ELY: Stephen Lee/Lea, son of Solomon Leander and Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" BAWDEN, savant, Ph.D in philosophy, m. Bertha/Berta MONTEMAYOR in Chicago, dies of cancer in Madison
Stephen Lee/Lea was born 2 Jan 1905 in Davenport, Scott, Iowa, seven mos after the death of his father. He was brought up by his mother and grandmother in the Stephen Douglas BAWDEN home on 1315 E. 11th St. in Davenport.
"Lee" is remembered by some of his Davenport school friends (no cites) as being very popular, a near genius in his studies, and able to play any tune he ever heard on the piano. He and Bix Beiderbecke attended Davenport High School at the same time, and although they were in different classes, they shared many friends. One summer during high school, Lee and Richard BALLARD worked as strike breakers in the Des Moines Union Round House doing maintenance work on the locomotives. It was a dangerous job which paid well because feelings over the strike ran high and many strike breakers, if caught coming or going from the round house were beaten and even murdered (see seperate blog story).
Lee graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he was a member of Kappa Sigma social fraternity and elected to Phi Beta Kappa national honor society. He received his Bachelors, Masters and Ph.D from Madison in philosophy where he became an associate professor. He taught at the university for 15 years, during which he wrote the controversial book "Religious Availability of Whitehead's God" and reviews and articles in that field.
In March 1945 (no date) Lee married Bertha MONTEMAYOR, (middle of 6 children: Estella, Gustavo, Berta, Roman "Rum", George, Charlie) in Chicago, Illinois (? not substantiated but listed in references). She was the dtr of Gustav Octavius and Elvira VILLAREAL MONTEMAYOR, born 15 Jun 1921 in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas. About 1926, the MONTEMAYOR family moved to Janesvillle, Rock, Wisconsin, where Gustav worked for the Parker Pen Company. Bertha attended Janesville schools and the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she met Stephen.
Stephen Lee ELY died 7 May 1947 at Madison of cancer. He was cremated and his ashes were inurned in Madison suburb Monona's Rose Lawn Memorial Park, in a lot owned by Bertha. For 2 weeks after his death, the flag over the University was flown at half-mast in mourning for this talented and beloved teacher.
Bertha ELY married 29 Sept 1949 in Madison, Robert CRAFTON GILPIN who was studying at the university.
They moved to Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana where Bertha attended Butler University, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in languages...teaching secondary Spanish. She taught Spanish at the private Park-Tudor School in Indianapolis. After Robert died she took up residence in Fairhope, Alabama where she married pediatricin Rollie ???.
Stephen and Bertha had only a daughter, which Robert adopted: Elizabeth MONTEMAYOR ELY, born 30 July 1945 in Madison, Dane, Wisconsin. (seperate blog).