Date of Birth: March 29, 1932
Date of Death: August 11, 2019
Leila “Lee” Acree, born Leila Ruth Palmer grew up on a 6 acre lot in a house built by her father in Chili a suburb of Rochester, NY. Lee was surrounded by chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and pedigreed French Alpine goats raised by her father. She loved tending the gardens and the animals. She was an avid reader. These loves continued throughout her life. There is no doubt her heaven is full of animals and lilacs. Lee graduated from Madison High School in 1949 at the age of 17. Her family was featured in the Chili newspaper on July 23, 1949 which highlighted the talented Clark Palmer Family. They said she was a sports enthusiast, a member of the National Honor Society and a “sportswoman of merit particularly when it comes to tennis”. It was evident that Lee was a role model before joining the Air Force in May of 1952. Lee served as a Senior Weather Observer in the 9th Weather Group at Long Beach Municipal Airport in Long Beach, CA for two years. This is where she met Elwood “Woody” Acree, whom she married and had four children. She raised her children in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she continued her creative side sewing and crafting. She was divorced in 1978. Lee worked as a bookkeeper like her father and grandfather before her. Her grandfather was the first bookkeeper for George Eastman of Eastman/Kodak. Lee worked until the age of 84! Acreations was a small business she started which described her life. Lee was always creating. She created beaded jewelry and pictures sewing each bead individually to create beautiful designs. She entered many of her creations in the Arizona State Fair and won 7 ribbons, four of which were 1st Prize blue ribbons. She loved writing poetry, short stories and had a few poems published. Here is one: February in New England Tendrils of fog like the tail of a ghost Caressing the breast of Mother Earth its host Disappear in the warmest of the morning sun But return again when the day is done Lee loved to travel and learn. She traveled to Puerto Rico for a photography class and learned about geology at another destination in the states. She also taught classes on beading. Lee loved reading. She read hundreds of books and was fast! Lee loved her pets. She loved horses. She adopted every stray animal and human. She loved her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. And Lee loved her Diamondbacks! She made sure she watched every game, even to the end. This is just a small description of a full life lived. She was also human and got on our last nerve wanting always to do it “her way”! But she was our biggest fan and loved us all so much. She taught us by example. She was sharp as a tack to the very end and was witty, smart and had a great sense of humor. There is a great silence with her passing and as was printed next to her picture in her senior yearbook, “She’s liked by all and is she smart! She’ll always stay within our hearts.” Lee is survived by her children, Cathy Katz, Cindy Davis, John Acree (Gudi) and Julie Acree, her grandchildren, Trisha Davis, Bree Davis, Amber Rice (Kevin), Natalie Munck (Kyle) and Michelle Malvesti (Shane), Alisa Acree, Eric Acree and her great grandchildren, Alyssa, Anthony, Alex, Mason, Makenzie, Marrek, Maxton, Alexis, Kayla, Mylz, Cataleya & Giovana.
There will be a small family service on Saturday August 17th followed by internment in the Arizona National Cemetery on September 11, 2019 at 9am.
In remembrance of Lee, donations to the Arizona Humane Society or AAWL (Arizona Animal Welfare League) would honor her greatly.