03/20/10 — A friend lost much too soon: In her heart she was a writer and a lover of the arts, but to many Winkie Lee was simply ... one of them

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A friend lost much too soon: In her heart she was a writer and a lover of the arts, but to many Winkie Lee was simply ... one of them

A pen to her was like an appendage -- a chance once again to find just the right combination of words to evoke an emotion or to tell a story.

In her heart, Winkie Lee was and always will be remembered as, a writer.

But while the longtime News-Argus features editor loved telling other people's stories, she had a dream, too -- to write a screenplay for a horror movie.

An unlikely mix to some who knew her, but not a surprise to those who knew that part of Winkie's heart would always be with those whose performances and screenplays delighted audiences of all mediums.

Creativity was a quality that she admired in anyone who was brave enough to stand on a stage or to put their thoughts onto paper. She stayed in contact with those who chased that dream of performing -- whether they were successful or not -- and made sure their hometowns knew that there were possibly stars in their midst.

Winkie was generous with her gift. She shared that love of writing and everything entertainment and the arts with young people, too -- teaching her craft to students at Wayne Community College and helping them to produce a newspaper of their own. She very likely started a few of them on careers of their own.

But that was professional Winkie Lee -- the person many people saw around town and the person who told their stories in her weekly feature profile.

The personal Winkie was warm, kind and eager to hear how others were doing. She avoided the spotlight herself, choosing instead to highlight the achievements of others and to be a part of making sure that others knew just how much talent there was in Wayne County.

She was a friend to many, greeting old friends with a warm hello and welcoming new friends into her circle. That was her way.

And she will be missed -- as much for the dreams she chronicled for others as for the plans she had for her own future.

Those who knew her well and those whose lives were lucky enough to be touched by her pen will sadly tell her story today -- a life lost much too soon.

But they will be inspired, too, by the life of a woman who had dreams of fame herself, but was humble enough to delight in the achievements of others, whether that success took the form of the lead in a school play or a Tony Award on Broadway.

She understood, because she was one of them -- someone whose legacy would be sharing stories with the world one play, one character, one piece of art, one lyric or one movie at a time.

And in that way, she will be forever in the memory of those who knew and cared about her.

The staff of the News-Argus sends its condolences to Winkie's family and to all those who loved her. She will be missed.

Published in Editorials on March 20, 2010 11:48 PM