Every once in a while you encounter a truly remarkable woman. Lee (Lillian) Fairbank is just that woman. Over the course of the last forty -two years, she has been an integral part of my life. Our relationship started out when I met her son in the late seventies. Subsequently, we married, and she officially became my mother-in-law. I was thrilled. Not only did I marry a terrific guy, but I now had a fabulous mother-in-law who definitely broke the mold.
From the beginning, we connected. Our relationship has only deepened over the years. After my mother died in 2005, Lee became my OM (Other Mother). We refer to each other as OM and OD (Other Daughter).
Lee is a force in her own life as well as in others. She is the most nonjudgmental individual I have ever met. As the queen of silver linings, Lee will offer a positive comment when things look the most dire. When you speak to her, she makes you feel like you are the only person in the room. She is genuinely interested in you and what you have to say. Always self-deprecating, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. When things go awry, Lee laughs it off and moves on.
On July 22, 2020, Lee will be celebrating her 100th Birthday. She now lives independently in her own condo at Emerald Pointe in Punta Gorda, Florida, where she continues to drive—daytime hours only. Lee prides herself in her appearance and is consistently well put together. Wherever Lee lives, she immediately becomes a part of the social fabric of the community. She is the epitome of social adeptness.
Originally from New Jersey where she grew up and married John, she moved to Jacksonville when John was transferred to Florida by Shell Oil. There they raised their children, Robert and Nancy. Post-retirement, Lee and John built their home on Grace Creek in Bozman, Maryland where they lived for thirty-seven years. Lee continued to live in Bozman after John’s death in 2009. In 2018, Lee moved permanently to Emerald Pointe where she had been a “snow bird” for over 35 years.
Lee is a spirited woman who enjoys good health, good friends and good bourbon. She is super curious about the world around her, is an avid reader, a skilled bridge player and a responsive emailer. Lee continues to be the maternal force in her family of two children, three granddaughters and four great grands. Lee is a beacon and an inspiration to the rest of us.
Cheers for 100 Years!!!! OD 5/18/20