Nelda "Lee Lair crossed somewhere over the rainbow at 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in the comfort of her apartment at Solterra Senior Living facility in Lakeside.
It was a blessing to have her daughter by her side as she took her last earthly breath.
In July 2017, Nelda, also known as Lee, moved from Sun City to Solterra in Lakeside. This allowed her to enjoy the golden years a little more and be near a family member. She loved it there, along with the friends and helpful staff she met who made her feel special and comfortable. She collected porcelain dolls, and each person in her circle of friends was given a cherished doll to remember her by.
She was born Nelda L. Bruton on July 8, 1929, in Poth, Texas (nearest to San Antonio). She resided there for eight years until moving with her parents and siblings to Avondale in 1937.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Horace Bruton and Elsie Jewel Walston-Bruton as well as siblings Homer Bruton, Roy Bruton, Elsie Bruton-Couch, Katherine Bruton-Godsey.
She attended Litchfield High School in Litchfield. Later in life, she attended Phoenix College. She was married to Army veteran Sgt. William Maxwell Lee after World War II in 1946-1970.
She is survived by their three loving children: James William Lee (Heather) of Long Beach, Calif., Stephen Charles Lee (Carol), of Federal Way, Wash., and Peach Elizabeth Lee, of Snowflake; grandchildren: Christopher Lee-Bauchman, of Eastvale, Calif., Mona Reese, of Hayward, Calif., Brian Lee, of Federal Way; step-grandchildren Nicholas and Katrina Woodall, of Long Beach; and great-grandchildren: Winnie Lee of Federal Way, and Maxwell Rudd, of Hayward.
She married Clifford Lair (deceased) in 1972-1978. She worked in the medical field the majority of her life as an office manager, medical billing technician (when Medicare was in its infancy) and professional caregiver until retirement at age 70.
Her special interests included being a master seamstress, and she continued taking classes in this craft. Sewing was her passion in life. She enjoyed playing piano and was a church pianist for several years. She was affiliated with the Assembly of God Church, including Faith Assembly in Phoenix.
Funeral service will be Friday, Sept. 8, at Solterra Senior Living at White Mountains, 5408 AZ Highway 260 (White Mountain Road), Lakeside. A viewing will be 1 p.m., with and services at 2 p.m.
Funeral service in Phoenix will be 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery, 2300 W. Van Buren St., Phoenix, where she will be interred into a crypt with her mother, Jewel Bruton. Maps available at the cemetery office.
Arrangements were handled by Owens Livingston Mortuary-Heritage Chapel in Snowflake, Arizona.
For those who have special memories and would like to send private condolences or sign our online guest book, visit http://www.owenslivingstonmortuary.
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Nelda Lee Lair - White Mountain Independent
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