Thelma JoAnn Opheim Lee

February 4, 2022
Thelma JoAnn Opheim Lee

Thelma JoAnn Opheim Lee, Passed away on February 4, 2022. Thelma was born April 4, 1936 on the Opheim family farm in Skimino, VA, and moved at six months to the Levorsen family farm, Fair Oaks, in Lightfoot, VA. Her parents were the late Lester Opheim and Ella Levorsen Opheim. Besides her parents she was predeceased by her husband Curtis Warren Lee, her son, Ronald O. Lee, and her sister Karen O. Dutton. She is survived by her brother, William Opheim of Lakeville, MA, and her sisters, Janice O. Leonard of Williamsburg, and Beverly Tetterton-Opheim (Glenn) of Wilmington, NC., her son, Michael W. Lee (Susan) of White Post, VA, and her daughters Cheri Lyons (Wilson) of Williamsburg and Leslie Lee of Carolina Beach, NC. She is also survived by her five grandsons, Ryan Lee (Ashley) of Williamsburg, Andrew Lee (Ashley) of Stephens City, VA., Brandon Lyons (Kathryn) of Huntsville, Alabama, Taylor Lyons of Norfolk, and Michael Alan Jones (Tabitha) of Willard, NC, as well as by her five great-grandchildren: Grace Lee, Claire Lee, Harper Lee, Aaden Jones, and Maddox Jones. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Thelma was proud of her Norwegian heritage. She was the mother of four children, and she had a varied career including business manager of the Virginia Gazette for many years. Thelma’s resilience and perseverance kept her going through many challenges. She will be missed by many people for many reasons including her world renown potato salad and her shrewdness at the euchre table. She was a proud member of the Red Hats, a lifelong member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Norge, VA, and in the Rebecca Ruth Circle there, where with her sister, Karen, she tied many quilts for cancer patients. She also made blankets for FISH, a charity of the church.

There will be a private Immediate family service on February 19,2022.  We welcome and invite others at 1pm to join us in celebrating Thelma’s life by joining us on zoom or Facebook page.




In Lieu of flowers, donations in Thelma’s memory may be given to the Cemetery Fund of Our Savior’s Lutheran Church of Norge, 7479 Richmond Rd., Williamsburg, VA., 23188 or to the American Cancer Society.

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  • February 07, 2022
    Butch Gross says:
    It breaks my heart to hear of Thelma's passing. She was a second mother to me. Words cannot convey what Thelma and the Lee family mean to me. My life was immeasurably enriched by their friendship, dare I even say kinship for they are family. Mike, Cheri, and Leslie what a wonderful gift you had as a mother. My thoughts and prayers and love, Butch

  • February 07, 2022
    Cay Davis says:
    Thelma was like a second mother to me as she kept me while Mom worked when I was very young. She was good to me and I loved her. My condolences to you all

  • February 09, 2022
    Todd Johnson says:
    Thoughts and prayers to Mike, Cheri and Leslie. My Mom passed away the same day. Todd

  • February 11, 2022
    Suzy Atkins Orrell says:
    Cheri, Leslie and Mike, I was so very sorry to hear about the loss of your Mom, I hope many happy memories will help you through your grief and sadness. Sending prayers of comfort and peace to you all.

  • February 11, 2022
    Jack and Vivian Lyons says:
    We are Blessed to have Cheri as our Daughter in law. We love her and the Family. So blessed to have shared some times with Thelma and also Karen always made a point to come to visit us at Cheri's and Wilson's.when we went to Williamsburg. Cheri, Leslie , Mike and Family has our Deepest Sympathy . Love to all Jack and Vivian