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Obituary of Liwiya "Lee" Hall
Liwiya Leona “Lee” Hall was born on Thursday, October 11, 1928, in Port Huron, Michigan, the second child and only daughter of Ukrainian immigrants, Mary (Dobronia) Galat and Michael Galat, who had already had a son, Alexander (“Al”), two years earlier. Al and Lee were two peas in a pod, very devoted to one another into adulthood. Her unusually spelled first name was due to the physician getting it wrong on her birth certificate. She said he was much too old to deliver babies. Asked how she knew these details, Lee said, “Well, I was there!”
Lee was first raised on her father’s farm but, at age four, when her parents divorced, she spent time on the farm and with her mother in Detroit and later, Dearborn. Lee’s relationship with her mother was quite strained, but she adored and was devoted to her father. She told a story of feeling so close to him that, years after she was married, she bolted up in the middle of the night with a feeling of deep dread. Many miles away, she called him immediately, only to learn that her father’s barn had been struck by lightning and was burning with precious farm animals inside. Lee lost her father in the late 60’s and never failed to speak of him with devotion and pure love for the rest of her life. Within two years of losing her father, Lee’s cherished brother, Al, suddenly preceded her in death. She was in her late thirties, and she was never the same without these two beloved men at her side.
Lee married Neal Hall when they were 19- and 18-years old respectively. They divorced 25 years later. After a rough patch, they returned to being friends and Neal, who is age 94 and happily married to his second wife of nearly 50 years, still expresses deep kindness toward her. They had two daughters, Deborah, a nearly life-long resident of Phoenix; and Susan, who lives down the street from the home in which Lee last lived.
When Lee was a younger mom, it was important to her to have a nice home with a yard in a safe neighborhood. Her kitchen was stocked with good food and lunches for school were overpacked. Every meal served was a full meal, with no shortcuts. Lee was a wonderful cook and liked to surprise the doctor’s office and even the post office staff with homemade lunches on occasion. She was passionate about serving good food and she enjoyed hosting holidays at her home, which was always in pristine condition. Never a drinker, she had only her Crème de Menthe, Blackberry Brandy or (horrors) Mogan David to offer guests. She had an eye for antiques and filled her home with beautiful glassware, furniture and interesting collectibles that often had a great story behind them. In every room, there were many conversation pieces.
After a long hiatus, Lee joined the work force again in her 40’s and, among other honorable vocations, found success in the nursing home business and then the mortuary industry, both on the administrative side. She was dignified and sensitive to the families she served. Her understanding of the process of life into death was intelligent and admirable. She was an excellent employee, always punctual, professional and dedicated. Lee had a lovely figure and dressed to the nines with elegance and style. She made longtime friends wherever she worked. In fact, she made friends wherever she went while continuing lifelong relationships with many people scattered around the country and even a dear friend in Japan. Her acerbic sense of humor and interest in left-of-center topics attracted people and she was a devoted friend to those in her circle.
Redefining her life, at age 53, she left Michigan and, with friend, Rita, along for the ride, she moved with her dog, Sable, and her cat, Felicia, to Las Vegas. She settled in Henderson at first, then eventually moved into Vegas proper years later. Susan followed shortly after and then Lee's mom, Mary, moved there as well. Lee lived in Vegas until her move to Colorado to be closer to Susan, who had left Nevada several years earlier.
From Lee, daughter, Deborah, takes her diminutive size, fearless outlook, love of animals, work ethic, independence and pioneer spirit, among other good qualities. Never a sports fan, Lee suddenly loved to watch the Phoenix Suns because Deborah worked at the Suns Arena for years. Watching the games made Lee feel closer to her.
Susan follows in her mother’s footsteps with her independence, passion for animals, love of writing, old movies, garage sale-ing, antiquing and the color purple, both their favorite. Living on the same street gave Lee and Susan ample time to enjoy each other’s company for the last 14 years.
Lee leaves behind her former husband and father of her children, Neal (Dolores); her daughters, Deborah and Susan (Tim); her niece, Yvonne (Vern); her sister-in-law, Marsha; her cousins, Betty, Mark, Marcus, Jackie and Eleanor; many other aunts, uncles and cousins, in the Ukraine, Canada and Australia. Those she loved preceding her in death are her father, mother, brother and nephew, Paul, as well as her beloved father-in-law, Arlo, and brother-in-law, Bill and sister-in-law, Mary Linda.
Lee’s unusual personality and zest for life will always be remembered. Before slipping away, she still made us laugh (and cry) with her funny quips, one-liners and her inimitable sassiness. Good or bad, she was a mighty force in a tiny package. Hers was a life well lived. Our prayer is that she is with her father, brother, nephew, best friends, Rita, Jane and Ingrid, and in-laws, Arlo, Bill and Mary Linda. Until we meet again, rest in peace, Lee, my beloved mother.
A Memorial Tree was planted for Liwiya "Lee"
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Vessey Funeral Service - Fort Collins