Leila "Lee" Lovett, our beautiful "Mamma Lee," passed away peacefully on October 3, 2019. She was surrounded by the family who adored her and who will miss her terribly. It is not too much to say that Lee impressed everyone who knew her with her loving and affectionate nature, her many kindnesses to others, and a way about her that seemed a gift of grace. In her heyday Lee was formidable and powerful, but that power always came from a luminous spirit. Her smile and laughter usually brought delight and gladness to those who had the pleasure of meeting her.
Tony Bennett may have left his heart in San Francisco, but Lee kept that city close to her own heart wherever she traveled throughout a long and blessed life. She was born and raised in the City by the Bay, and even though she spent many years in other places all over the country; Anchorage, Denver, Seattle, Washington D.C., Salt Lake City she always dreamed of moving back there. The closest she got was when her beloved husband, Willie, the Virginia boy she married and loved for 60 years, brought her in retirement to Santa Rosa, CA., where they spent some of the happiest times of their lives.
Lee met and married Bill "Willie" Lovett in Alaska. They started their family there when Michael and Tom were born in short succession. A third boy, John, was added to the mix after the family relocated to Hayward, CA., (sadly, not quite San Francisco, but close). These were the wonder years. The three boys engaged in non-stop explorations, recreations, and adventures with the other kids in the neighborhood while Willie worked with the FAA as an air traffic controller and Lee manned the fort. The strong friendships which Lee formed then lasted for decades afterwards.
During those early years, Lee and her family were very fortunate to have, in addition to all their great friends, a large extended family in the Sacramento area where they enjoyed vacations at Christmas and summertime. Lee's boys retain vivid memories of their mom at the center of the table laughing and talking and looking so beautiful that it's hard to describe. It was just something about her way of being that was so attractive and so beguiling. Even though Lee could at times be persnickety and show some temper, it was always short lived. She just couldn't stay mad, even when her three boys were little brats who deserved to be smacked. Lee's sons say that the worst punishment they ever received was realizing they had hurt their mom in some way.
Lee's great soul was consistently nourished by her love of Jesus and her reading of the Bible. Very early in her life as a Catholic Christian she discovered with some of her good lady friends that she was free to read and think about God's word. It was that Christian spirit of love and goodness that stayed with our beautiful Lee till the end.
In addition to her sons Michael Lovett (Theresa Martinez), Thomas Lovett (Jan), and John Lovett (Amanda), Lee is survived by her loving brother Hal Marlowe (Barb); her grandchildren Cy Finkbiner (Lyndsey), Erin Finkbiner (Eric), Jared Lovett (Kodi), Jennifer Cooney (Robert), Kyle Lovett (Valerie); her many great grandchildren; and her dear extended family in California and Virginia.
The Lovett family would like to thank the many caregivers who helped Lee during her final years, especially those at Crescent Senior Living in Sandy, Sunrise in Holladay, and Intermountain Hospice.
Services for family and friends of Lee will be held at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East on Wednesday evening, October 16 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking provided on the north side of the building. A funeral mass will be celebrated at St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 1375 E. Spring Lane on Thursday, October 17, at 11:00am with burial following at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery, 4th Ave and "T" Street.