Lee Stone, a longtime resident of Santa Barbara passed away on November 5th, 2016 at the age of 67.
Lee was born in Town Creek, Alabama. However, over the course of her life she lived in many states. In 1966, after graduating from high school in Ridgecrest California, she attended the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls. While a student there she earned an AA degree, was inducted into Phi Beta Kapa and received honors in English. She then attended Abilene Christian College in Abilene Texas, where in 1968 she earned her B.A. in English Literature. While at A.C.C. she was a member of their “Big Purple” marching band, and again received honors in English as well as membership in Sigma Tau Delta, a nationwide English honors society. Always committed to expanding her knowledge and possibilities for career advancement, Lee went on to obtain a Master’s Degree in English from Idaho State University.
After college Lee returned to California where she worked at several jobs, most notably in sales and marketing for Cox Cable. Shortly after joining Cox in 1987, Lee was in an automobile accident that left her permanently wheelchair bound. This accident put an end to a highly athletic life of skiing, bodybuilding and jogging. Undaunted by her disabilities, she continued to work for Cox Cable for well over the next decade.
Her heroic adjustment to her injuries was emblematic of how Lee lived all facets of her life. She was a fervent defender of women’s rights with a passionate focus on women’s advancement in the workplace. She was active in the Santa Barbara Professional Women’s club, where in 1977 she earned the designation of Young Career Woman of the Year. That same year she was honored on a state level as well. Lee was happily surprised to learn that she had been awarded 3rd place as the California Federation of Business Professional Women’s, Young Career Woman of the Year.
Politically engaged as a fighter, she, in 1979, was elected to the board of directors of the Democratic Women of Santa Barbara. Lee was also a champion of animal rights and an outspoken supporter of Dawg and Peta. Lee found support for these convictions and deep spiritual comfort in the Unitarian Universalist Church of which she was a member and regular attendee.
As her health continued to decline her active participation in these organizations diminished as well. Her uncompromised view of the importance of fairness and compassion for all living creatures will remain an inspiration to all those who knew her.
Lee leaves behind several fine and loving friends; sisters Linda Hayhurst of Idaho, Margaret Hicks of Colorado, and brother Bob of California. She will be honored with a private celebration of life.