Lacey Claire Lee, 35, beloved younger daughter of Rory and Janet Lee, died at her parents’ home in Clinton Sat., June 22. She was a resident of Madison, having proudly purchased her first home in August, 2018. With fierce determination, she battled a rare type of cancer for nine months.
Visitation with the family will be held in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Clinton, Thurs., June 27, from 1:00-3:30 p.m., followed by a memorial service at 3:30 p.m. Burial will be private.
Lacey was born Dec. 5, 1983, baptized as a child into the fellowship of First Baptist Church, Clinton, and went to Clinton schools through the sixth grade. She attended seventh grade in Oak Grove in Hattiesburg before her family re-located the next year to Pineville, LA. Lacey was a 2002 honor graduate of Pineville High School.
Following the family tradition of her father, mother, and older sister Lauren, she attended Mississippi College, graduating in 2006 with a degree in interior design. She worked as chief designer for an architectural firm in Rhinebeck, NY, before moving to New York City. It was in the city that she discovered her love for retail management and was associated with women’s clothier Loft and lifestyle chain Anthropologie.
When she moved back to Mississippi shortly after her 30th birthday, she quickly landed a store manager position at Altar’d State boutique, followed by a stint as manager of the Hallmark store in Dogwood. But she was recruited for and happily accepted her dream job as general manager of Ulta Beauty in Madison.
With 1200 stores nationwide, Ulta is the country’s largest beauty retailer. As general manager, Lacey supervised a team of sales associates; worked the demanding retail hours that included nights, holidays, and weekends; always sought to enhance the customer’s shopping experience; and blended her New York expertise with her own unique brand of Southern charm. Her store was consistently among the top sales producers in the region.
Lacey loved to travel, visiting London and Pairs for a high school graduation trip, and as an adult, to Greece. She participated in the Mississippi College semester in London program, with independent travel in Italy. With friends or family, she took epic beach vacations and road trips to Virginia Beach, Kentucky horse country, and New Orleans. As a five-year resident of Louisiana, she swiftly acquired a taste for crawfish and later, an affinity for family-centered Mardi Gras parades where her friends brought their children.
A caring and devoted friend herself, Lacey’s large and loyal friend group extended from New York to Ohio, Texas, Florida, and throughout Louisiana and Mississippi. She nurtured friendships made in high school, college, and through her workplaces. She was happiest when at the beach or in the company of friends.
But the role she cherished the most was as an aunt to her sister’s three children: Owen (7), Brynn (4 ½), and Sam (2). When Owen first began to talk, his toddler pronunciation came out as Yacey. And so she became Aunt Yacey, the loving and indulgent aunt every child should have to share a frozen yogurt with abundant sprinkles or buy completely frivolous treats and souvenirs at the ice show.
Lacey is survived by her parents Rory and Janet Lee of Clinton; sister Lauren Lee Ryan and husband Brant of Madison; two nephews, Owen William Ryan and Samuel James Ryan and niece Brynn Elizabeth Ryan; maternal grandfather W. M. Stampley of Yazoo City; paternal grandmother Syble Brinson Lee of Prentiss; and aunts, uncles, and cousins in Louisiana and Mississippi. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandmother, Ruby Rae Stampley, and paternal grandfather, Kenneth E. Lee.
The family is appreciative of the compassionate care Lacey received on the oncology floor of St. Dominic’s Hospital; from the staff at Jackson Oncology Associates; and for the unfailing courtesy, kindness, and professionalism of her oncologist, Dr. Guangzhi Qu.
Memorials may be made to the Lee Family Scholarship at Mississippi College; the Baptist Children’s Village; or CARA (Community Animal Rescue and Adoption).
“And now abideth faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love.”