Lee was born in Sioux City, Iowa. She was the first child of Ivyl and Helen Knapp who owned a large farm north of Sioux City. Next came her sister Ann, and a couple of years later a baby boy, Barry. Someone the big sisters could tease. Her first years of elementary school was a one room country school house with teachers that taught all eight grades. She was the only one in her class all seven years. (she skipped second grade), how smart! She graduated from East High School in Sioux City, her Mother’s school.
It was there she met future husband, Les Cornwell who was a student at Morningside College and also sang in the same church choir as she did. He asked her for a date and a year later on March 4th they were engaged. A year later on April 4, 1950, they were married! By that time Les was a music teacher in a small town East of Sioux City. Lee gave piano lessons every where Les taught, she even had a student go to the state music festival.
After 12 years Les changed careers and became a Prudential agent, a job he loved and did so well. They were able to go to many national conferences including Hawaii.
They were blessed with three children, David Leslie (Margie), Jeffrey Dean, and Kimberly Ann (John). They in turn gave Les and Lee four grandsons, Brendan, Alex, Ryan, Joshua, and two granddaughters, Kaitlyn and Jesa. The family moved to Colorado. Unfortunately they lost Jeff to a botched surgery, and years later his wife Lisa.
Lee lost Les on January 10, 2016. At that time Lee was still living in their home of 50 years in the foothills west of Fort Collins. Lee passed away May 13, 2021 and will be buried next to Les at their church’s columbarium. Memorial contributions may be made to Pathways Hospice, All Saint’s Episcopal Church, Loveland or a place of your choice.
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