Grace Mabel Wright Lee
1893 - 1966
Grace Lee, a pianist, spent most of her life assisting her husband, Clinton Lee, in his work as an evangelist, minister, and missionary worker and administrator in Korea. Throughout those years she taught piano lessons and English classes.
Grace was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the older of two daughters of John and Irene B. Ruefle Wright. When she was fifteen, she and her mother and grandmother joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church. After completing twelve grades and taking additional study in music, she was hired to teach music at Bethel Academy, later Wisconsin Academy, in 1914.
She married Clinton Wellington Lee, an evangelist in Michigan, in 1917 and they accepted an appointment to work in Arkansas. In 1920 they were invited to serve in Korea, where they worked for the next twenty years. During that time they had three sons, two of whom survived childhood. Most of those first years were spent in a country mission, where she raised her children alone since her husband was frequently traveling in his ministry.
In 1940 she returned to the U.S. while her husband went to the Philippines for a year. He was retained in the Philippines during World War II, and both of their sons were drafted to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Following the war they moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan, and then returned to Korea in the 1950s, where they served to 1957. During that time Grace continued to teach pianos lessons and English classes, as she had prior to 1940.
They retired to Berrien Springs, where he served as a teacher and administrator at Emmanuel Missionary College, now Andrews University. They were living in the Berrien Springs area when she died, at age 72.
Sources: Obituaries: Far Easter Division Outlook, September 1966, 7; Lake Union Herald, 28 June 1966, 15; and Review and Herald, 21 July 1966. Lake Union Herald, 28 October 1914, 1, and 8 November 1914, 3; 1910 and 1920 U.S. Federal Census Records; Doyle-Thompson Family Tree, ancestory.com; Michigan Death and Burial Index.