Joan Marie Worden-Lee

Joan Marie Worden-Lee

December 29, 1937 – February 5, 2020


Joan Marie Worden-Lee was born December 29, 1937 in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of John and Viola Fife, and passed away February 5, 2020 in Omaha, Nebraska.

Growing up, Joan loved to dance, so much she became a dance instructor early in her life.  She also loved kids and helping people, which lead to her working for Holt International Adoption Agency where she started the Nebraska chapter.  Through a busy schedule and a full house, she studied and received her master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Joan was a licensed mental health therapist and founded her own adoption agency, Kids Each Served in Love (KESIL) where she placed hundreds of children from around the world to adoptive parents.

Joan Fife married Ray Worden in 1957.  They had a big happy family together.  Joan and Ray were married for 50 years until his passing in 2007.  Joan married Bob Lee in 2017 and enjoyed over 2 years of love, adventure and happiness.  This was especially true when it came to a trip to the Southwest and spending time at the lake house.

Joan had many interests.  Besides her first love of dancing, she also enjoyed writing, photography, music, gardening, traveling and most of all helping others.  Joan had many articles published and wrote a book.  Many will remember Joan for her care and compassion for others.  She was only a phone call away, and sometimes those calls could go on for hours.  Most of all she wanted to make a difference in someone’s life for the better.

While it may be customary to comfort the grieving by saying the departed would not want us to be sad, it’s with certainty that Joan would want her loved ones to cherish the memories and not dwell on sadness.  Joan specifically wanted everyone to get together for a “celebration of life” gathering.

Joan was preceded in death by her parents and son-in-law, Tom Buffington.  Survivors include her husband, Bob Lee; sons, Ray (Vickie) and Robert (Stephanie); daughters, Raelynn Buffington and Maggie; grandkids: Noah (Tressa), Lillie, Brad Buffington, Sydney Buffington (fiancé, Israel); great-grandkids: Emma, Cecelia and Noah Jr.; step-son, John (Chana); step-daughters, Erika (Rick) and Krista (Dwight); and foster step-daughter, Suzie; along with cousins and many nieces and nephews, and, she wouldn’t want us to forget about her loving puppy dog, Snuggles.

Family will receive friends Sunday, February 9th from 5pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel.  CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Monday, February 10th, 6pm, West Center Chapel.  In lieu of flowers, memorials will be directed by the family.





  • Steven Johnson Posted February 7, 2020 3:36 pm

    With a heavy heart, I am sending many prayers your way.

  • Charlie, Karen, Samantha, Chip, Mara ,and Nora Knoche Posted February 8, 2020 12:29 pm

    Bob, As always, but especially now at your time of loss;our thoughts and prayers are with you. May God’s peace comfort you along with your fond memories of Joan. Love from your Illinois Family

  • Aaron Bryen Posted February 8, 2020 1:06 pm

    My prayers are with you all.

  • Mar Furnas Posted February 9, 2020 10:38 am

    Joan was special and had a real zest for life. She tried hard to bring people together so they wouldn’t lose touch. I will remember her fondly.

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