ST. LOUIS, April 17, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Mary Ann Lee, noted philanthropist and wife of the late E. Desmond (Des) Lee, passed away today in her beloved hometown of St. Louis. She was 90.
"My mother had a tremendous impact on this community and set a wonderful example for us all. In addition to a very big heart, she had a great memory for names and faces that added to her natural grace and charm," said Lee's son, Andrew C. Taylor, executive chairman of Enterprise Holdings. "But my family and I will remember her most as a wonderfully devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was fondly known as 'Mimi' by her grandchildren and is remembered for picking them up at school, taking them to the zoo, going to their sporting events and brightening family vacations."
Born May 24, 1926, in St. Louis, Lee was one of two children born to Leonard and Mary MacCarthy. She grew up in Clayton and attended John Burroughs School and Clayton High School. In 1945, Lee married Jack C. Taylor, who 12 years later founded Executive Leasing, now Enterprise Holdings. Their marriage ended in 1977, but right up until Taylor's death in July 2016, the two shared a continuing devotion to their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She married Des Lee, co-founder of Lee-Rowan Manufacturing Co., in 1978, and went on to build a strong reputation for philanthropy and civic involvement. She served on the boards of John Burroughs School, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Springboard to Learning, the Sheldon Theatre and Forest Park Forever.
Together, the Lees made generous philanthropic gifts to a wide range of causes, gifting more than $70 million over the years. Beneficiaries of their generosity included the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, Herbert Hoover Boys & Girls Club, United Way of Greater St. Louis, Saint Louis Science Center, St. Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, University of Missouri–St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis, Webster University, Missouri Historical Society, The Magic House, Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis, St. Louis Art Museum and Ranken Technical College.
For her dedication to the St. Louis community, in 2003 Lee received the St. Louis Woman of Achievement for Philanthropy Award. She also received the Woman of the Year Award from Variety the Children's Charity of St. Louis, the Hiram W. Leffingwell Award from Forest Park Forever and, with her husband, the NAACP Humanitarian Award. Des Lee passed away in January 2010.
Mary Ann Lee is survived by her son, Andrew C. (Barbara) Taylor and her daughter, Jo Ann Taylor Kindle (Tom Caruso); her granddaughters Christine Taylor (Lee) Broughton, Patricia Taylor (Andy Magee), Alison Kindle (Kyle) Hogan and Carolyn Kindle (Adam) Betz, all of St. Louis, and Kelly Taylor of Delray, Fla.; and her great-granddaughters, Grace and Amelia Broughton and Kylie and Kenzie Hogan.
A memorial service will be held at 4:30 p.m. on April 19 at Ladue Chapel, 9450 Clayton Road, St. Louis, Mo. 63124. The family requests that memorial donations be made to Forest Park Forever, 5595 Grand Drive, St. Louis, MO 63112, or to John Burroughs School, 755 South Price Road, St. Louis, MO 63124.
To view a tribute to Mary Ann Lee's life and send a message of sympathy to her family, visit MaryAnnLeeRemembered.com.
SOURCE Enterprise Holdings