Volga: May 1, 1925 - Feb. 19, 2024

Gladys Lee


Gladys Marie (Egertson) Lee, age 98, passed away on Feb. 19, 2024, in Brookings SD.
Funeral services will be held on Friday, March 1, at the First Lutheran Church in Volga, beginning at 10:30 a.m., with visitation preceding the service, beginning at 9am. Burial will immediately follow the service in First Lutheran Cemetery at Volga. There will be a time of fellowship and sharing of a meal at the church following the family’s return from the cemetery.
Gladys was born May 1, 1925, at Wallingford IA, to Edward and Bella (Johnson) Egertson. At the age of 3, she moved with her parents to a farm near Petersburg MN. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith, attended country school through the eighth grade, then attended high school in nearby Jackson MN, graduating in 1943.
After working as a bookkeeper at the Petersburg Creamery for two years, Gladys attended Waldorf Junior College in Forest City IA, graduating in 1948. Gladys was a soloist in the Waldorf Choir as a student and later a guest soloist as an alumnus. After graduating from Waldorf, Gladys worked as a secretary in the Lutheran Welfare Office in Mason City IA, for two years. She was united in marriage to Howard Lee on June 25, 1950 at the State Line Lutheran Church in Petersburg. They lived in Forest City for a year where Howard was teaching at Waldorf, then moved to Howard’s hometown of Volga SD, where she then lived for nearly 70 years until moving to StoneyBrook Assisted Living in 2019 and The Neighborhoods nursing home in 2023.
Gladys was a faithful and active member of the First Lutheran Church of Volga. She belonged to the Women of the ELCA and held several offices in that organization. Gladys had a passion for music. She sang in the choir and also served as an accompanist and director of that group over the years. She was called on often throughout her life to sing solos, duets with Howard, and in small groups. Gladys was also an organist for 25 years for worship services, weddings, and funerals.
Gladys was an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary since 1952 and held several offices in that organization. She was a long-time member of the Volga Lions Club and a member of the Women’s Century Club since 1970. She enjoyed being a reading buddy at Sioux Valley Elementary School and also a homework mentor in an after school program.
Along with associations with friends in her church and the community, Gladys enjoyed her large family. Family always looked forward to her roast beef dinners and ginger cookies. Her personal pastime activities included reading, walking, crocheting, and listening to Christian and classical music.
Preceding Gladys in death were her husband, Howard; parents, Edward and Bella Egertson; brothers, Vernon, Donald, and Kenneth; sisters, Betty, Arlene, and Carolyn.
Gladys is survived by her five children; Charles Lee of Volga SD; Kristin (Ron) Bortnem of Marshall MN; Curt Lee of Reno NV; Walter (Debra) Lee of Lake Elmo MN; Ronald (Lori) Lee of Crosslake MN, 11 grandchildren: Jennifer (Jason) White, Amy (Matt) Vermont, Jill (Matt) Gabbert, Ryan (Kelli) Bortnem, Kari (Mike) Behm, Taylor Lee, Jeffrey (Rachelle) Lee, Jaime (Dan) Collar, Justin Lee, Madeline Lee, Ethan Lee; 14 great grandchildren: Averie, Easton, Parker, Rylan, Nicholas, Seth, Kaia, Macee, Lyndy, Keyan, Ayden, Kallee, Ty, Jordan; and many nieces and nephews.