Lee was born in Summit NJ on November 16, 1925, the only child of William and Leila Hetherington. After high school, she went to college at the University of Pennsylvania and met her future husband, John Longenecker. Lee & John married on September 13, 1947, and they lived in Newtown Square PA raising four children.
During that time, Lee worked as a free-lance writer, English teacher, and College Instructor while John assisted in managing the family's building materials business. In 1974 they purchased an aviation services company, Flight Specialties, and moved to Longview TX. Ironically, although many family members are pilots, Lee didn't like to fly and avoided it whenever possible
After moving to Texas, Lee assisted John in the flight business and worked as a free-lance writer for both the Longview News-Journal and the Kilgore News-Herald. They were involved in the community, volunteering at the Highway 80 Rescue Mission and assisting with Set-Up and Coordination of the Elderville Neighborhood Watch and Nextdoor Programs. Lee & John made annual trips back to Pennsylvania for reunions with John's siblings and spouses and visits with Lee's college room-mate Alice at her cottage along the Delaware River.
In 2002 Lee became a widow when her husband of 55 years John unexpectedly passed away two days after Thanksgiving. Lee continued the activities they had shared, including being Elderville Neighborhood Watch coordinator, and she became active in a widow's group, Circle of Friends, at Trinity Baptist Church in Lakeport. Lee especially enjoyed writing poetry, a talent she had inherited from her mother, and the newsletters that Lee wrote were filled with her poems. Lee stayed in the Elderville home she had shared with John until May 2018 when she moved to Assisted Living.
Lee's grandchildren cherished their times with her, and they have wonderful memories of family meals, ping-pong, and board games. Rummikub, Scrabble, and Monopoly were favorites, and Lee played them well. The grand-kids also enjoyed playing with Lee's dachshund, Susie Q, a special gift after John passed away. Christmas was an especially festive time, with Lee filling stockings to overflow for all of her family, with gifts and essentials she had bought throughout the year.
Lee's legacy continues as her grandchildren have their own children. Lee is survived by her children and their spouses: Sandi & Rick Jenkins (Lufkin), Craig & Julie Longenecker (McAllen), Lynn & Roger Herrmann (Longview), and Bruce & Susan Longenecker (West Chester, PA); 11 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren living in Texas, Tennessee, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Lee is also survived by John's sisters and brother and their spouses: Bob & Marion Longenecker (Wyomissing PA), Alice Swann (Newtown Square PA), Jane & George Fuller (Cherry Hill NJ), plus numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials can be made to Highway 80 Rescue Mission, P.O. Box 3223, Longview, TX, 75604.