Longtime Pine Realtor Dies In Crash

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Carol Lee, a longtime Realtor in Pine, died in a rollover south of the small community Tuesday afternoon.

Lee, 69, was a little more than a mile south of Pine when she went off the left side of the road, according to Sgt. John Whetten of the Department of Public Safety in Payson.

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Carol Lee

"She appears to have come back onto the roadway, over-corrected and went off the left side of the road again and started to roll when the vehicle struck a large pine tree."

Whetten said Lee was wearing her seat belt. No further investigation is planned, he said.

Lee and her husband, Robert J. (Bob), have made their home in Strawberry since 1962. The couple was married in Phoenix and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Oct. 30, 2004.

The couple have five children, Ron, Diana, Brenda, Donny and Brian.

"She loved to go antiquing," Diana said.

"And bottle hunting," Ron added, "She had me dig through more old dumps than I care to remember."

"She would take her daughters and daughters-in-law on all-girl adventures, including a Reba McEntire concert," Diana said.

"And she'd crash our father-son things," Ron said.

Son Brian said his mother loved camping and liked to go to all her grandchildren's events and always encouraged them in their education.

"She was with the company (Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty) when I bought it 10 years ago," said Ray Pugel, owner and broker. "I think she was with it from the beginning, at least 30 years ago."

Pugel said Lee was a team player and dependable.

"She was always willing to help everyone and was a great caregiver for her husband."

Lee served as president of the Central Arizona Board of Realtors and the Women's Council of Realtors, he said, and was also very active in the Rim Country Classic Auto Club.

"She was a real jokester, too, and she and her family were always playing pranks on each other," Pugel said.

"She had a very good sense of humor," son Ron said. "At one time we shared office space and I had to go home for something. I got to the door and the phone was ringing. You know how it is, you fumble with the keys, trying to hurry and get to the phone. I rushed in and grabbed it and she was on the other end, laughing and said ‘I got you' and then I realized honey was dripping down the side of my face.

"She'd crawled through the window and put honey on the handset and just waited for me."

"She was always tremendously active in the community," according to Sue Myers, district administrator for the Payson Unified School District. Myers is a longtime Pine resident and formerly with the Pine-Strawberry School.

"When the Pine chamber was a separate group, she was very active in it, in fact, I think she is the one who kept it going."

Myers said Lee was also involved in school activities while her children were students. Myers and Lee became acquainted in 1972.

"Not long ago, we were talking about all the trips we made up and down the hill between Pine and Payson.

"She said there were days when she would sometimes make three and four trips a day, taking her kids to practices and other school activities," Myers said.

"When I was playing freshman basketball, she'd get up at 3:30 in the morning to take me to our 5 a.m. practice," said son Brian.

"Carol was always there for everyone, always friendly, always willing to help and always involved," said Will E. Dietz, president of CABR. "She's going to be missed."

"It's such a loss," Glenda Scott of the CABR said. "Carol was such a warm, ethical person. She cared so much about her customers. She was one of the good ones."

Services for Lee include a viewing at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 11 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pine. The funeral will be at 10 a.m. with interment at the Pine Cemetery immediately following.

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