Obituary of Doris Lee
Doris Shoong Lee passed away peacefully after a short illness on August 26, 2018, at home in Las Vegas in the presence of family members. Her life was well lived, and she left a remarkable legacy of philanthropy and achievement.
Born in San Francisco on December 20, 1919, she spent her early years in San Francisco and later in Oakland. Joe Shoong, Doris' father, founded the National Dollar Stores, a chain of dry goods stores that ultimately expanded to include properties throughout the Western United States and Hawaii. Doris attended the University of California Berkeley at sixteen years and then briefly, Lingnan University in China. She returned to California to attend Stanford University, where she met and married a fellow student and had three children, Richard, Judy and Lisa. In 1960 Doris became a member of the executive committee of the National Dollar Stores. As her marriage ended and her children grew older, Doris spent more time stewarding the National Dollar Stores, and thus met Theodore "Ted" Lee, a real estate attorney.
Doris married Ted in 1969 and enjoyed a loving, productive and devoted partnership that lasted almost fifty years. Together they formed a family business, the Urban Land Company in 1972.
Doris and her family have been generous and loyal community supporters and contributors to numerous institutions supporting education and the arts in both California and Nevada. Doris served as trustee of the UC Berkeley Foundation, University High School, San Francisco, and was board chair of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. Doris and Ted were devoted supporters of UC Berkley and Harvard University, establishing various professorships and endowments. In Las Vegas she was a founding member of the Las Vegas Philharmonic, a founder of the Smith Center, and sponsored live music for performances by the Nevada Ballet Theatre. Doris and Ted established the first endowed professorship at UNLV Boyd School of Law, and donated to the UNLV Business School, which was renamed the UNLV Lee Business School. Doris loved being a member of Nevada Women's Philanthropy, and working with others to make Las Vegas a stronger community.
Doris is survived by beloved family members that include husband, Ted, and their two sons, Gregory and Ernest Lee; daughters-in-law Dana and Tatiana; and grandchildren Graham, Katie, Luke, Harrison and Dylan Lee; Doris's daughter, Judy Tam Sargent, and her children Judy Jr., Bobby, and Anne; and great-grandchildren, Addison and Ari. Two of Doris's children, Lisa and Richard Tam Jr., predeceased her. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to the Nevada Ballet Theatre.
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