Anna Jørgine Lee

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Anna Jørgine Lee

Also Known As: "Anna Josephine Lee", "Anna Georgine Lee"
Birthdate: (45)
Birthplace: Brooklyn, NY, United States
Death: June 25, 1929 (45)
Garden City, NY, United States (Car accident)
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Henry H. (Hans Halvorsen Skjold) Lee and Maren Wold
Wife of Lawrence (Lauritz) Josiah Monsen
Mother of Alexander Lawrence Munson; Henry Lee Munson; Marian ('Mickie') Josephine Munson; Anne Louise Leake and Lawrence Shipley Munson
Sister of Henry Martin Lee; Helen Lee Youngman; Herman Hjalmar Lee; George Lee; Ruth Lee and 1 other

Managed by: Kitty Munson Cooper
Last Updated:

About Anna Jørgine Lee

My Heritage has indexed her christening record which was recorded back in Norway

Some memories of her from her daughter Marian's stories of family life at

Anna Georgine Lee and Lawrence Josiah Munson were married on September 2, 1903. Their families had been friends for years, and Anna was one of Lawrence’s piano pupils. She was nineteen and he was twenty-five when they got married. In 1905, Lawrence went to Paris for a year to study with Alexander Guilmant (organ) and Moritz Moskowski (piano). They gave up their apartment at that time, and Anna went to live with her parents at 446-8th Street. When Dad returned, he joined Mother at the Lees, where they stayed until 1914 when Dada and Mormor sold the 8th Street house ...

Before we got too busy with homework, Mother used to call us in from play for a Mother’s Hour. She was often busy with the school, so she set aside an hour before dinner as a special time for us. I can remember making ornaments for the Christmas tree out of shiny colored paper. On Saturday nights we would have a Family Night, when we improvised entertainments of various kinds.


A devout mother and father made God a very important part of our lives. I remember starting the day with "Devotions". Dad read a passage from the Bible and said a prayer, then we all said the Lord’s Prayer. As we left for school each morning, Mother gave us a Bible verse to repeat. 

... Mother told us lots of stories, too. They were usually original, and often had a lesson to teach. She told us stories at bed time, and would sit in the hall, so we could all hear.

Some memories from her son Henry at

Mother did not approve of the usual bridge cards so she'd get plain numbered cards and we'd play various games. One was "I Doubt It." The point was to play a card and say one or eight or whatever. Sometimes we would try to get rid of several cards at once. If one were supposed to play a 7, for example, you might not have one but you would play another and say 7 just the same. If someone said "I Doubt It", then you had to turn the card over for all to see. If it wasn't a 7, then you had to take all the cards. One time Mother played and my turn was next and she said, "Take your time Henry." So all of us suspected her card and she had to take all the cards.

recollections of her from her son Larry at

My recollections of the people around me in those years is still vivid in my mind. The dominant character in this play was my mother, who (I’m told) idolized me. She was loved and adored by all of us with an intensity that is difficult to recreate in words, an intensity that may be magnified by her early death in an automobile accident. She not only ran the household. She was the creative and energetic manager of the music school. She organized some social clubs around different musicians in which people would meet together. Years later I was told that the Bach Club had continued to exist for a long time after all its members had graduated from the Munson Institute. My father once said to me, "Whenever I saw a certain look in Mother’s eye, I knew I would have to do something 1 wasn’t too keen on doing." One of those somethings was to make some recordings for the Victor Company, then a big name in recorded music.

She was religious to a fault. We always had to go to church on Sundays and we couldn’t play cards or use scissors on the Lord’s day. Smoking and drinking alcoholic beverages were major sins. She spent some part of every day at her "devotions," kneeling beside her bed and praying to God. I once asked her what she said to God and she answered "mostly to take care of you and all my loved ones."

She gave herself unselfishly to others. Alex once told me that he was driving Mother along fourth avenue when she said "stop the car." which he did. She then went into a small retail store and spent ten minutes looking at merchandise. She came out without having bought anything, then explained to Alex that she just wanted to stop a fight that she had seen in progress between the man and woman who apparently were the proprietors.

Lawrence J Munson Dad was a talented musician but a poor businessman. As long as Mother was in charge, the Munson Institute of Music thrived. Without her, and assisted by the Great Depression, it barely survived. The bank foreclosed on the house we had moved to in Garden City, Long Island and we had to move into a small apartment on 223 Seventh Street there. Dad was a kind, caring father who left the children’s upbringing to my mother. He would dutifully deliver spankings when she asked him to. But his heart was never in them.

Story of her death in a car accident from her son Alex's recollections of her at

Whoever was taking the Long Island Railroad was often running a few minutes late. I usually walked to and from the Nassau Boulevard station. The morning train came from Hempstead via the Garden City station. We were the first station after Garden City, and Stewart Manor was the station after ours. We could save a few minutes by driving to the Stewart Manor station. Anna Lee Munson and children 1929

  Mother and Dad commuted almost every day into Brooklyn, and then took the way to Bay Ridge and the Munson school of Music. One morning it was raining. I had gone into New York earlier. As usual, they were running a little late. Henry offered to drive them to Stewart Manor. They readily agreed and were off in a wet car on a wet road. It was June 25, 1929.
  About half way to Stewart Manor, the car skidded, went off the road, and turned over. Marian was thrown clear of the car, and only received cuts and bruises, but Mother was thrown out in such a way that the car fell on her. It was awful!
  I remember Uncle Herman 'phoning me at RCA where I worked. "There has been an accident. You better come right home."
  We all felt so lost without Mother. At that time, it was customary to have the body in the casket at home until the funeral, so the shell of her was still there but she was gone from us. Her rocking chair was still. The driving force was gone from our lives. We didn't see how we could ever go on without her guiding hand and voice.

Story of her death by her son Henry who was driving from

Then tragedy of the worst kind struck. It was the Spring of 1929. We had been in Mother's dream house a year or 18 months. Dad had our Studebaker checked out at a Service Station and they returned it with a note saying that we should bring it back as soon as possible as the brakes swerved badly to the right. Dad put the note in his pocket without reading it as he thought it was the bill.

Anyway they asked me to drive them to the LIRR station at Stewart Manor as they had missed it at Garden City. Naturally I had to go fast to catch the train. It was raining and when I put on the brake to make the turn to the station we swerved sharply to the right and turned over a couple of times and crashed!

People were wonderful. I particularly remember a minister - he was a son of Bishop Stires - stopped and stayed with us. An ambulance came for Mother and Marian. Marian had a gash on her arm but was OK. Dad and I followed them to the Mineola Hospital. After a while Dad came back to me and said, "Mother's gone." During the nightmare he found the note from the Service Station and showed it to me. He said, "If only I had read it this would not have happened."

Mother was the soul of our family. Beautiful, charming, intelligent and really the business brain in the family too.

She was fanatically religious with extreme Norwegian Lutheran Evangelical strictness.

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Anna Jørgine Lee's Timeline

June 17, 1884
Brooklyn, NY, United States
July 27, 1884
New York, Kings County, New York, United States
July 8, 1907
Age 23
Brooklyn, NY, United States
February 7, 1910
Age 25
Brooklyn, NY, United States
October 11, 1911
Age 27
Brooklyn, NY, United States
February 10, 1914
Age 29
Brooklyn, NY, United States
January 10, 1920
Age 35
New York, Kings County, New York, United States
June 25, 1929
Age 45
Garden City, NY, United States