Patricia Lee Chapman, 74, of Lawrence, passed away on November 26, 2020, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital as a result of complications from COVID-19.
Lee was born November 5, 1946, in Tampa, Florida to Joe and Doris, Chapman. As her father was in the Air Force, the family lived in various places when she was young. Her favorite memories were of the years in the mid-1950s when they resided in the small town of Woburn Sands, in England. In adulthood, she lived at various times in the San Francisco Bay area, Salina, Tucson, Staten Island, and Lawrence.
After graduating from Salina High School, she studied drawing, painting, and printmaking at Oakland City College, then the San Francisco Art Institute in California, as well as the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
In 1969, Lee married Kenneth Irving in Lawrence, and four years later their daughter Jessica was born. From 1974 to 2003 (and despite separation in 1996 and then divorce in 1999) Lee and Kenneth both worked in various capacities for the national newsstand publication American Astrology, first in Tucson, and then in New York City.
It was during her time in New York that Lee started the literary journal and press, First Intensity, which she produced from 1993 until 2008, which featured numerous authors and artists of note including Diane Ackerman, Aaron Morgan Brown, John Gary Brown, William S. Burroughs, Lisa Bourbeau, Clare Doveton, Diane di Prima, Theodore Enslin, Barry Gifford, Kenneth Irby, Robert Kelly, Gerrit Lansing, Leila Lalami, Stanley Lombardo, Jim McCrary, Duncan McNaughton, John Moritz, John Olson, Judith Roitman, Andre Spears, S. Clay Wilson, and many more.
Lee's work as an artist was often interwoven with her work as an editor and publisher. She created many original drawings as covers for books of poetry. Her work is in several private collections across the U.S. In 2008 she was a recipient of the Phoenix Award from the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission for her work as an artist, editor, and publisher and her place as a linchpin of the local cultural community.
After an absence of over 20 years, Lee moved back to Lawrence, KS in 1996. Lawrence had always felt the most like "home" of all the places she had lived. Her home became a cultural salon of sorts, with regular gatherings that drew friends and literary luminaries alike.
Lee is survived by her daughter, Jessica, son-in-law William, grandsons Krishna and Max, brother, Michael Chapman, and sister-in-law, Mary. She is predeceased by her parents, Joe and Doris Chapman, and brother Jack Chapman.
A celebration of Lee's life will be held at a later date to be posted on her website leechapmanarchive.com
. Donations in her name can be made to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Health Foundation CARE Fund to support LMH Health employees affected by the COVID-19 crisis, or to LMH's COVID-19 Area of Greatest Need Fund to support hospital needs such as supplies and equipment.
Published by Lawrence Journal-World on Dec. 9, 2020.