Newburyport, MA — Gaylee Leavitt MacGregor, 79, of Newburyport, died on June 3, 2014 at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in Portsmouth, N.H. In March of 2014, she was admitted to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, for circulatory issues in her legs. After complications from respiratory concerns and ongoing stays at both hospitals, Gaylee passed peacefully with both her son-in-law and her daughter at her side.
Gaylee was born Lillian Gaylee Leavitt, though she always went by the name Gaylee, in Brookline, Mass. on April 20, 1935, daughter of Albert W. and Lillian (Gill) Leavitt. Her parents came from opposite ends of the East Coast, with her father being from Parsonsfield, Maine and her mother a “Southern belle” from Greenwood, Va. Gaylee boarded at a very young age at Tenacre Country Day School in Wellesley, Mass., during WWII and then went on to graduate from Mary Burnham School, where she was crowned “May Queen.” Gaylee attended both the Sorbonne in Paris, France and The University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Va., where she obtained her degree. She traveled extensively throughout Europe and retained a love of going abroad her whole life.
Gaylee loved theatre, music and all the arts, and participated in such and many sports during her teenage years. Of her looks, she was said to be a cross between movie star legends, Ava Gardner and Elizabeth Taylor. An avid animal lover, she adored riding horseback wildly through the woods of Maine and also competed formally in dressage. Gaylee took ballet and with continued years of training and practice, danced en pointe. She played the piano, engaged in school politics, was voted class president and captained sporting teams. She was very proud of her family heritage and was the last surviving member of her generation who owned the Leavitt Plantation, a forestry of sustainable timber production, in Parsonsfiled, Maine.