SALT LAKE CITY — Barbara Stinson Lee, former editor of the Intermountain Catholic, Salt Lake City’s diocesan newspaper, died Jan. 2 after a brief illness. She was 68.
Her funeral Mass was celebrated Jan. 8 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine, followed by her burial at Mount Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Salt Lake City.
Stinson Lee worked for the Intermountain Catholic for 27 years, including 20 years as the newspaper’s editor. She retired in 2013 after working the last three years on the job part time.
At her retirement party, Bishop John C. Wester, then bishop of Salt Lake City, said she used her God-given talents of writing and journalism generously “for the good of the Church.”
He said Stinson Lee was one of the first people he met when he was appointed to the diocese in 2007 and said she was generous, kind and thoughtful to both him and his family and friends.
“It’s who you are that impresses us most,” said the prelate, who is now archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general emeritus, similarly praised Stinson Lee at her retirement, describing her as an “enthusiastic journalist” who “made the Intermountain Catholic her life.”
Her faith also was evident, he said, noting that she regularly attended daily Mass at the pastoral center.
The hallmarks of her writing included stories about the achievements of young people and articles about poverty, justice and peace, which stemmed from her international travels, the priest said.
Stinson Lee also worked to increase the Intermountain Catholic‘s coverage of the statewide diocese’s various ethnic congregations.
In 2006, she published the book: “Pilgrimage, a Journey Through the Holy Land With the Words of Archbishop George Niederauer,” which won the Master Editor Publisher Award from the Utah Press Association. Niederauer was Salt Lake City’s bishop from 1994 to 2005, when he was named San Francisco’s archbishop.
Stinson Lee was born April 19, 1951, to Orville R. and Elizabeth (Pat) Stinson in Boise, Idaho, but her family moved to Phoenix when she was young.
She was an active member of the Phoenix Little Theatre, where she met Jack Lee, her husband of 45 years. After marrying, the two moved to Logan, Utah, where she published her first short story, “The Dream Glass,” in Logan’s Herald Journal. When they moved to Salt Lake City, Stinson Lee started her career with the Intermountain Catholic newspaper.
Dogs, cats, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, legendary enchilada parties and faith were all part of Stinson Lee’s passions.
The Intermountain Catholic said she faced the final weeks of her life with courage and grace, consoling her loved ones with an enthusiastic “just look where I am going!” Hours before her death, she quietly said: “I am on my way.”
Stinson Lee is survived by her husband, Jack, her brother and three sisters.
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This report is based on coverage from the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Diocese of Salt Lake City.
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