Irene Nell (Albright) Lee

January 17, 1922 ~ December 12, 2021 (age 99)




Irene Nell Lee, 99, of Nampa, passed away peacefully at home December 12, 2021.  Irene was born January 17, 1922, in a little log cabin by the Missouri River near Pollock, South Dakota. The eldest of five children, her family lived in South Dakota including a Sioux Indian Reservation, Yates, Chamberlin, and the Black Hills.  At age13 her family moved to Wilsall, Montana, and then to Billings where Irene completed High School in 1941.  Irene attended Miltonvale Kansas College for one year before returning to Billings where she met and married the love of her life, William “Bill” H. Lee, on November 29, 1946.  They soon moved to Sidney, Montana, where Bill began his lifelong career with the Mountain Bell Telephone Company, and where all three of their children were born. In 1955 they were transferred to Glasgow, Montana, where they were active members of the Nazarene Church community and hosted many military families from the Glasgow Air Force Base for Sunday dinners. In 1969, they moved to Helena, Montana, where they remained for many years.

Irene was an active member of the Helena Church of the Nazarene where she taught Sunday School, served as church pianist, supported missionary efforts, sang in the choir, and led prayer and Bible studies.  Music was important to Irene’s family, both as a young girl and mother of musical children and grandchildren.  Irene never learned to read music, but she could play any church hymn by ear in nearly any key.  She enjoyed tending flowers, watching humming birds at feeders, baking and canning , and visiting her children and grandchildren who fished in Alaska, farmed in Idaho, and worked for the telephone company in Colorado. Irene would hike Mount Helena nearly every year with her children and grandchildren, even up into her eighties.

In 2018, shortly after her 96th birthday, Irene moved to Nampa, Idaho, to live with her daughter, Ali. She attended Deer Flat Free Methodist Church, and Irene joined the quilting club at First Church of the Nazarene where she stitched many quilts for mission projects and the Linus Club of Idaho.

Survivors include her daughter, Alice Tiegs; her son, David Lee and his wife Theresa, Highlands Ranch, CO.; six grandchildren, Patrick Robbins, Rhonda Tonole, Hollie Benton, Tammie Collom, Krista Goranson, and Derek Lee; twelve great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren.

Irene was preceded in death by her husband, William Lee; daughter, Betty Robbins; her parents, Esther Casey and John Albright; three brothers, Bill, Bob, and Cal Albright and one sister, Margie Fish.

A Graveside Service will be held at the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison in Helena, on Friday December 17 at 10:00 a.m. A memorial service will follow at Church of the Nazarene 117 Valley Drive, Helena, Montana and a Celebration of Life will be held on her birthdate, January 17, 2022, at the Deer Flat Free Methodist Church, 17703 Beet Road, Caldwell, 10:30 a.m.  Memorials may be sent to Runge Scholarship Memorial, Northwest Nazarene University, 623 S University Blvd, Nampa, ID 83686. 

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Graveside Service
December 17, 2021

10:00 AM
Montana State Veterans Cemetery - Fort Harrison
1900 Williams St.
Helena, MT 59602

Memorial Service
December 17, 2021

11:00 AM
Helena Nazarene Church
117 Valley Drive
Helena, MT 59601

Memorial Service
January 17, 2022

10:30 AM
Deer Flat Church
17703 Beet Road
Caldwell, Idaho 83607

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