Imelda “Mille” Rose (Swint) Lee of Tiffin, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Easter morning, just days away from her 98th birthday. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 75 years, Louis “Louie” James Lee.
Millie was born on April 17, 1925 to Jacob and Estella (Schwartz) Swint. She was a student of St. Joseph School and St. Joseph Central Catholic High School (‘43), of Fremont, Ohio.
In high school she was a dedicated student and cheerleader. Upon graduating, she bravely pioneered a path to Ohio University where she pursued a college education. She had a penchant for numbers and the order of mathematics. So when she returned home to Fremont, she landed her first job as a bookkeeper at Colonial Savings Bank.
Millie and Louie were first introduced on a blind date. They enjoyed each other's company and talked late into the night in the kitchen, where Millie lived with her parents. A few weeks later, they serendipitously spotted each other at Meadowbrook Dance Hall. Millie was charmed by Louie’s saddle shoes and swagger. They eventually married Aug. 9, 1948 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Fremont, Ohio.
The couple adored each other, and went on to have four children: Jim (Sally) Lee of Tiffin, Ohio, John (Karen) Lee of Powell, Ohio, Joan (Jody) Heberling of Fremont, Ohio, and Julie (Howard) Teasley of Rochester, MI. Their family eventually grew to include 10 grandchildren, and 14 great-grandchildren. With actuarial precision, she cataloged the dates of all major life events and sacraments for every member of her family in the front pages of her Bible.
Also surviving is her sister, Rosella Copley of Pickerington, Ohio. She is preceded in death by her parents; brothers, Vincent Swint and Bernard Swint; and sisters, Mary Watts and Rita Link.
Millie was a dedicated wife and mother, who sought to raise kind, smart, hard-working children. She raised them a great deal on her own, while Louie was running their family business, Lee’s Floor Covering, in downtown Tiffin. When her children were older, she worked side-by-side with Louie, managing the bookkeeping. And, she generously volunteered her time in the community at Tiffin Mercy Hospital, Seneca County Meals on Wheels, St Joseph Catholic Church in Tiffin.
Later in life, Millie and Louie began to travel together around the world. They also developed a love of golf, and enjoyed visiting new courses with friends. At home, she was a spirited party host and entertainer, welcoming members of their church, bridge club, bowling league, neighbors and friends. Her social calendar was packed daily until well into her 90s.
She and Louie made family holiday gatherings memorable and full of ritual. They included celebrating Mass together, and big family dinners, which Millie gracefully orchestrated. On Christmas, the couple organized caroling excursions, visiting friends and neighbors at St. Francis Home. Under the tree, she routinely handed out envelopes of cash and bags of toothpaste, while Louie lobbed wheels of baby swiss cheese. They were practical gifts everyone loved.
However, Millie’s family will unanimously recount that her greatest gift was her joyful, optimistic spirit. She uplifted anyone in her presence. So, it’s particularly fitting that Millie’s passing came on Easter - the Catholic celebration of hope, life and new beginnings.
Friends and family are invited to celebrate Millie’s life and legacy.
A Funeral Mass will be at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 36 Melmore St, in Tiffin, with Rev. Anthony Coci officiating. A Rosary will be prayed 30 minutes prior to Mass. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.
Friends may visit with the family from 4-6:00 P.M. on Friday, April 21, 2023 at Hoffmann-Gottfried-Mack Funeral Home & Crematory, 236 S. Washington St., Tiffin, Ohio, (419) 447-2424.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Tiffin, or directly to the family for memorials of their choice.
Condolences may be sent and the guestbook signed at www.hgmackfuneralhome.com.
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