Former Doncaster Free Press and South Yorkshire Times reporter dies

Former Doncaster Free Press journalist Jannette Lee.
Former Doncaster Free Press journalist Jannette Lee.

A former Doncaster Free Press and South Yorkshire Times reporter and freelance magazine journalist has died.

Jannette McKenzie Lee died on February 7 aged 69.

Other weekly newspapers she worked for were the Beckenham Journal and West Somerset Free Press before working in South Yorkshire.

Husband Peter said: “Since she could remember, Jannette had always wanted to be a journalist.

“As a girl in Beckenham, the much-loved daughter of a First World War veteran, she dreamed of writing, and after serving her apprenticeship on small weeklies she made a name for herself writing for the top women’s magazines through her agency, J Lee Features. She cut her teeth with true life tales working with David ‘Tommo’ Thomas at the South West News agency.

“She had a huge heart and cared about the people whose lives she shared through the pages of Best, Bella,Take A Break, Chat etc. And this, together with a keen eye and dogged determination and a nose for the news brought in some wonderful true life stories.

“Her friendly personality and caring nature were complemented by determination and single-mindedness, and a rare skill to put people at ease, and reflect their feelings in print.

“She travelled all over the North to find her stories, and in setting up her own freelance business became well respected among magazine commissioning editors.

“Retirement was a wrench for her, because she loved her profession so much, but she managed to ease out of work and enjoy reading; books, authors and literature were among her great passions from childhood, and together with medieval history were her great hobbies.”

She leaves a husband, retired journalist Peter, and a brother Andrew.

Cremation is at Ardsley, Friday February 20 at 1.30pm.