Legacy Partners: The Rev. Harris W. Lee and Maryon Lee

Maryon and the the Rev. Harris W. Lee, as longtime members of Central Lutheran Church, have included Central Lutheran Church Foundation in their estate plans as Legacy Partners.

The Rev. Harris W. Lee, who died in December 2017, grew up on a farm near Fosston, Minnesota, one of eight children. He was a graduate of Augsburg College, received a D. Min. from Luther Seminary, and was ordained as an ELCA pastor in 1961. He also served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. 

Harris and Maryon served several parishes: initially at First Lutheran Church in Duluth; Lakeview Lutheran Church in Maplewood, Minnesota, and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Minneapolis. After 27 years in parish ministry Harris spent 20 years working with ELCA congregations on stewardship and leadership. He served as an interim pastor and interim assistant to synod bishops, and was a regent of Augsburg College and board member of Fairview Southdale. Maryon was a Sunday School teacher, taught Bible Study, and participated in Circles at each of the parishes.

The Lee’s son Steve, a 1985 Augsburg graduate, is an actuary at Thrivent. Their daughter Patty, a 1987 graduate of Augsburg, is a hospital chaplain with an M.A. from Luther Seminary and M.S. in Social Work from the University of Minnesota. Both are married with children and live in the Twin Cities area.

Maryon is a native of the small farming community of Newark, in central Illinois, and graduated from Northern Illinois University.  She and Harris met when he taught Vacation Bible School in her home church, Norway Lutheran, the summer after his first year of seminary. They married at Norway Lutheran in 1960. Harris was ordained on their first anniversary, June 11, 1961. 

They moved to 7500 York while Harris was in declining health, joining many friends from Central who live there. She drives downtown for church but has the option of attending a service close by her residence.

The Lees have a living trust and a fund at InFaith Community Foundation which benefit Central Lutheran Church Foundation and other charities. Since Harris worked in stewardship during his career and authored a book about the subject, titled “Effective Church Leadership” in 2001, they both saw the importance of good financial leadership and planned giving to the future of the church. For Maryon and Harris Lee, it was important to include Central Lutheran Church in their estate giving. 

The Central Lutheran Church Foundation greatly appreciates their generosity!