Deceased November 25, 2016

View alumni profile (log in required)
Read obituary

In Memory

Lee died on Nov. 25, 2016, after a prolonged illness. He was a very popular member of our class and an excellent athlete at West Springfield High, Deerfield Academy and Amherst. Lee was a member of Chi Phi, majored in history and was in the AFROTC program.

After graduation Lee went on active duty with the air force, which included time in Korea. When he left the service, Lee remained in the Air Force Reserve, assigned to the Massachusetts Air National Guard in Westfield, Mass. He retired as a major.

Upon leaving active duty, Lee went to work at Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. for 33 years, retiring as director of the Eastern Region Underwriting Department. Lee’s love for sports never faded, as he continued to be involved by officiating high school football games for 33 years and basketball games for 25 years.

Throughout Lee’s life he attended Amherst football games, homecoming events and class reunions and was always the “go to” guy for help in providing food and beverages at any event. For many years he and I would meet with several classmates for a mini-reunion over lunch in Enfield, Conn. We talked for hours, catching up and enjoying each other’s company.

Lee married his high school sweetheart, Aida, in our freshman year, and they lived in Coach McCabe’s house. We remember Aida working at the snack bar in Valentine Hall. Sadly, Aida died unexpectedly in 1995, as did their only child later, at age 51. Lee’s second wife, Nancy, also died suddenly when fatally struck by an automobile. With his third wife, Beverly, Lee enjoyed a life of travel and cruises. Lee had much sorrow in his life, but he also had much happiness, including the love of three wonderful wives.

Frank Downey ’55