Nelda “Lee” Lair crossed somewhere over the rainbow at 2:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, in the comfort of her apartment at Solterra Senior Living facility in Lakeside. It was a blessing to have her daughter by her side as she took her last earthly breath.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, at Solterra Senior Living at White Mountains, 5408 Highway 260 (White Mountain Road) in Lakeside, preceded by a viewing at 1 p.m. Funeral services in Phoenix will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Greenwood Memory Lawn Cemetery, 2300 W. Van Buren St., where she will be interred into a crypt with her mother, Jewel Bruton. Maps will be available at the cemetery office.
In July 2017, Nelda, also known as Lee, moved from Sun City to Solterra in Lakeside, located in the White Mountains of northern Arizona. This allowed her to enjoy the golden years a little more and to be near a family member. She loved it there, along with the friends and helpful staff she met who made her feel special and comfortable. She collected porcelain dolls, and each person in her circle of friends was given a cherished doll to remember her by.
She was born Nelda L. Bruton on July 8, 1929, in Poth, Texas (nearest to San Antonio). She resided there for eight years until moving with her parents and siblings to Avondale in 1937. She is preceded in death by her parents, Horace Bruton and Elsie “Jewel” Walston-Bruton, as well as siblings Homer Bruton, Roy Bruton, Elsie Bruton-Couch and Katherine Bruton-Godsey.
She went to Litchfield High School. Later in life, she attended Phoenix College.
She was married to Army veteran Sgt. William Maxwell Lee after World War II, from 1946-70. She is survived by their three loving children, James William Lee and wife Heather of Long Beach, Calif., Stephen Charles Lee and wife Carol of Federal Way, Wash., and Peach Elizabeth Lee of Snowflake; grandchildren Christopher Lee-Bauchman of Eastvale, Calif., Mona Reese of Hayward, Calif., and Brian Lee of Federal Way; step-grandchildren Nicholas and Katrina Woodall of Long Beach; and great-grandchildren Winnie Lee of Federal Way and Maxwell Rudd of Hayward.
She was married to Clifford Lair, who is now deceased, from 1972-78.
She worked in the medical field the majority of her life as a medical office manager, medical billing technician (when Medicare was in its infancy) and professional caregiver until retirement at age 70.
Her special interests included being a master seamstress, and she continued taking classes in this craft. Sewing was her passion in life. She enjoyed playing the piano by ear and was a church pianist for several years. She was affiliated with the Assembly of God Church, including Faith Assembly in Phoenix.
Owens Livingston Mortuary-Heritage Chapel in Snowflake was in charge of the arrangements.