OBITUARY: Janice Elaine Austin Lee, 85, of Merritt Island Passed Away on August 27

By  //  September 8, 2020

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Arrived in Merritt Island after Husband Dick accepted a job offer with RCA at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

Janice Lee of Merritt Island passed away on August 27, two years and one day after her husband, Darell Lee, passed away. Jan was a longtime teacher at Lewis Carroll Elementary School on Merritt Island.

Jan was a Brevard Public Schools teacher for 31 years, teaching at Edgewood Junior High (now Jr./Sr. High), Gardendale and 28 years at Lewis Carroll Elementary

BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Janice Elaine Austin Lee of Merritt Island passed away on August 27, 2020. Jan Lee was born on December 27, 1934, in Richland Center, Wisconsin, to Ethel Shell Austin and Byron Austin.

After a few moves to Illinois, Boca Raton, Florida, and Biloxi, Mississippi, Jan graduated from Biloxi High School.

Having met a handsome young man serving in the Air Force at Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi at a church function during high school, and upon the advice of her parents, she immediately enrolled at The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

She completed all course work and graduated in 3 years! The weekend following her graduation, Janice Austin married Darell (Dick) Lee. They were married for 63 years.

Dick and Jan made a couple of moves, finally settling on Merritt Island after Dick had accepted a job offer as a Communications Engineer with RCA at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Jan returned to college, receiving her Masters of Education degree at Florida Technological University – now known as the University of Central Florida. Jan began her teaching career at that time, following in her mother’s footsteps.

Jan is survived by her daughter Karen Lee Smink, son-in-law Jack Smink, daughter-in-law Debbie Lee, grandchildren John Smink (Abby), Kristal Smink-Medzius (Tim), Samantha Lee, and Stefan Lee.

She was predeceased by her husband Darell (2018) and her son Gary (2012).

Jan was a member of Grace United Methodist Church on Merritt Island, Grace Methodist Church Choir, Red Hats, and several fun clubs – crafts, church circles, and Central Brevard Retired Educators Association for which she held several offices after her retirement from teaching in 1996.

A private Christian memorial is planned for Jan’s immediate family due to our current public meeting restrictions. Her family hopes to hold a public memorial at a later date.

She loved a good party and held many parties at her home. Her family hopes to gather with church friends, school friends, neighborhood friends, and family for a barbeque next summer.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a children’s charity, Breast Cancer charities (Jan’s mother died of breast cancer), Veterans Groups, or organizations who care for families in need.

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