In Loving Memory
Mrs. Mable Caldwell Lee, 92, passed away on December 11, 2019 at her home in Kansas City, Kansas. A lifelong resident of Kansas City, Kansas, Mable was born March 4, 1927, to Estella Akins and Henry Caldwell. A devout Christian, she accepted Christ at the age of 15 at Strangers Rest Baptist Church. Mrs. Lee grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and graduated from Sumner High School in 1945. As a result of segregation, Mrs. Lee attended and graduated from the Sumner division of the Kansas City, Kansas Junior College in 1947. Thereafter, she moved to Pittsburg, Kansas to pursue a degree in education and received her Bachelor’s from Pittsburg State University’s Teacher’s College in 1949. Following the completion of her bachelor’s degree and beginning her career in teaching, Mrs. Lee earned a Master’s in Teaching from Kansas State University. Mrs. Lee became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and was also a lifetime member of the Vougettes Social Club of Kansas City, serving two terms as President.
Mable and Cecil married in 1948, and to that union were born two children, Brenda (Lee) Miller and Cecil A. Lee Jr. Mrs. Lee was a remarkable woman, wife, mother, educator, and leader. She began her career in education in Pittsburg, teaching there for two years. In 1951, she returned to Kansas City, Kansas where she taught for many years. During her teaching career, she was a leader in the region, serving as vice president and president of the Kansas Division of the National Education Association (KNEA). While president of KNEA, Mrs. Lee presided over the Kansas Teachers Convention in Topeka, KS and she visited many Kansas communities to disseminate information and solutions for the betterment of Kansas school districts. Mrs. Lee received many honors as a result of her dedication and commitment to improve the educational system. Such honors and awards include: Outstanding Teachers of America in 1972; Outstanding Teacher-Central Middle School; Outstanding Woman of Distinction - Friends of Yates; Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Outstanding Performance; Honor of Merit – Gov of Kansas in 1992; first place winner in vocational education by the superintendent of schools, Dr. O. L. Plucker; award for having loyally served our youth from the University of Kansas; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated Service Award; and Dedicated and Heartfelt Member of Strangers Rest Baptist Church for 70 plus years. Mrs. Lee retired from Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools in 1992, receiving a Presidential Letter of Appreciation. After enjoying retirement for a few years, Mrs. Lee discovered her passion for teaching and kids was still there and returned to the school district as a substitute teacher. Mrs. Lee taught for Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools for over 50 years. Some of the school’s Mrs. Lee taught at were Attucks, Chelsea and Dunbar South Elementary Schools, Northeast Junior High, Central Middle School, and was a substitute teacher at Washington, Wyandotte and Sumner High Schools, White Church and Welborn Elementary Schools.
In addition to her commitment to education, Mrs. Lee was also a civic leader, serving as a member of Chamber of Commerce in 1970 and worked in service organizations as well as advocating for political engagement, and many other honors, awards, positions and committees. Mrs. Lee was a dedicated faith leader at her church, Strangers Rest Baptist Church. There she served as the president of Church Beautiful, chair of Women’s Day and a member of the Trustee Board where she remains Trustee Emeritus.
Mrs. Lee was a loving wife to her beloved husband, Cecil A. Lee Sr. for nearly 48 years until his death in 1995. They raised two devoted children (Brenda and Cecil), and some of Mrs. Lee's greatest joys were her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Mrs. Lee enjoyed a rich life filled with family and friends, most importantly she loved the Lord and her church family. Mrs. Lee enjoyed traveling, and seeing her grandchildren and great grandchildren grow up, serving her community and church. Mrs. Lee had a gift, and did what the Lord assigned her, and that was to educate hundreds of children in the community. As Rev. Banks would say, “She taught some of everybody.” This is certainly true, as she taught just about every race and ethnicity in KCKS. She loved all her students, and they loved her.
Mrs. Lee is preceded in death by her husband, Cecil A. Lee Sr., her mother, Estella Clark, father, Henry Caldwell, brother, Delbert Caldwell, and sister, Jennifer Anderson. Mrs. Lee is survived by her daughter, Brenda Miller, son, Cecil A. Lee Jr., son-in-law, Kenneth Miller; grandchildren, Jacqueline Miller, Jerrihlyn McGee (Maurice), and Cecil A. Lee III; great grandchildren, Dustin Miller and Kyndall Miller, god daughters Diana Harris and Vienna Williams, of KCKS and KCMO, god son, Howard Miller (Inzia) of San Antonio, TX, and a host of relatives (Caldwell and Brewer) and friends. Mrs. Lee was the oldest living member of the Caldwell family.
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