Winning a New Game: Joanne P. McCallie ’90

Winning a New Game: Joanne P. McCallie ’90

She was one of college basketball’s greatest coaches—but she was carrying a secret.

Joanne McCallie with MSU Basketball Team

Despite the prevalence of women’s basketball around the country, certain coaching names inevitably stand out.

Pat Summit. Geno Auriemma. Joanne Palombo-McCallie.

As “Coach P” to the generations of women who have played under her, McCallie was—and is—recognized for her passion for the game, for an indomitable spirit and a commitment to developing people, not just players. Three-time NCAA Women’s Coach of the Year, her 628 wins places her in the all-time Top 40 women’s basketball coaches.

But throughout her career, McCallie was hiding a secret—a secret that at times threatened to disrupt her career and upend her life: besides battling opponents on the court, McCallie was battling her own mental health issues.

For the first time, McCallie is opening up about that battle through her new book, “Secret Warrior: A Coach and Fighter, On and Off the Court.”

“The timing of this book just sort of happened,” said McCallie from her home. “We had a great team [at Duke], we were going to go to the NCAA tournament, we finished third in a great league, all excited like everybody else, and then the pandemic hit.”

McCallie stepped away from basketball after more than 25 years as player and coach following the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Tournament due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

She gave up more than just her job—a berth in the NCAA tournament, a shot at the title, another make-or-break run with the team—but it has given her things, too. Peace and quiet, for one, but also room to breathe.

Freed from the confines of a relentless schedule that begins once the season ends, she found a rare moment of reflection. She began to write a story she waited her whole life to tell.

“I thought at age 39 that I might write the story, because we were in the national title and that, perhaps, we had the proper stage in which to share such information, but I was counseled against that,” she remembers.

“At that time, I wanted to coach so badly, the reaction to that information could not be trusted.”

Basketball has always been the vehicle that transported McCallie. It began in junior high school, then continued as a scholarship athlete at Northwestern University. After graduating, McCallie tried working in sales for a telemarketing firm, but found an emptiness that made her long for collegiate athletics.

In 1988, she took a chance and flew to Tacoma, Wash. on her own dime to interview for an assistant coaching position with Joe Ciampi, head coach of Auburn Women’s Basketball. It wasn’t the only school she interviewed with at the time, but there was a connection to the southern school she couldn’t shake.

“I was told to always follow good people—find good people that can make a difference in your life. Joe [Ciampi] is pretty remarkable coach, and so I followed, except I didn’t realize exactly what I was following.”

McCallie’s arrival on the Plains coincided with some of the best years in program history. Ciampi led a team that had only won a combined 17 games the past two seasons to an unprecedented three consecutive appearances in the finals of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.

Besides transitioning from Chicago to the Deep South, the learning curve from player to coach is what she remembers most.

“Coaching is a craft; I had no exposure to that level of coaching whatsoever. All I did was learn—I’m quite sure I added very little to the equation in year one—but I was very enthusiastic, and I loved the team and coaches.”

After her first year, coaching seemed impossible. But in year two, she began to understand coaching as a lifestyle and “the business of developing people.” She became a critical asset in recruiting, helping to make Auburn a top destination for star players around the country.

Some of those players, like Chantel Tremitiere and Ruthie Bolton—both future Auburn icons—helped her grown into her role.

“They taught me more than I could ever need to know in coaching and kept me humble. Really, they were the two people, besides coach Ciampi, that made me [believe] I could perhaps be a coach someday.”

McCallie met her husband John McCallie ’90 while at Auburn. She also was part of the cohort of Auburn graduates to earn a master’s in business administration the first year it was offered.

When she was offered the head coaching position at the University of Maine in 1991, it was the obvious next step, the culmination of the first stage of her career and the beginning of the next.

It didn’t matter that, at 26, she was coaching a player only four years younger, or that she only had been coaching at all for less than five, or even that she was up against storied programs like Texas, Rutgers and Florida.

McCallie with the Auburn Women's Basketball Team
McCallie (back row, second from right) with the Auburn Women’s Basketball Coach 

In short order, the University of Maine became an ascendant powerhouse. Under “Coach P,” the Black Bears earned five regular-season conference titles, four conference championships and made six consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. She remains Maine’s all-time winningest women’s basketball coach with 167 victories and was named conference coach of the year three times.

But there was a shadow on the rise. Looking back, with so much happening so quickly, it seems inevitable there would be a breakdown.

“My brain health was like everyone else’s until age 30. I mean, I was an excitable person. A first-time head coach at 26. I’d just given birth to my daughter. Life was incredibly busy, and full, and exciting. Then, at 30 years old, I had my first episode, and, you know, it’s shocking—there’s nothing you can say to really prepare anyone for your mind deciding to take its own path.”

McCallie had suffered her first mental collapse in October 1995, the first of two singular events that contributed to a diagnosis of bipolar disorder.

She was hospitalized for two nights and spent two weeks away from the team getting treatment for “exhaustion.” She concealed the truth from everyone but her family, but rather than question their coach’s commitment, the team coalesced around her. They won their conference tournament in 1995 and again in 1996.

It wasn’t until she began writing “Secret Warrior” that she told her former players the truth about her condition.

“There were issues, and [the players] understood all that. They understood I had a mental health issue, [but] that’s where the language at that point stopped. And for them, I think, as they reported back to me, that was all they needed to know at that time, because we wanted to win championships and pursue things together, which we did. But later in life, many of them didn’t know the whole story.”

McCallie learned to trust her doctors, and to not be so hard on herself—a challenge on par with building a successful basketball program. But the newfound sense of balance helped ease her transition to head coach of Michigan State.

In seven fast-paced years, the Michigan State Spartans made the NCAA Tournament five consecutive times, winning a Big 10 Conference Title in 2005. That same year, the Spartans faced coaching legend Pat Summit’s Tennessee Volunteers in the Final Four, overcoming a 16-point deficit to reach the National Championship in only her fifth year.

Though they would fall to Baylor in that game, the next year she led the USA Basketball Under-20 National Team to the 2006 FIBA Americas Championship and a gold medal.

Coincidentally, McCallie also developed a close friendship with MSU’s then-head football coach Nick Saban.

“I’m the only woman ever to shadow Nick for a day,” she says proudly. “I went from the meetings to the practice, and the way in which he operates and executes organization was an experience to just absorb and take in.”

McCallie readily admits to seeking inspiration in books written by esteemed colleagues, friends and, occasionally, rivals. The books written by legendary Duke University head coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski were extremely valuable to developing her coaching identity early on.

When she made the difficult decision to leave Michigan State for Duke, the increased proximity to Coach K was just one part of the school’s appeal. But with his own program to run, and with added duties as head coach of USA Basketball, she wasn’t sure when, or if, they would ever meet.

Then she heard a knock on her door. Or, a loud bang, to be specific.

“At one point, he just came to me—he banged on the door aggressively—that’s something he had ever done before or again.

“I wanted to find something to express the way I felt about coaching, and it began as a quote, ‘choice not chance determines your destiny—choose to become a champion in life.’ Life can throw us a lot of curveballs, but we try to we try to teach that you still though have control of the choices you make, despite all the difficulty that you can face.”

McCallie at a speaking engagement

 

A year since she stepped away from basketball, the uncertainty and stress caused by the pandemic have made mental health issues a rising national crisis. The difference between now and 25 years ago is that, freed from the stigma of mental health disorders, people are talking about their experiences more.

McCallie is one of them. Through hashtags like “#StoriesOverStigmas” and “#BeGoodToYou,” she’s showing others how to cope and eventually overcome the issues that almost derailed her own career. But these days, her legacy is secured.

She is the only head coach in Division I history to win a conference title and be named coach of the year in four separate conferences, the ACC, Big Ten, America East and North Atlantic. Two of her MSU assistant coaches, Katie Abrahamson and Felisha Legette-Jack, each became head coaches at the University of Central Florida and the University of Buffalo, respectively. A former player at Maine, Amy Vachon, is currently that team’s head coach.

While McCallie isn’t sure she’s left basketball for good, she’s loving her new role as mental health advocate, coaching for a much broader team against much less understood opponent.

“I miss my team very much, I miss coaching, I miss the practices a lot, that incredible focus you have; the travel and all the other things, not so much,” said McCallie. “But I also feel like I can do more, coaching from this angle—this is a different kind of stage that I’m on, and I’m enjoying it. I’m learning a lot and hoping to help.”

Margaret “Cutie” Brown Lee ’26

Margaret “Cutie” Brown Lee ’26

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”14837″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Auburn women athletics’ first genuine star was Margaret “Cutie” Brown, an electrifying basketball player and captain at a time when women’s sports were anything but regular.

 

 

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]The 1920s was the “Golden Decade of Sport” and reflected the Progressive era’s belief that exercise for women was “a means of achieving their ‘natural beauty.'” A Women’s Athletic Association was organized on campus, and a coed basketball team began playing an intercollegiate schedule.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Auburn’s male sports writers for the Orange and Blue outdid themselves in describing the court play of Margaret “Cutie” Brown, who was “the main cog in the Auburn machine,” along with Annie Creel.   Caroline Elizabeth Drake remembered Cutie, a teammate of her sister Rosa, as a popular girl and a great point shooter. The team did well the winter of 1921, playing a number of area college and high school teams, but the spotlight at A.P.I. was not on women’s athletic endeavors but men’s, especially football, a sport that began at Auburn the same year women arrived.”

Margaret Brown was born in Kellyton, Ala. in 1902, the baby of 7.  There were 4 boys and 3 girls.The child just older by two years to her was John Morgan Brown ’23.  In 1915, her father Julian Alford Brown died, leaving Annie Hester Brown a widow with at least 3 children at home.

Not long after Julian Brown’s death, Margaret’s older brothers, Clyde Graham and Eugene McKinney, died within 6 weeks of each other — one 6, the other, 16.

Annie Brown struggled to make ends meet and soon after her husband died uprooted the family and moved to Auburn, Ala. Brown managed a boarding house for students.

Margaret enrolled at A.P.I., September 1921. While there, according to the year book, she was on the Co-ed basketball team 4 years, of which she was Captain for 2 years. The team was almost perfect the whole time she was on it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]“THESE STAR AUBURN CO-EDS HAVE HELPED TEAM TO GREAT CAGE RECORD DURING YEAR” (Leroy Simms, Huntsville Times) 

“Led by Cutey Brown, one of the best all round girl basketball players in the South, the Auburn coeds have made and enviable record on the court during the year and are claiming first honors among the girls teams that play by boys rules. Mary Tamplin is a wonder shot and plays a beautiful floor game, while the work of young at center and guard has been a big factor in determining the success of her school colors in a number of the games played.

The girls from the village of the plains have beaten Birmingham- Southern coeds and Howard girls, as well as a number of other good combinations and feel they are capable of taking on any and all comers. In fact, they challenge any claimant in the state all over the South to combat mortal.

The sport is young at the village and the girls are considered to have made a good mark for the year. “

“AUBURN CO-EDS WIN HARD GAME FROM PANTHERS — Captain Brown Wins Battle by Tossing Goal In Extra Period” (The Orange & Blue)

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”18749″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]“Captain ‘Cutie’ Brown, star center of the Auburn Tigerettes won a place beside Kirk Newell, John Emmett Pitts, Ed Shirling, and other immortals of the village of the plains when she tossed in a field goal from the middle of the BAC floor Friday night, with hardly more than a minute of the Auburn-Birmingham Southern game left. Close guarding on the part of Williams and Green had held the Tigers in check for the greater part of the contest and an extra period was necessary, the score being knotted at 8 all when the second half ended.

The final score, 10-8, was the result of the excellent playing of the guard of both teams, rather than slow work on the part of the forwards. Few shots were made from under the basket and it seemed for some time as if the close guarding of the Southernites would give them a victory.

Time after time, the Auburn guards would pass the ball down the court only to have the ever alert Panther guards get the ball and send it back up the court.

In final desperation, the Auburn quint began trying long shots and managed to keep the score even for most of the game, the count being tied when the final whistle blew. the extra period was a carbon copy of the first of the game, neither team being able to get a shot under the basket. With the previous seconds becoming fewer each time the watch ticked, Captain Cutie Brown obtained the ball and tossed a pretty one in from the middle of the court.

Southern was unable to hit the basket for the remainder of the game and the Tigerettes had continued their winning streak of more than two years’ duration.  However, we venture to say, that in all their two years of playing the Auburn players have never had a harder, closer game than the one they finally copped Birmingham Athletic Club Friday night.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”18733″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][vc_column_text]

Margaret “Cutie” Brown ’26

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Auburn Co-Eds Triumph Over Pantherettes — PANTHERETTES BEATEN IN THRILLING CAGE GAME (The Birmingham News)

Miss Margaret Brown is Star of First Intercollegiate Girls’ Tilt Here.

“Birmingham basketball fans have been vamped, that is those who were fortunate enough to find a place to park their dogs at the Central YMCA Saturday night.  When it comes to playing basketball, according to Brother Hoyle, the males will have to take a back seat and take lessons from the females.  Minus frills and other feminine decorations, Auburn’s co-eds waltzed away with a 24-9 victory over Big Hoss Gandy’s fair collection of Birmingham-Southern tossers in a real bang-up game.”

“A paragraph should be given to every girl on both fives, detailing just how she starred, but time is fleeting with the dead hour on our neck.”

“Miss Margaret (Cutie is what they called her at Auburn) Brown was the leading lady of the show.  She caged six field goals as neatly as any male performer ever looped a basket.  Anna Pavlova could take a few lessons from her in the art of being graceful.  The whole Auburn team seemed to work around her and not once did she fail to handle the ball like a young Apollo.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”18752″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” img_link_large=”yes” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][vc_column_text]

Chi Omega sorority, 1926 — Margaret Brown is 6th from Right

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]She also joined the Dramatic Club 4 years; Home Economics Club 3 years; while a member of the Women’s Athletic Association 2 years, she was Vice President for one year; a member of the Chi Omega Sorority.  Because of her bowed-legs, she was known as “Cutie” and from dance cards and attendance at or appearances in different plays, she was very well liked.

She was All-SEC Center and API was ALL SEC while she was there.  She changed her major to Home Economics after a year or two. Brown graduated 1926 and went to teach at Thomasville High School in Georgia.  They knew she had played basketball in college and, their girls’ coach having left, they asked her to coach their girls, which she did.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Margaret Brown married Bradley Fowlkes Lee Sept. 3, 1930 (he always said they’d married on Labor Day).  She taught school in Perry County, Ala. and eventually became a Social Worker with the state of Alabama.  They moved to Montgomery after 1940 and she started working with Montgomery County.  Margaret and Bradley wanted children very much, but couldn’t seem to have them so they adopted ME September 21, 1945.

Margaret eventually went back to work as a social worker, then in the 1950’s, she worked both as a substitute teacher and a social worker.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”18756″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” img_link_large=”yes” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][vc_column_text]

Coach Margaret Brown with the Thomasville H.S. Girl’s Basketball Team, 1927

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”18759″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][vc_column_text]

Margaret Brown ’26, right, Pat Bayne, in 1967

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]During this time, she also helped start the United Way in Montgomery, was a member of the Garden Club, on the Board of the Humane Society and was a member of the Junior League.  She was also active in Trinity Presbyterian Church.

In 1960, her husband, Bradley Lee, died suddenly, and she realized she needed to provide for both herself and her daughter.

In 1962, Margaret spent the summer at FSU working towards her Master’s Degree.  She was 60 at the time, with a teenaged daughter.  During the school year, she returned to Montgomery for her daughter’s senior year at Lanier High School.  Summer of 1963, after her daughter’s graduation, Margaret returned to FSU and received her Graduate Certificate, enabling her to transfer from Montgomery County, Ala. to the State of Alabama, again placing children in foster homes and for adoption.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]Her life’s work was making sure all children had clean, decent homes in which to live.

She always loved to watch basketball, baseball, and football on television.  At 69 she could still shoot basketball shots from 10 feet.

One story I love and saw – she went to Stone Mountain, GA, to visit her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, Margaret.  Margaret was 18 months old, still taking naps in the afternoon, and the neighbor boys wouldn’t stop playing basketball against the front door of the apartment.

Margaret or Ga-Ga, as she was known by her grandchildren, went outside and asked the boys if they would stop hitting the door with the ball if she made 20 shots from 10 feet away.  Now picture this, a 69 year old, 5’4” tall, 130 lb, woman telling kids she can rim 20 balls from 10 feet.  They said “sure” very sarcastically!  They agreed, thinking no way!  By the time she had hit 6 balls, their mouths were wide open and they applauded after the 20th one.  By the time she was through, she had moved back to 15 feet.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/2″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][image_with_animation image_url=”18762″ alignment=”center” animation=”Fade In” img_link_large=”yes” box_shadow=”none” max_width=”100%”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″][vc_column column_padding=”no-extra-padding” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_shadow=”none” width=”1/1″ tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid”][vc_column_text]In 1970, she retired after 25 years with the State of Alabama, but still gathered with her workmates for lunch on Saturday. I grew up with those ladies and one man, and loved them dearly.

She dearly loved Auburn, but her life’s work was children.  In 1973, she went to the doctor about a cough and found out she had breast cancer.  By the time they discovered it, time was short.  My husband and I, with our daughter, Margaret, moved in with Mama.  Our second child was born March 29, 1974, and Mama asked us to name him after Daddy, which we did.

Margaret Brown Lee died Friday, April 11, 1974, just two weeks after her grandson’s birth.  She had lived 5 months after the cancer diagnosis.

As you can tell, we all loved Mama very much and we miss her still!

MaryBradley Lee Bayne — July 27, 2017[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]