September 25, 1922 - September 24, 2012

Laura Lee Spalsbury, 89, of Safford passed away Monday, Sept. 24, 2012, at Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center.

Laura Lee was born Sept. 25, 1922, in Kansas City, Mo., to Edward and Alta Golden. She was the third child born to this couple. She had two older brothers who died in World War II a week apart.

Laura Lee attended school in St. Joseph, Mo., and Chanute, Kan. She graduated from Chanute College and also attended the University of Kansas. She attended the Cincinnati Conservato-ry of Music as a flute player.

At the university she was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority.

She met the love of her life, Duane George Spalsbury, at a dance class in St. Joseph. They later married in 1944 in Salinas, Calif. They spent a few months together before Duane shipped out to Europe as a fighter pilot in World War II.

Steve, Lynn and Roger were born while they lived in the Midwest. Julie joined the family after they moved to Safford in 1955.

Laura Lee was a stay-at-home mom. She was very much involved in all aspects of Duane’s and the kids’ activities. She was a member of the Mt. Graham Women’s Golf Associa-tion, Mt. Graham Hospital Auxiliary program and the youth choir director at the First United Methodist Church. She also kept the books for the Methodist Day Care Center for more than 20 years as a volunteer accountant.

Laura Lee was also a member of the EAC orchestra for many years as a flute player. She also gave flute lessons.

While her kids were in school, Laura Lee was their biggest fan. Whether their boys were on the football field or the girls were in the band or choir, or cheerleading from the sidelines, she was always there to support them.

She was a great seamstress for her daughters. She created formal dresses for dances and special occasions. She could put together just about any outfit they wanted. She made several dance team uniforms.

Laura Lee was preceded in death by her parents; a daughter, Lynn, and a son, Roger. She is survived by her husband, Duane of 67 years; a son, Steve of  Sunsites; a daughter, Julie Cluff ( Houston) of Safford; nine grandchildren; eight great- grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

A memorial service for Laura Lee will be held Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Safford. In lieu of flowers, donations may given to First United Methodist Preschool & Daycare Center.

Arrangements are under the direction of McDougal’s Caldwell Funeral Chapel.

Online condolences may be offered at

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