Susan "Missy" Camille Lee, age 78, of Palm Beach and Houston, passed away at Good Samaritan Medical Center after a short-term illness at home, surrounded by her beloved daughter, books, cats Baker and Spotty, and a childhood teddy bear who always smells of Chanel No. 5.
Susan was born on November 7, 1942, in Houston, TX, the daughter of Katherine née Pillot and Ronald E Lee Sr. Her great-grandfather Benjamin Campbell was a mayor of Houston. Another great-grandfather, Camille Pillot, was Harbor Board Chair and partner/director of Henke & Pillot grocers, later a division of Kroger. Together they ushered the building of the Houston ship channel into fruition during World War I. Her grandfather was a financier and partner in the Yount-Lee Oil Co., later bought by Standard Oil and responsible for the second wave of oil production at the famed Spindletop oilfield of East Texas. Her uncle was the "King of the Wildcatters" Glen McCarthy, who inspired Edna Ferber's character, Jett Rink, in the novel and movie Giant. She was honored to rechristen the Houston ship channel on its 50th-anniversary as her grandmother had in 1914. Her many friends knew her for her wry sense of humor, storytelling, and joie de vivre.
Susan attended the St. John School, Houston, and St. Mary's Hall in San Antonio. She debuted as a duchess in the Las Donas de la Corta in Corpus Christi, representing "Tales of the South Pacific" in the Court of Living Literature. She received an AA from Bennett College in New York and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Texas. She later pursued an MFA from the prestigious creative writing program at the University of Houston, focused on English literature and Spanish poetry translation. Susan was a member of The Beach Club, The Sailfish Club, and formerly River Oaks Country Club. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta, the Junior League of Houston, and the Junior League of the Palm Beaches.
Susan is survived by her daughter Sue Gibson. She is also survived by a brother and niece from Houston and numerous dear cousins. A celebration of life was held on November 3rd at Quattlebaum Funeral Home in West Palm Beach, FL. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 PM November 12th at Glenwood Cemetery, Houston with a reception to follow at Bradshaw-Carter Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held at Bethesda by-the-Sea Church on Palm Beach at 2 pm November 19th. In lieu of flowers, friends may donate to Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League or the animal rescue of their choice.