Cover photo for Lee Nan Conrad's Obituary
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1933 Lee 2021

Lee Nan Conrad

December 19, 1933 — July 25, 2021

Letha (“Lee”) Conrad, 87, July 25, 2021, Sedona, Arizona. Pre-deceased by husband John Conrad, twin sister JoAnn Weber and brother Charles Garland Parker. Survived by daughters Jane Conrad, Angela Gummow, and Claire Conrad, sister Betty (Frank) Parker, granddaughters Meaghan (J.D.) Davis, Callie Gummow, Katherine McIntosh and Christina Tucker, great-grandsons Johnny and Ben Davis, many beloved nieces and nephews.

Lee was born and raised in Decatur, Alabama, where she and her twin sister JoAnn excelled at school, sang in the church choir, and played pranks on teachers, swapping assigned seats and laughing for much of their youth. (Unfortunately for them, there was a pop quiz on one of these days!)

While at the University of Alabama, Lee met John Conrad at a car race, and the rest was history. She spent the next 56 years coping with John’s love of speed and motor vehicles! They married in 1956, and promptly moved to Michigan, where John started his long career as an engineer for Ford Motor Company. On behalf of Ford, in addition to the Detroit area, Lee and John lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they learned Spanish and to tango, Mexico City, where they took many visitors to visit pyramids, museums and cultural sites, and Kingman, Arizona, where they grew to love desert life. After John’s post in Kingman, they returned to Michigan where John managed Ford’s largest proving ground until he retired and they moved to Sedona in 1988. Lee enjoyed supporting John throughout his career, and they made friends spanning the Western Hemisphere.

Lee loved the opportunities to learn about new cultures, history, and language, and took the disruptions and separations from everything that was familiar in stride. Throughout, Lee’s intelligence, flexibility and profound commitment to the Methodist values of her youth provided a grounded family life to her three daughters, whom she taught to keep open minds and open hearts. In addition to her family, Lee’s greatest commitment through life was to the United Methodist Church, which she served by singing in the choir most of her life, working at rummage and book sales, establishing a youth group at her church when her daughters were in high school in Kingman, and as a state-wide representative of United Methodist Women of Arizona. Her loves of American history and genealogy led her to be a life-long member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and she contributed to many other philanthropic causes including, her daughters teased her, Save the Donkeys!

Lee’s deepest passions were learning and reading. She was a voracious reader all her life, and her intellect was her most striking characteristic. After her last daughter graduated from college, Lee had the opportunity to travel even more widely - in Europe, the Middle East, and China. She marveled recently that she would never have dreamed that she would be able to visit Rhodes, Greece.

Lee’s life grew quieter after John’s sudden death in 2012, and she suffered another terrible blow when her twin sister died in 2014. But with the exceptional support from daughter Angela, bolstered by daughters Jane and Claire and others, Lee remained in her home in her beloved Sedona neighborhood until May 2021, when the excellent judgment she’d had all her life led her to move to Sedona Winds, where constant support was available. It was so like her to have foreseen and accepted that reality, and because of it, she died as she would have wanted, quickly and quietly, with helpers at hand.

Her funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, August 6, 2021 at Sedona United Methodist Church, and may be lived-streamed on In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Sedona United Methodist Church.


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