Daisy Lee was born Barbara Winifred Norris on June 3, 1920 in Enniskillen Townland, Ardtrea, County Tyrone, Ireland (later Northern Ireland). The nurse who attended her birth said “Isn’t she just like a little daisy!” and the nickname stayed with her for the next 101 years. When she was a toddler her family immigrated to Canada, first to Calgary and then to South Slocan, BC. She loved living there and attended the little school until she was ten, when the family moved to Nelson.
As a child listening to Fritz Kreisler records she was inspired to learn to play the violin and like many young people in Nelson at the time, greatly benefited from the tutelage of Gladys Webb Foster, a gifted music teacher. Growing up during the Depression, Daisy was an excellent student and enjoyed movies and concerts at the Capitol Theatre (she remembered the excitement when the first “talkie” came to town), skating on Kootenay Lake and the opening of the Civic Centre in 1935. In 1938 the Nelson Youth Orchestra got to perform at the Provincial Music Festival in Vancouver (they won!) and the 24-hour train ride there and back provided a great adventure for the students. Daisy won the provincial title for string players under age 19 at the same event. She graduated from Nelson High School that year and saw many of her schoolmates go off to fight in WW II.
After school she moved to Vancouver for a time where she pursued further musical education and worked at Western Music where she made many life-long friends. In 1945 she married Gerald Lee and the following year they moved to Nelson, eventually settling at Six Mile on Nelson’s North Shore where they raised their three children.
As well as obtaining her LRSM in violin, Daisy also played piano and went on to teach both for many years. Always a fierce supporter of the arts, Daisy was a member of the handful of individuals who founded the Nelson Overture Concerts Society in 1955.
Known for her wit and prodigious memory, Daisy loved to travel, particularly to Ireland where she nurtured connections with family and friends. She loved swimming in Kootenay Lake and did so for more than 90 consecutive years. Daisy adored cats and provided an excellent home for many over the years.
She was pleased to be one of the inaugural tenants at Lakeview Village in Nelson and enjoyed her time there before declining health precipitated a move to Jubilee Manor in 2019. The family wishes to acknowledge the excellent care provided to her by the staff at Jubilee.
She was predeceased by her parents Frederick Joseph and Jane Norris, her infant brother Stuart Norris, her sister Beth Alexander and her husband Gerry Lee. She is survived by her daughters Linda Crosfield (Ted), Shelley Lee (Mike) and Sharon Lee, her grandson Jesse Lee (Cheralynne) and her great-grandson Kyran Kennedy. She will especially be missed by her nephew, Fred Alexander. Because of current Covid restrictions, a family-only service will be held at Nelson United Church.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Nelson Overture Concerts Society (c/o 523 Lakeview Crescent, Nelson, BC V1L 3E6) or your own favourite charity.