This is truly sad news. According to THR, Joan Lee, the wife of Stan Lee, has passed away. She was 93 years old. Earlier in the week, she had suffered a stroke and had remained in the hospital. She was surrounded by friends and family as she passed. The family asks to be left alone as they grieve.

Joan and Stan Lee’s love story is the kind they write novels about. Lee told the story of his first meeting to THR last year and frankly, it’s adorable. His wife had married an American soldier impulsively but was gravely unhappy. While living as a hat model in New York, someone came to the door of her apartment. And the rest is history.

When I was young, there was one girl I drew; one body and face and hair. It was my idea of what a girl should be. The perfect woman. And when I got out of the Army, somebody, a cousin of mine, knew a model, a hat model at a place called Laden Hats. He said, ‘Stan, there’s this really pretty girl named Betty. I think you’d like her. She might like you. Why don’t you go over and ask her to lunch.’ Blah, blah, blah.

So I went up to this place. Betty didn’t answer the door. But Joan answered, and she was the head model. I took one look at her — and she was the girl I had been drawing all my life. And then I heard the English accent. And I’m a nut for English accents! She said, ‘May I help you?’ And I took a look at her, and I think I said something crazy like, ‘I love you.’ I don’t remember exactly. But anyway, I took her to lunch. I never met Betty, the other girl. I think I proposed to [Joan] at lunch.

Joan was also responsible for helping Stan Lee stay in comics and create the Fantastic Four, Marvel’s “first family”. Lee had been depressed at the time, not able to follow his dreams of being a serious novelist. The state of the comic industry was also in a wreck. So, Joan gave him the push he needed.

Before you quit, why don’t you write one comic you are proud of?

She leaves behind Stan and their daughter, JC. While she lived a full and loved life, it’s still heartbreaking to hear. We send our thoughts and love to the Lee family during this difficult time.