Carmela Lee, born on June 25, 1927, in Haifa, Israel (at the time, Palestine), passed away peacefully at the age of 96 on September 14, 2023, in Virginia Beach, VA. Carmela was raised in Beirut, Lebanon but returned to her birthplace and served in the Israeli Army as a SGT Major during the Israeli War of Independence (1948-1949). She spoke five languages fluently and had a love for classical music. In her younger years, she worked as a hostess in the Israeli cruise industry, travelled the world and held a position with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism in New York. But perhaps her most important role was wife and mother to her two children.
Married for 58 years, Carmela’s marriage was a remarkable testament to love and commitment. She and her late husband, Henry Lee, shared a beautiful bond that began in 1964 when they met at a Jewish Singles weekend at the Concord Resort in the Catskills in upstate NY. Settling in New York City, they together raised two loving children, Betty Berklee and Michael Lee, forming a small but close family that supported and cherished one another. Carmela was Sister and Sister-in-Law of the late Dr. Jacob and Henriette Buchbinder, and Isa and Anna Buchbinder. Carmela will be deeply missed by her three grandchildren, Jared, Aiden and Caspin, and her devoted son-in-law Kenny Berklee.
Carmela Lee leaves behind cherished memories and an incredible legacy. Her love, resilience and gratitude for life will be missed dearly by those who knew her, but she will forever live on in the hearts of her surviving family.
A private graveside burial will be held to honor Carmela’s life, celebrating the extraordinary woman she was.