NEWBURYPORT/LEOMINSTER — Leewood “Lee” L. Lane Sr., 76, of Leominster and Newburyport, Fanwood and Spring Lake, NJ, passed away on December 11, 2013, surrounded by his loving family after a ten year, courageous battle against cancer. Beloved husband of 54 years of Eleanor (Fogarty) Lane, loving father of Dr. Leewood L. Lane Jr. and his wife, Joanne, of Sterling, Brian and his wife, Carol, of Asbury, NJ, Richard and his wife, Lisa, of Sterling, David and his wife, Lisa, of Worcester and James and his wife, Jennifer, of Westfield, NJ. He was the son of the late Winifred Carter Lane Davis of Unity ME and the late Preston L. Lane of Plaistow, NH. Lee was the loving brother to Liane Nusse of Kalkashka, MI, Jeffrey Lane of Sharon and Patricia Evans of Seabrook, NH. Lee also leaves his fifteen grandchildren of whom he was extremely proud and loved dearly.
Lee was raised on Plum Island in Newburyport, where he met his wife, Eleanor, and Plum Island remained, throughout his life, his favorite spot on earth. His love of fishing and boating began at a very young age while working for Hudson’s Fishing Charter on Plum Island Point. Lee attended Newburyport public schools and was voted, “Most Studious” of his Newburyport High School graduating class of 1955. Lee was a proud participant and organizer of the “Class of 55 Reunion Committee” for Newburyport High School and kept close to his classmates and friends throughout his life. He was a graduate of the Pratt and Whitney machinist program, where he began a long and talented career as a machinist, tool maker and machine builder. Lee enlisted in the United States Air Force and spent 4 years as a crew chief in a B-47 StratoJet Bomber. Lee assisted in the foundation of Book Covers Incorporated, which eventually became the Newark Group, in Newark, NJ and worked there for 16 years. Following his career at the Newark Group, he worked for Bergen Barrel and Drum Company in Kearney, NJ, where he developed the first roto-molded plastic drum approved by the US DOT for use in interstate commerce. Lee was then employed as a plant engineer by Captive Plastics in Picataway, NJ. Lee continued to work, first full-time, then part-time for DraCool of Lykens, PA until his death.
Lee was a devoted Roman Catholic. He converted to Catholicism prior to marrying Eleanor in 1959. One of the greatest influences in his life was Eleanor’s mother, Margaret Fogarty, who accepted him as her son and guided his spiritual development. This was instrumental in the development of Lee’s dedication to his own family. Lee worked tirelessly throughout his life to make better the lives of all his family. When his sons were young he worked two or three different jobs at once to provide them with the best education available. Lee was always happiest on the water, and passed on his love of fishing and boating to his sons and grandchildren, having always kept a boat on the Merrimack River in Newburyport. Lee exemplified his love and dedication to family by staying close and caring for his mother and stepfather, Frederick (Red) Davis, and his father and stepmother, Elizabeth (Betty) Lane during their elder years. Lee also became guardian to Eleanor’s developmentally disabled cousin, Richard Chapeau, providing a caring and stable life until Richard’s death in October. Lee’s happiest moment was when he was able to combine his love for his family with his love of the water during a cruise up the Merrimack River on the Captain’s Lady II during Father’s Day weekend.
Family friends and relatives are invited to calling hours from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, December 15, at the Miles Funeral & Tribute Center, 100 Worcester Road, (Route 12), Sterling. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, December 16, at 10 a.m., at St. Richard of Chichester Church, 4 Bridge St., Sterling. Burial will be in Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, Winchendon, following the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, Covenant House of New York or The March of Dimes. To share a memory, offer an online condolence or for directions, please visit www.milesfuneralhome.com.