She was raised in the Cole Camp area, attending schools in Benton County, graduating from Lincoln, Missouri, High School in the class of 1945. After graduation, she attended Southwest Baptist College at Bolivar, Missouri, and received an associate of arts degree in 1947. At Lebanon, Missouri, she began a teaching career that lasted 26 years. During teaching years Erma Lee received a bachelor of science degree in education from Southwest Missouri State University and continued graduate work until retiring from teaching in 1977. She pursued social service work as director of Cabool Senior Center for a number of years.
Erma Lee retired from the center in 1991 to devote more time at home and enjoy activities of gardening and flowers, sewing, traveling, cooking, and hobbies. She has been active in Cabool Study Club, VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary, Golden Age Club, Republican Women’s Group, 60 +ers, and volunteering at Cabool Senior Center where she was a board member. Erma Lee and John T. enjoyed vacation trips to the southwest United States, Old Mexico, the Outer Banks of North Carolina, New England, Washington, D.C., Niagara Falls, Korea, and Alaska.
In June 1954, Erma Lee and John T. Young were married. This union was blessed with two children: Elizabeth Jane and John Timothy.
Erma Lee was preceded in death by her husband, John T., her parents; her brother, Orval Corman; two brothers-in-law, Glen Sherman and Clennon Boyette; and a sister-in-law, June Corman.
She is survived by her daughter, Elizabeth Jones and husband Lloyd of Houston, Missouri; her son, Tim Young and Jennifer of Licking, Missouri; grandson Case Thomas-Dale Jones; granddaughter Daniella Izabelle Young; Alysha and Cody; two sisters, Eloise Boyette of Daytona Beach, Florida and Elinor Sherman of Hastings, Nebraska; as well as several nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends who will miss her dearly.
Erma Lee became a Christian as a young person. She enjoyed working in different churches where her teaching and work took her. For a number of years she has been a member of Cabool Christian Church, where services were held January 30, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. with Jeff Randleman and Bob Martin officiating. Pallbearers were Don Evans, Rocky Davis, Chris Davis, Mike Hill, Sam Mudd and Everett Beller. Honorary pallbearers were Bob Benson, Tom Carr, Marion Morgan and Charles Field.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Missouri Girls Town, Cabool Senior Center, or Cabool Christian Church.