Pat was the consummate professional. She added more than a touch of class and integrity to the Company and to the many programs she ran over her long career.

People | Pat Lee

The Charlotte Observer, Jan. 1, 1978

"A Most Presentable Lady" Dies

By Bob Dennis
Observer Staff Writer

She was a most presentable lady and a fighter to the end.

Early Friday evening in Charlotte Memorial Hospital, Pat Lee, weakened and wasted by cancer, told a friend, "Hang in there. I am."
Seven hours later, about 2 a.m. Saturday, she died. The years-long battle she had fought with such determination and gallantry was over. She was 51.

Tonight at 9:30, "A Most Presentable Lady," a tribute to Pat Lee, will be broadcast by Charlotte's WBTV, channel 3, where she worked for more than 30 years, appearing regularly on her show and on commercials. For the past few years she was vice president for creative services, responsible for all local programming except news and editorials.

"She was firmly committed to getting better," said Jim Babb, executive vice president of Jefferson Pilot Broadcasting Co. and Miss Lee's longtime friend and associate.

"When I saw her last night, she was very weak but very alert. Even then she was asking about others. Up to the very end she did things with style and grace and dignity."

Patricia Lee Reid's funeral will be 2:30 p.m. today at Christ Episcopal Church, 1412 Providence Rd. Survivors are her daughter, Bonnie Lee Reid, 16; a brother, James Mills of Washington; a half brother, George Mills of Florence, S. C., and her step­mother, Jean Mills of Charlotte.
The burial will be private.

WBTV broadcaster Clyde McLean, who will appear on tonight's program, said Saturday, "I've just lost a really dear friend. It's going to be the toughest show I've ever had to do."

For years, McLean and Miss Lee did color and commentary for WBTV's broadcast of Charlotte's annual Carrousel parade on Thanksgiving.

The title of the tribute to Pat Lee refers to an inside joke that originated several years ago and which has since been elevated to the status of tradition at Jefferson-pilot.

Miss Lee had been assigned by the station to cover a top fashion show in New York. The show's producers checked with the station to find out if she was "a presentable lady."

The station's response was "a most presentable lady."

Under her guidance and direction, the station produced several national award-winning programs, such as "A Child's Christmas," "Our Country 'Tis of Thee" and "Candle in the Wilderness."

The station won awards at the New York Film Festival for "The Rowe Quartet Plays on Your Imagination."

She and her staff also developed WBTV'S noontime magazine-style show, "Top '0 The Day."

She graduated from Charlotte Central High School (now a building at Central Piedmont Community College) and attended Greensboro College.

In 1946, after her marriage to the late Harry Snook, Miss Lee began working for WBT Radio. She was 20. In those days, WBT studios were in the Wilder Building, on the corner of 3rd and South Tryon streets. She and Harry would appear in the studios Sunday mornings and read Observer comics on the air.

She first appeared on television in 1950 on "Open House" and later had "The Pat Lee Show." For years she was the on-camera spokeswoman for many sponsors, including Belk department stores and Dorsey's interior decorators and furniture makers.

Commercials that she made for Dorsey's late last year and early this year appeared on WBTV in recent weeks. In the commercials she looked well, a fact that pleased her greatly as she battled cancer.

She underwent a mastectomy in 1974, but in recent months, cancer spread to her liver. She became bloated from its effects and when she went out to have lunch with friends, she wore maternity clothes. But she never gave up thinking she would recover.

Charles Crutchfield, retired president of Jefferson-Pilot Broadcasting, said Saturday, "Beyond her professional ability, she was a remarkable lady and a lovely person who cared deeply about people.

"She was also one of the most courageous people I have ever known. She will be sorely missed at our place."

In a memo to the station's staff, Jim Babb paid tribute to her:

"Perhaps the best way to express our gratitude and love for Pat is with the words that were so much a part of her vocabulary...

"Thank you ... take care ... luv ....

Reprinted with permission by The Charlotte Observer. Copyright owned by The Charlotte Observer.