was one of those sturdy pioneers whose strength and courage transformed the rough wild hills of Whitman county into one of the most fertile and productive regions of our land. When he settled at Lee’s siding in the 80s, there was a mass of rolling hills covered with bunch grass with hardly a fence in sight.
For 30 years he lived in this county and reared a large family. About 11 years ago he returned to Walla Walla where he lived until two years ago, when because of failing health he went to Stockton, Cal., to live with his daughter, Mrs. Jake Shinkoskey. Hereafter a brave fight to regain his health he passed away on December 26, 1927.
To his large family Mr. Lee was a faithful and kind father. His generosity was felt by many beyond the family circle. No one I n need was ever turned form his door. His long and useful life will live for many years in the memory of his many friends and associates and continue to be an influence in the life of the community in which he lived.
His passing was known and welcomed as relief from pain and release to the reward in which our Father bestows upon the lives of such men [December 26, 1927]. The funeral of Mr. Lee was held Saturday, December 31, at the Baptist Church, the Rev. Owen Day and the Rev. Dickson officiating. The pallbearers were six nephews, Harvey, Louie, Ray, Robert Lee, Charley Hart, and Oce Pointer. The honorary pallbearers were old pioneers, B. F. Sherfey, Alex and Henry Hickman, C. B. Swift, Budd Stipes and John Laird. [Jay died in San Joaquin Co., CA. He is buried with the rest of his family in the Colfax Cemetery, Whitman Co., WA.]
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman