Donna Dahl Lee
Donna Dahl Lee passed away peacefully on May 28, 2019. Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. with a 12:00 noon service on Friday at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home, 205 Bay Street, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Interment will be at Leeville Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery following the service.
Donna Lee was born in The Dalles, on the Columbia River in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon on February 18, 1933 to Alice and Harry Dahl. Through her mother’s side, she was a member of the Coeur D’Alene Indian Nation of Idaho. She was baptized in the Lutheran church. As a child, she moved frequently. Her father was a highway engineer for the State of Washington and her mother was a homemaker. Donna had one older brother, Donald. All have preceded her in death.
At Castle Rock High School, Washington State, she was a cheerleader and member of the tennis team. After graduating high school, she went to Phoenix, Arizona to St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing. During her time in Phoenix, she met and eloped with James (Ben) David Lee, Sr., an airman stationed at Luke, AFB. The Lee family was stationed at 10 different Air Force bases, and moved 18 different times from house to house. Donna’s intelligence, love, confidence, energy and organizational skills were instrumental in her husband’s rise to Senior Master Sergeant and in creating a stable home life.
Donna was an exceptional registered nurse, practicing at various military and civilian hospitals in the US and Europe. She mentored many nurses and cared for many, many patients during her long nursing career. After her husband retired in 1974, the family moved from Tucson, Arizona to live on a farm in Leeville, Mississippi, north of Petal.
After working at the old Methodist Hospital in Hattiesburg, Donna worked at Forrest General Hospital, where she retired from the surgery department. While retired, Donna enjoyed sewing, gardening, and RV traveling with Ben to visit friends and families in the southwestern and northwestern US. She came from a long line of exceptional pioneer and native women who loved the outdoors/woodcraft, and could fish, hunt, cook, can and preserve food, sew, crochet, and knit, and she taught these skills to her children and grandchildren. She had uncanny directional abilities, and never got lost in her life, despite the state or country, forest or city, to the surprise of Ben and children.
Her husband Ben passed on July 13, 2016. Donna and Ben raised 3 happy and successful children, Bonnie Lee Harbaugh, PhD, RN (John) and James David (David) Lee, Jr. (Beth), of Leeville, Mississippi, and Carol Lee Ekes Jordan (Nyles) of Yazoo City, Mississippi. She is survived by all of her children, and a beloved cousin, Kerma Russel Quoss of Carson, Washington. She is also survived by her much loved grandchildren: James Harbaugh, Justin Lee (Amanda), Dianne Harbaugh, Clint Lee (Hannah), and Katie Ekes, RN. She also leaves many beloved and supportive relatives behind with the last names of Dahl, Lee, Holliman, Jenkins, Lingle, Page, and Gannon, and others. Thank you to First Light Home Care of Petal, including Lindsey and Beth, for their care and support.
We will miss this exceptional, virtuous woman. We are fortunate to carry her memory forward as we get closer to meeting her and those who passed before us again, and join our creator in heaven.