Katherine (Karin) E. Lee
October 26, 1925 – August 6, 2022
Our beloved Mother, Grandma, Great Grandma, Aunt and Friend, Karin Lee, entered her heavenly home on Saturday morning, August 6, 2022. Karin (known as Rina as a child) was one of Augusta and Karl Hofmann’s three children. She and her two siblings, Herta and Heinz, were born and spent their childhood in Bad-Schwalbach, Germany, a lovely mineral bath town near Wiesbaden. She grew up in a loving Christian home and was able to provide that later to her own children. They were blessed to have her as their mother. In 1946, Karin met the love of her life, Elton (Joe) J. Lee, a young American soldier from Texas. After a short courtship, they were married in Bad-Schwalbach surrounded by her family and their friends. They were life-long loving partners until Joe’s death on July 6, 2004. Dad cherished Mom and she loved him. Their daughter, Eleonore, was born in 1947 in Augsburg, Germany. In 1952, Joe was assigned to Fort Hood, Texas. It was Karin and Eleonore’s first time to America. The family was able to enjoy many fun-filled times with Joe’s siblings and their families who lived in Central Texas. Their son, John Karl, was born at Fort Hood in 1954 and Karin’s parents (Oma and Opa) were able to visit from Germany during this time. As a loving and devoted wife and mother, Karin provided her family with the warm home and stability they needed during their many military moves. During her children’s school years, Karin was very involved with their activities at school as well as their non-related school activities. She enjoyed being a Room Mother, baking cookies and cupcakes for many events, and being her children’s biggest cheerleader no matter what sport or activity they were involved with. She and Joe were always loving and supportive parents and encouraged John and Eleonore’s hopes and dreams. This continued as their children became adults and started their careers and pursued various endeavors. Karen was an active military community volunteer during Joe’s numerous assignments. She was a member of the NCO Wives’ Club from the time her children were young. During their overseas tour in Orleans, France, a new member joined the family. In 1966 Eleonore met and married Jerry Donahue also an American soldier. Karin and Joe loved Jerry as their second son and he felt the same way about them. Karin and Joe were blessed with two grandchildren, Kim and Chris, who they doted on. As grandparents, they were an integral part of Kim and Chris’ life, showering them with love and being great role models. In 1971 when Joe retired from the US Army after a 30-year career, Karin, Joe and John returned to El Paso. Joe had been stationed at Fort Bliss in the past and they had enjoyed living in El Paso so they decided this is where they would retire. While John graduated from high school and attended UTEP, Karin and Joe reconnected with old friends and made new friends. His parents were thrilled when John also made El Paso his permanent home. Karin continued with her volunteerism. She was a member of the NCO Wives’ Club and the German Wives’ Club, as well as actively involved at The Fisher House. Spending time with her friends and working alongside them at the various bazaars and on community outreach projects were special times for her. Karen was known by family and friends for her baking skills. Cakes and cookies were her specialties. Karin and Joe enjoyed their lengthy retirement. While their two grandchildren were still elementary school age, they had them for a month of fun and sun-filled days in El Paso. The children had flown in from rainy Germany. As a couple, they went on various cruises and made many trips to Germany, Virginia and other states to visit family and vacation with them. They enjoyed getting together with John frequently, spending time with their friends, and having frequent visits from family members including Eleonore and her family, Karin’s sister Herta and Joe’s siblings and nieces -- Teri, Wendy and Laura (the Kissing Cousins.) The nieces’ frequent calls and lovely flowers always brought her much joy especially in the years after Joe’s passing. As a widow, Karin continued to remain active with her various clubs and enjoyed spending time with her friends and visits from her family. Having her loving and thoughtful son close by gave her great comfort. Karin looked forward to seeing John’s friends and employees / colleagues. She enjoyed going to John’s office to help the staff celebrate their birthdays and other special events. Karen was also thankful to have dear friends and special long-time neighbors especially Joanna Ramos. John accompanied his Mom to Virginia for her 85th birthday so she could have a special celebration with her family. She especially enjoyed being with her four great grandsons. Isabella had not yet made her arrival. She was a woman of strong faith which she shared with her loved ones and attended the Protestant services at the Main Chapel at Fort Bliss for many years. Karin was preceded in death by her beloved husband Joe in 2004 and her dear son-in-law Jerry in 2011, as well as her parents and her siblings, Herta and Heinz. Karin leaves behind many loved ones and friends who will miss her especially for her love, kindness, compassion, support, and genuine friendship. She is survived by her son John Karl Lee, a long-time resident of El Paso; daughter Eleonore Donahue of Fairfax, VA; granddaughter Kimberly Griffith and husband Richard; grandson Christopher Donahue and wife Evelyn; five great grandchildren – Vicente Soto, Dylan Donahue, Ryan Griffith, Antonio Donahue and Isabella Donahue; German niece Jutta Hofmann; and Lee nieces Teri Coburn and Wendy Bell and their families. John and Eleonore would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to a very special woman (and Karin’s angel), Gina Reyes. Gina provided such loving, compassionate, and expert care and friendship to Karin these past years. Gina and her lovely family embraced Karin and her family with much love and support.
In lieu of flowers please make a donation in Katherine Lee's name to Junior Enlisted Family Center, 2004 Sheridan Rd, Fort Bliss, Texas 79906.Visitation will be from 5:00pm to 8:00pm on Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at Sunset Funeral Homes-Northeast, 4631 Hondo Pass Drive. Funeral Service will begin at 9:00am on Wednesday, August 17, 2022, at Sunset Funeral Homes Northeast. Committal Service to follow at 10:30am at Fort Bliss National Cemetery. (East Shelter) Services entrusted to Sunset Funeral Homes-Northeast. Please visit her online memorial at www.sunsetfuneralhomes.net.