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Abigail Ruth "Abby" Lee
Birth: May 20, 1998
Anchorage Borough
Alaska, USA
Death: Jul. 11, 2009
Shelby County
Tennessee, USA

Abigail's smile still lifts my soul although my "Abby" has passed;
A precious smile; a lovely girl, whose legacy will last...
She saved a life when her's was lost-- giving until the end;
Abigail's smile, still warming the hearts of those who called her "friend."
Abigail loved the life she lived and conquered every fear;
Abigail prayed and laughed and cried
And shared her love sincere...
Abigail's smile, an angelic smile, smiling from Heaven above;
Abigail, Dear Abigail
Smile for Jesus, My Love.

-Robert Westberry



Abby Acres to honor memory of Abigail Lee
by Chris Wilson/Monroe Journal6 days ago | 46 views | 0 | 3 | |
BECKER Abigail Lee was a special child. It's not just her parents who think so. Friends and family alike remember the youngster as one of God's special angels who had a message of love and caring for all.

Abigail was only on this earth for 11 years. The daughter of David and Hope Lee of Becker, she died July 11 from a brief but lethal bout of spinal meningitis.

The Lees want to remember their daughter by establishing Abby Acres Christian Camp in her memory on a tract of their land on Old Hwy. 25 in Becker.

Abigail's mother, Hope, recalls a rough past year that included every parent's worst fear, the death of one of their children.

Until last July, Abigail was a healthy, happy, loving child. She loved life and is best remembered for her kind-heartedness and good manners ... and her warm smile. She liked church, choir, GAs, riding horses, doing crafts and being with her friends and family.

Tragedy strikes

Last April, the Lee family awoke about 3 a.m. to find that their 3,000-square-foot home in Becker was on fire. They all narrowly escaped the blaze and the home and nearly all of their belongings were a total loss. They even lost their pet dog and two cats in the fire.

Abigail's father, David Lee, is a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, serving as a flight instructor at Columbus Air Force Base. The Lee family which included Hope, David and their three children Mark, 19, Wade, 16, and Abigail, 11, moved to the air base and planned to rebuild their home in Becker. They still had their barn and horses there on their 20 acres.

But one Monday in July, Abigail had gone horseback riding with her brother and that evening she said she had a headache. Her mother gave her an Advil and water and kept an eye on her. It seemed like the typical minor childhood illness. But by Wednesday, Abigail had developed a fever and began vomiting so her mother took her to the doctor. He ran tests on her and found her white blood count to be elevated. But she did not have a sore neck that would have been typical of spinal meningitis. She was prescribed some medications and went home to recuperate.

By Friday morning Abigail was sicker and awoke at about 4 a.m. A couple hours later she was even sicker with fever and couldn't even talk with her family. "I guess she was having a seizure," her mother recalls. "Her eyes were twitching."

They rushed Abigail to the emergency room at the Columbus hospital and by that afternoon, hospital staff there had decided she needed to be airlifted to LeBonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis. Her condition deteriorated even more. The next day doctors were talking to the Lees about doing brain tests to determine whether Abigail was still alive.

The Lees soon learned that their daughter was not going to survive her illness. She was going to have to be removed from life support. While coming to these realizations, her mother recalled that about two weeks prior to Abigail's illness, they had been watching a television program together about organ donors and Abigail had told her mother that if she ever died she wanted to be an organ donor.

Because of her spinal meningitis infection, the only organs that were suitable for donation were her kidneys and liver.

"We said goodbye to her there in the hospital," Hope said. Ironically enough, at the same time as the Lees were saying their final farewells to their daughter, another Monroe County family was at the same hospital awaiting a liver transplant for their 14-year-old daughter who had been on the transplant list about nine months.

In talking to their own church family and pastor Terry Edwards from Center Hill Baptist Church in Hamilton, the Lees learned that their daughter's liver was being donated to Caitlin Goode who was their pastor's wife Pat's niece. The Lees were glad that they were able to connect with the very family who benefited from their daughter's organ donation, especially since donor families are usually anonymous to one another. The Lees found some comfort in the thought that in Abigail's untimely death, she provided another child with the gift of life.

A very faith-filled family, the Lees attribute the coincidences to God's doing. Hope said that they believed when they lost their home to a fire that it was the most devastating thing a family could ever have to endure. Since then, they have learned otherwise. "It's nothing compared to losing a child," Hope said. "It's very difficult, though, to have lost everything that was Abigail's. We have none of her dolls or photos or things to hold onto to remember her because it was all lost in the fire. But people have been very good and supportive to us and have given us back photos they had of Abigail."

But the Lees are moving on, knowing that God's ways are not always easy to understand. "But we know good things will come out of this someday," Hope said.

Abby Acres

The Lees want to remember their daughter by establishing a Christian camp in her memory. "We prayed a lot about what to do with the memorial money," her mother said. "We don't want her death to have been in vain." Abby Acres will open this summer in Becker. They are currently planning for the camp to serve children and offer horseback riding, Bible study, crafts and recreation. It will initially serve girls 8 to 12 years of age and expand as time goes by to serve other groups. Plans are to build a bunk house that will sleep about 10 to 12 people. Abigail's brother's class plans to help with the project. "We will start out small and see how it's received," Hope said. "It gives us a positive thing to focus on."

The Lees are also in the process of trying to get their new house built in Becker whenever the weather dries up. It will be on the same site as the burned one was.

A fundraiser on Oct. 17 for the camp is bittersweet for the Lees. "Because we know Abigail would have wanted to be in the midst of the whole thing helping with it," Hope said.

Fall Festival planned

A Fall Festival Fundraiser for the Abby Acres Christian Camp will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Amory Livestock Pavilion on Phillips Schoolhouse Road in Amory. The location was moved to Amory due to wet weather. . All proceeds from this event will go to the Abigail Ruth Lee Memorial Fund. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and be for all ages.

There will be trail rides, horseback rides and games, a hay maze, pumpkin decorating, a dunking booth, a bouncing castle, cake walk, food concessions and T-shirts for sale. At 2 p.m. there will be a horse show and auction.

Amber Parker owner of Hobby Horse Barn in Becker said the event should be a full day of fun, food and fellowship. She remembers Abigail as a shining light in everyone's life. "She was such a wonderful child," Parker said.

Anyone wishing to donate can make checks payable to: The Abigail Lee Memorial Fund. They can be sent to any Cadence Bank in the area or to Cadence Bank at P.O. Box 10, Hamilton, MS 39746.
Share This Article:

Abigail "Abby" Ruth Lee was born in Anchorage, Alaska in May of 1998. She died on July 11, 2009 in Memphis, Tennessee. The cause of Abby's death was spinal meningitis. She had been air lifted from Mississippi to get more specialized care. She had told her mother just three weeks prior to her death that she wished to donate her organs. We understand that her liver was donated to a young girl who is doing well at this point in time. Abigail's parents are Lt. Colonel David and Hope Lee. She also leaves behind two brothers, Mark and Wade. Janet Haeger ( was Abby's great aunt and she misses her dearly. Janet sent me a list of the beautiful qualities that Abigail possessed and I will list them here: Loved Jesus with all of her heart; loved horseback riding (received a horse as a Christmas gift); great compassion for others; knew how to show love and taught how to love by example;she had a sweet Southern accent;she loved to meet the needs of others; loved to draw; great at gymnastics; wisdom beyond her age; loved animals and dreamed of becoming a veternarian; deeply loved her parents and brothers; loved to pray; very giving; beautiful smile; willing to share her love of Jesus;Love of parents and brothers; belonged to 4-H Club;loved going to church and attending activities. In one her her notes she had written that one of the things that she was thankful for was Heaven. She is buried in the Center Hill Baptist Cemetery in Hamilton, Mississippi. Janet would like to ask all who read about Abigail to please consider donating organs. Also, if you have a child 12 or older, please immunize them against spinal meningitis. Thank you for visiting the wonderful Abigail.

One of Abby's favorite verses:"I love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my might." Deuteromony 6:5

Abigail 'Abby' Ruth Lee

July 11, 2009

Services for Abigail 'Abby' Ruth Lee, 11, of Becker were July 15, 2009, at Center Hill Baptist Church in Hamilton with the Rev. Terry Edwards officiating. Burial was in the church cemetery.

She was born May 20, 1998, to David Barrett Lee and Hope Hunter Lee in Anchorage, Alaska, and was a lifelong resident of Mississippi. Abby was a member of Center Hill Baptist Church, where she was a member of the GAs, and the Monroe County 4-H and Hobby Horse Riding Club in Amory. She died July 11, 2009, at Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, Tenn.

Survivors include her parents, David and Hope Lee of Columbus Air Force Base; two brothers, Mark Guthrie Lee and Wade Barrett Lee of Columbus AFB; an adopted sister, Holley Pace of Augusta, Ga.; her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Hunter of Mantee; and her paternal grandparents, Richard and Donna Lee of Greenwood, S.C., and Joe and Marlene Smith of Saluda, S.C.

Donations may be made to the Abigail Ruth Lee Memorial Fund at Cadence Bank.

Tisdale-Lann Memorial Funeral Home of Aberdeen was in charge of arrangements

"I would like to thank Robert David Westberry for this gift of love in writing up this site for my dear niece Abigail (Abby) Ruth Lee. I cannot put into words well enough to thank you for all the time, talent, love, care and creative mind you put into making up this site. I shall always be in your debt." Janet Lee Haeger (Great aunt to Abigail)
Center Hill Baptist Church Cemetery
Monroe County
Mississippi, USA
Plot: Central Hills Baptist Church Cemetery
Created by: Wiregrasswalker
Record added: Jul 30, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 40086487
Abigail Ruth Abby Lee
Added by: Wiregrasswalker
Abigail Ruth Abby Lee
Added by: Wiregrasswalker
Abigail Ruth Abby Lee
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