Lee Cooprider Browne, 79, was born July 5, 1938, to Clyde and Martha Gushausky Cooprider in Zion, IL. She spent her youth in the cornfields of northern Illinois, twirling baton, playing piano, playing hockey and lifeguarding. She graduated from Rochelle Township High School in 1956. She attended Northern Illinois where she majored in English. In 1960, she ventured to Missoula to teach English at Hellgate High where she met and married Jack J. Stephens in 1962 and became mom to Dan and David Stephens.
After earning her master’s in English from Purdue University, she had her only child, Linlee Blake Nelson, in 1964. She taught for many years at St. George’s School in Spokane where she was known for her creativity in elementary education. Later divorced, she met Robert E. Browne at the Breadloaf Writers Conference in Vermont. They were married in the Orthodox Church in 1980 and stayed together until his death in 1998. She was mother again to Chris, Steve and Allison Browne. She studied the Slingerland program and used innovative methods to teach many children and adults with dyslexia to read, making life-long friends in her position as Title I Director for the Claremont, NH, School District.
In the penultimate chapter of her life, she married her high school sweetheart, Galer “Bo” Beed, and made many close and wonderful friends in Ellensburg, WA. She cared for her mother, Martha “Mousa” Cooprider until her death in 2006. Bo died in 2011, and Lee came to live with her family in Missoula for the final chapter of her life and they enjoyed her incredible intellect and wit for six wonderful years. She loved her Shakespeare group, book club, and especially enjoyed her MOLI classes.
She died peacefully in her home on Thursday, July 6, 2017, listening to her favorite Flannery O’Conner story, with her daughter and granddaughters by her side after a short battle with brain cancer.
She is survived by her daughter, Linlee Nelson, her granddaughters, Kailee and Kate Nelson, son-in-law, Lance Nelson, and many loving friends and family.
Gifts in lieu of flowers can be made in her name to the Annunciation Orthodox Church, 199 Sullivan St., Claremont, New Hampshire, 03743.
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