October 10, 1943November 6, 2018

Aletha “Lee” Paulette DeLeo passed away on November 6, at Promise Hospital in Mesa, AZ, at the age of 75. She was born October 10, 1943, to Emma Lillian (Ochs) Karst and Paul Arvin Karst at Russell Hospital in Russell, KS. She spent the early part of her life in a rural area around Galatia, KS. In 1950, the family moved to a farm near Wilson, KS where she attended school. After the farm was sold, the family moved to Estes Park, CO where Lee attended her senior year of high school and graduated as valedictorian of her class. Lee attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. She began teaching in Widefield near Fountain, CO. She then taught the majority of her teaching career (1974 - 1998) at Cherry Hills Village Elementary School in Englewood, CO. She considered some of her teaching colleagues her dearest friends and they stayed in touch throughout the years after their retirement. Lee was a well prepared, organized, caring, conscientious, creative, admired and well-liked teacher and some referred to her as a “master teacher.” She particularly enjoyed planning the social studies field trips. Lee was a teacher through and through and she would even bring her nieces learning materials when she visited them. She was married to Michael Galey from 1969 - 1983. On March 22, 1986 she married Philip John DeLeo and they enjoyed over 30 years of marriage. During their marriage, Phil and Lee created lasting memories as they traveled the world and they shared time between Highlands Ranch, CO and Sun Lakes, AZ where they were “snowbirds.” They moved to Sun Lakes, AZ full time in 2016. Lee endured many medical diagnoses and health issues during the last few years of her life, but she always remained hopeful, strong and had a fighting spirit. Lee enjoyed traveling, reading, attending family reunions, playing Mah Jong and other games, having lunch with friends, and spending quality time with her family. She loved her family with her whole heart and her family loved her the same in return. She will always hold a special place in the hearts of those who knew her. Lee was preceded in death by her husband, Philip J. DeLeo, and her parents, Paul and Emma Karst. She is survived by her brother, Gerald (Karen) Karst of Greeley, CO, her niece Amy (Mike) Herold of Greeley, CO, her niece Becky (Paul) Lewus of Newbury Park, CA, her great nieces Abby, Kalyna, Kylie and her great nephew, Aidan. She is also survived by many cousins and extended family. A private memorial service and internment will be held on Monday, December 31, 2018 at 1 pm at Resthaven Memorial Gardens in Fort Collins, CO. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) or Immanuel Lutheran Church in care of Resthaven Memorial Gardens, 8426 South Highway 287, Fort Collins, CO 80525.


  • Celebration of Life Monday, December 31, 2018
  • Graveside Service Monday, December 31, 2018
  • Reception Monday, December 31, 2018


have a memory or condolence to add?

Connie Jones

December 12, 2018

Lee’s friendship will always be close to my heart. We shared a love of the same style of clothes and would often show up at school wearing the same sweater or blouse. I have a gift from her that I treasure; I look at it every day as it is in my kitchen. I will miss her.

Bobbie Young

December 12, 2018

Lee was a very dear friend and colleague. During the summers she and I would plan our own "field trips" to explore places to take our students or just to places we wanted to see.
As I was putting up my Christmas decorations this year, I realized that two of my favorite Christmas decorations were gifts from her.
Lee and Phil were fortunate to be world travelers. She always brought back some nice souvenirs to give to her friends when she returned. I will treasure those graciously-given souvenirs even more now.
She absolutely loved her nieces and their children! Her close friends heard many heart-warming stories throughout the years.
We will all miss her very much.

Julia(Koch) Fraser

December 12, 2018

Wow....this is sad...Aletha and I use to play together, when they lived in Galatia.... I got in contact with her, after she married Philip..we sent Christmas card, and his note....where are we, or where have we gone..... I am so sorry to hear that she passed away.... God Bless.....Julia Koch Fraser