BRIDGEWATER — A Celebration of Life ceremony for Longtime Bridgewater, Selectman, Nelson B. Lee Jr. who died on Sept. 6 in his North Bridgewater home, will be held at Grandma’am’s Hill Farm in North Bridgewater, (4278 North Bridgewater Rd) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.
John Timken, a close friend and neighbor who succeeded Mr. Lee as a Selectman just last month, said: “Nelson served the Town of Bridgewater for more than 25 years. His hallmark professionalism and commanding presence will be sorely missed. The town has lost an important asset and a great friend.”
Nelson Borland Lee Jr. was born in Boston, Mass. in 1932, and moved to North Bridgewater with his parents in 1940, when they purchased and began to renovate Grandma’am’s Hill Farm.
In 1950, his parents, Nelson and Mary Lee later became proprietors of the White Cupboard Inn in Woodstock, and both lived in the area until their passings, in 1967 and 2010, respectively.
Mr. Lee graduated from Fenn School, Middlesex School and attended Cornell University. After serving in the U.S. Army, Lee began his career in the leasing business in California. After returning East, he began his lifelong love of aviation by helping to establish Executive Airlines, a pioneering commuter airline headquartered in Boston serving Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and the Cape and Islands.
In 1970, he and other executives broke away to form Air New England, which became one of the largest commuter airlines in America.
In 1981, Mr. Lee retired and returned full-time to his family’s picturesque and much-photographed farm in North Bridgewater. There, he continued to raise Scotch Highland cattle and began to pursue a range of other civic and community-oriented activities. In addition to his role as chair of the Bridgewater Selectboard, Mr. Lee was also active in the Two Rivers – Ottaqueechee Regional Commission, The Greater Upper Valley Solid Waste District, the American Scotch Highland Breeder’s Association and was a longtime member and President of The Lakota Club in Barnard. In addition, he was an avid angler and fished in many distinctive locations around the world, including Iceland, Patagonia, Labrador and Alaska.
George C. Lee II, Mr. Lee’s son, said: “My father was dedicated to his family, his farm, the Town of Bridgewater and the extraordinary collection of fellow Vermonters who formed the communities he served and loved.” In addition to his son, Mr. Lee leaves his wife, Lynne Bertram; a step-son, Robin Lepel-Cointet; four brothers: Elisha F. Lee, Richard S. Lee, John D. Lee and Charles J. Lee; and two granddaughters, Isabelle C. Lee and Olivia A. Lee.
Donations in lieu of flowers, may be made to: Bridgewater Historical Society, Bridgewater Neighbors Helping Neighbors or The Prosper Homemakers.
Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock is assisting in arrangements.
This obituary first appeared in the September 13, 2012 print edition of the Vermont Standard.
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