Lila Lee Davis

Date of Birth

March 6, 1926

Date of Death

November 20, 2014

Lila Lee Davis–known as Lee, Yi or Catherine, died Nov. 20, 2014 in Albuquerque, N.M. from complications of pneumonia. She was 88.

Lee, known for her acerbic wit and fiercely left-leaning political views, was an accomplished poet and hosted popular “Poetry Tuesday” groups in her Santa Barbara home for many years. In 1988, she published, “Shadows Left Behind Us.” She continued to produce and edit poetry until her final days. Her family is compiling a collection of her work for eventual publication.

Lee was born on March 6, 1926 in Craig, Colorado, the third of four daughters (Lois, Dorthy, Lila and Annabelle) of Ralph and Belle Davis. She grew up on the rugged homestead her parents ranched in Moffatt County. Lee grew up riding horses, roping cattle and building fences. She attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, to become a veterinarian. However, literature and poetry won her heart and she obtained her degree in English. She returned to Moffatt County where she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse, then worked as a tour guide at the newly opened United Nations in NYC, and performed as a singer and recreation director for servicemen stationed in Mets, France.

At 28 she married Harold Alan Snyder. They lived in the Azores, Morocco (where daughter Janine was born in 1955); France (where son Blaine was born in 1957); and England (where daughter Denise was born in 1962).

In 1965, the family settled in Santa Barbara, California. Lee and Alan divorced and Lee became sole provider for the family. In 1972, she completed a master’s in Library Science at the University of Washington, Seattle, where Lee and the three children lived for a year. She then served as a reference librarian at the Santa Barbara Public Library until retirement.

In 2012 she moved to New Mexico with her daughter Denise Lin and son-in-law, Michael Marcotte.

Lee is predeceased by her son, Blaine Snyder, who died Feb. 14,1994.

She is survived by daughters Janine Parakletos of Los Gatos, Calif. and Denise Lin of Albuquerque; grandsons Kian Kaul of Portland, Ore.; Tamon Ahmadian of Santa Barbara; Jeremy Lin of Capitola, Calif. and Derek Lin of Berkeley, Calif.

A private memorial service was held at her home in New Mexico. According to her wishes, her ashes will be returned to the site of the family homestead in Colorado.


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