Obituary of Joanne Lee
Joanne Louise (Ryder) Lee, a Medical Assistant for Medford Pediatrics, passed away on Monday morning, December 3, 2018. The beloved wife of Robert E. Lee for 33 years, she was 55 years old.
Joanne was born in Winchester and was raised and educated in Burlington graduating from Burlington High School in 1981. Joanne went on to further her education earning her Associates Degree from Middlesex Community College. She worked at Medford Pediatrics for over 27 years as a Medical Assistant and later worked in the billing department.
During high school Joanne worked at Sears. It was while working at Sears that she would meet her future husband Robert E. Lee. They married at St. Margaret’s Church in Burlington in 1985. Joanne and Bob lived in Burlington for a period of time before moving to Tewksbury in 2001.
Joanne and Bob had a wonderful 40 years together. They raised two beautiful children whom they were very proud of. Joanne was the ultimate mom. She was loving, caring and always there for Jessica and Steven. As a family they enjoyed camping throughout New England. After the children were grown Joanne and Bob would continue to take camping trips together and always loved going to the beach with Wells being her favorite.
Joanne always had an upbeat and positive personality. Even during her illness she would smile all the time and never let on to others what she was going through. She made an instant connection with everyone she met. Joanne’s greatest joy came this past September when she was able to see her daughter Jessica marry her husband Daniel. It was a wonderful and memorable day for the entire Lee family.
For the past 8 years Joanne’s family has participated in the Run / Walk to Break the Silence of Ovarian Cancer. They joined to help support Joanne and will continue the tradition in years to come. Joanne will be remembered for the many qualities that shaped her personality. She was an upbeat spirited woman who had great love for her family. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
Joanne was the beloved wife of Robert E. Lee. Joanne was the loving & proud mother of Jessica Wiroll & her husband Daniel of Andover and Steven Lee of Tewksbury & his girlfriend Breanna Kelleher. Daughter of the late Kenneth & Marilyn Ryder. Sister of Susan Gonsalves of Burlington, Elizabeth Gregorio of North Reading, Nancy Tannatt of Woburn and Kenneth Ryder, Jr. of Tewksbury. Daughter-in-law of Robert & Carol Lee of Burlington. Joanne is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Funeral from the Edward V Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., BURLINGTON (Exit 34 off Rt., 128/95 Woburn side) on Thursday, Dec. 6 at 9 a.m. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial in St. Malachy Church, 99 Bedford St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Burial to follow in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington. Visiting hours at the Funeral Home on Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials in Joanne’s name may be made to National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, 3800 Maple Ave., Suite 435, Dallas, TX 75219 www.ovarian.org
Run Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer®! 20th Annual 20th Annual
Run Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer®!
Run Walk to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer®!
Family Remembrance by Chris Lee
I’d like to share a few thoughts from Joanne’s family, Rob, Jessica and Steven. We all know who Joanne was as a person. As a wife she served as the rock, part of the unbreakable foundation for her 33 year marriage with Rob. As a mom, she was unconditionally supportive, nurturing and loving, every day, in every way and in every situation for Jess and Steven. As a sister, which I consider her to me, she provided the calm caring that we all need to lean on sometimes in navigating life. As a friend, she was fun loving, never held a grudge and always brought her signature, contagious smile. In every respect, she was endlessly positive in a way that brings up everyone she surrounded herself with. I think it’s safe to say that Joanne’s proudest accomplishment in life is her family. We all know that creating a happy, productive and loving family is no small task when done well. Her pride in her family is well deserved and is clear to anyone who knows them well. She endlessly hammered in the highest value of respect and love, for each other as well as for others. And she clearly was successful imparting this to her kids and to Rob. Joanne’s approach to life is well represented in a message she brought home and hung on her fridge 8 years ago, early on in her recent health challenges. What Cancer cannot take from you It cannot take away your faith, shatter your hope, or lessen your love. It cannot destroy true friendship, invade the soul, or take away eternal life. It cannot conquer your spirit. At the beginning, it seemed that this was just inspiration for Joanne as she approached a new process. In the end, it’s clear that it resonated with her because she could very well have written it herself. This is her to a tee, and is the very message she has been teaching all of us who have been lucky enough to spend time with her. Joanne didn’t struggle with cancer, she didn’t see herself as a cancer victim; instead she accepted the challenge, formed her battle plan and fought with her all her strength and optimism, holding strong for over 8 years. She never let go of the positive outlook and remained the role model for how to be the champion for everything that is important to her. At many levels, Joanne was in full control of the process. She ensured that she was here for her daughter’s wedding, saw to it that her family was as prepared as she knew how, and that she was able to see and laugh with as many loved ones as possible over the past few weeks. She managed the battle but never strayed from being the wife, mother, sister and friend that we know and love. The last few days have been a reminder to us of how many people she touched, leaving that smile and positive attitude with us all. She is proof that beauty in a soul and sprit inspires and propagates beauty in others as well. So, as a wish from her family, please always use Joanne’s memory as a source of positive thoughts and positive energy, and remember the strength it gave her, and the strength that she gives us all by being such a powerful role model. I think she would be proud of that as well.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050