Grace Lee Friel, 89, of Simsbury, CT, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. Grace was born on October 2, 1929, the daughter of Theo and Herman H. Lee, who was President of Lee Transit Corp. of New York. She was proud of the fact that one of her father’s tugboats was named after her, the “Grace Ann Lee.” Grace was predeceased by her devoted husband of 62 years, Jack M. Friel, and her sisters, Maren Lee Keller and Virginia Lee Benze. She is survived by her three children and their spouses, Jack and Lia Friel, Patty and Mark Sperandio, and Larry Friel, and by her forever adored grandchildren, Kristin Lee Mitera (Chadd Mitera), Mark Edward Sperandio, Jr., Shelby Lee Friel, and Christina Ray Friel, as well as many nieces and nephews. Last, but far, far, far from least, she was recently blessed with two great grandchildren, Cooper Wade Mitera and Colby Grace Mitera, who brought such healing energy to her final years.
“Gay” loved life, especially good times with family and friends. She so often commented on how blessed she was to have so many beautiful and comforting memories. Her interests included photography, poetry, piano, swimming, tennis, and traveling with her husband to many business conventions and tennis tournaments. She and her husband enjoyed living in California for eleven years and, in 1965, when Jack was transferred to Connecticut General’s home office, they moved to Simsbury, CT. During her many years in Simsbury, Gay was an active volunteer at the McLean Home for over twenty years, taught Sunday school at First Church of Christ, and assisted at Child and Family Services. She was known for her playful sense of humor, infinite kindness, and enormous generosity. She will be dearly missed!
Friends and family are invited to call at the Vincent Funeral Home, 880 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury on Sunday, August 11th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM on Monday, August 12th at the First Church of Christ, 689 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury. Burial will follow in the Simsbury Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation. Memorial donations may be made to First Church of Christ, 689 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT, 06070 or McLean Home, 75 Great Pond Road, Simsbury, CT, 06070, or a charity of your choice. Please visit Gay’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.