Helen Cole Lee2

Helen Cole Lee

Helen Cole Lee was born to Marshall and Lillie Cole on June 5, 1915, in Anderson, South Carolina. She departed this life on May 23, 2016, in Baltimore, Maryland.

As the older sister of Virginia and John Edward Cole, Helen enjoyed a happy childhood in Anderson. At age 16, she put her age up to travel alone by train to Henryton Training School for Nursing in Carroll County, Maryland. There she completed her nursing training and met her future husband, C. Dudley Lee, M.D.

After marrying in 1935, Helen finished her secondary education at Strayer Normal School and started a family. Her two eldest children were in high school and the youngest was a toddler when she enrolled at Morgan State College. Remarkably, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology in less than 4 years and later earned a Master of Social Work degree at Howard University.

Helen’s distinguished career in social work included positions with the Baltimore City Departments of Social Services and Education, the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and the State of Maryland at the Rosewood Center. She retired in 1980 but continued to serve others through programs at All Saints Catholic Church, where she was a long-time member, and participation in numerous service and social organizations.

Helen was a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, honored to be a Golden and Life Member. She was initiated as an undergraduate at Morgan State College and remained active in the Epsilon Omega graduate chapter. She also was a member of the Philomathians and Northeasterners.

Helen’s favorite pastimes were reading, needlepoint, and traveling. She especially enjoyed trips to the Holy Land, Japan, and various islands.

In her 100 years on this earth, Helen touched many people and sought to make the world better in her quiet, gentle way. When asked the secret to her longevity, she cited the motto “To have good friends you must be a good friend.” She added, “I have been blessed to have many good friends and always try to be a good friend in return. So far, it’s working.”

Helen leaves to cherish her memory son C. Dudley Lee, Jr., M.D. and daughter-in-law, Maggie Lee of Poway, California; daughter Harriette Lee Bannister and son-in-law Jerome Bannister D.D.S. of San Diego, California; son-in-law James Johnson of Baltimore; grandchildren Charles D. Lee III, Christoffer Lee, Jenifer Bannister, Anthony Lee, Leah Johnson, Courtney Bannister, Jerome Bannister Jr, Devon S. Johnson,; great grandchildren, Charles D. Lee IV, Devon J. Johnson, Dylan Lee, Israel Lee, Syerra Tabaya; and a host of other relatives and friends. Preceding her in death were her husband, C. Dudley Lee, M.D., and daughter Helen Ruth Johnson.

Friends and family will remember Helen Lee at a memorial service at The New All Saints Church, 4408 Liberty Heights Avenue, Baltimore, MD, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Helen Lee End. Fund” (please include in check memo) through the MSU Foundation.

Mailing address for donations: Morgan State University Foundation, 1700 Cold Spring Lane, Development Office, Alumni 207 Baltimore, MD 21251 ATTN: Denise A. Smith