Ada Marie (Berg) Lee, 67 years young, succumbed to her battle against brain cancer on December 9, 2021 at her cabin made of love in Polson, Montana. She was born in Livingston on June 10, 1954 to Ben and Joan Berg, and grew up in Bozeman with her two older sisters, Babs and Kathy, and younger brother, Hal.
Ada attended Bozeman High, and after graduation she traveled and studied abroad in Madrid, Spain. She then completed her elementary education degree at the University of Montana and eventually earned a master’s degree in the arts from Lesley University.
Her first teaching job brought her to Deer Lodge, she thought “for just one year, and then back to Missoula.” A local boy, Jim Lee, won her heart and kept her in Deer Lodge for the next 43 years. Ada taught first grade and kindergarten for 37 years. As an educator, her goal was to always make learning fun as she engaged students to do their best by literally performing headstands to motivate. The prep, love, zest, and fun she infused into her career inspired her two daughters and many new educators whom she mentored to enter the profession. She was bestowed with the Montana Gold Star Teaching Award.
Jim and Ada raised two daughters, Rachael and Joanna and, in her usual style, set the bar high. Her commitment to motherhood was unparalleled. Ada had a knack for making everything a special and detailed event from birthday parties, to baby/wedding showers, to appetizers with friends on Thursday nights. Later on, she lovingly welcomed two sons (Bryant and Patrick) who married into the family.
Ada was an engaged community member. She was proud to be a P.E.O. sister supporting women in their educational endeavors. In addition, she was an active member of the Deer Lodge Education Association and on the Deer Lodge Literacy Board. From earning money for the local Rialto Theater to building playgrounds, she was an involved and enthusiastic volunteer.
She enjoyed her retirement, traveling, field trips with her close friends, and spending time with the grandkids.
As her illness progressed, Ada and Jim streamlined their lives by selling their beloved Deer Lodge home to focus on finishing their cabin at Flathead Lake. At the lake, Ada felt most relaxed and found immense joy watching her family and friends laugh and play. The image of Ada sitting on the shore, watching her four grandchildren, Brooks, Kessy, Cora, and Maggie, frolic in the water will be an everlasting memory. She squeezed as much life out of life as she could and left us much too early.
The family plans to have a Deer Lodge service in the spring and will welcome her friends, extended family, and co-workers to celebrate a life well-lived.
Ada’s legacy of generosity and sunshine still envelops those she loved most: Jim Lee, Rachael (Bryant) Munday, Joanna (Patrick) Lozar, Nita Lee, Babs (Bill) Leaphart, Kathy Berg, Hal (Cristina) Berg, Debbie (Russell) Romine, Kevin Lee, Chuck (Rhonda) Lee, Cheryl Lee, David Lee, 8 nieces, and 3 nephews along with their spouses.
Memorial contributions may be made to P.E.O., the Deer Lodge Literacy Board, or the donor’s choice.