Carolynne June (Wiley) Lee slipped peacefully into God’s presence on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, at the age of 97 years young. Carolynne was born to Edgar Lee and Myrtle Corinne (Smylie) Wiley on December 3, 1921 in Cameron, Missouri. She was raised there and graduated from Cameron High School in 1939. It was during her senior year that a handsome young man returned home for college and spotted a beautiful cheerleader at a football game who was the younger sister of a friend. He pursued that young lady until she agreed to marry him. Carolynne married the love of her life, Eugene Bennett Lee, a month before Pearl Harbor, on November 2, 1941. The newlyweds lived in various places while Eugene was in the Navy for the duration of the war. After the war, while they lived in Kansas, a daughter named Martha Jane arrived in 1947. Three months later, they moved to Reedley, California, to join Eugene’s father in the electrical business. Eugene and Carolynne ran the Lee Electric Co together for 36 years until their retirement in 1983. During that time, they had a second daughter, Nancy Diane, in 1955 and son Bennett Wiley, in 1959.
Carolynne was a stay at home mom until she joined the business full-time as the secretary and bookkeeper in 1961. She was an expert at running their shop and selling electric supplies from their store while Eugene was on the job. Eugene and Carolynne worked very well together in their business and could be frequently be found eating lunch at one of the local coffee shops downtown.
Eugene and Carolynne loved to travel on their own as well as with groups. Their travels lead them all over the world from Hong Kong, to Rome, to South America, and Hawaii. Eugene passed away after 47 years of marriage in 1989 and Carolynne continued to travel, even traveling down the Amazon River three separate times. She became a tour guide for the Senior Citizens in Dinuba and entertained everyone on the long bus rides to their destinations. Carolynne never knew a stranger and made friends everywhere she went. She was always telling stories about her children to anyone who would listen; she was a proud mother. Always a happy person by nature, people enjoyed her company.
Carolynne placed her trust and faith in her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as a very young child and instructed her her children to follow in her footsteps. She was later a member of the First Baptist Church of Reedley. In her later years, she would mention that she wasn’t afraid of dying and was reay to go. We are sure there was a big, joyful reunion in heaven this past Tuesday evening as she was met by family and friends long departed from her life.
We would like to thank Sierra View Homes for the unconditional love you shared with our dear Mother, Carolynne Lee for the past 14 years. She always remarked that she was living at a resort. She truly loved everyone who took such incredible care of her in all stages of life.
Carolynne was predeceased by her parents and her husband of 47 years, Eugene. She leaves behind a daughter, Martha Lange (Jerry) of Clovis; daughter Nancy Goehring (Clark) of Shafter, CA; son, Bennett Lee (Jennie) of Fresno; seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren. A private celebration of her life will be held by
her children and their families.