Thomas Michael Lee died peacefully on Monday, July 9, 2018, surrounded by his loving family, his wife, Christine (Wheeler) Lee and his devoted sons, Michael Thomas and Connor Joseph, and his caring nurse, Jeanne Cunningham.
Tom was born in Hornell, New York, the oldest son of the late Joseph and Mary Agnes Lee. Tom was pre-deceased by his brother, Robert (Bonnie) Lee. Survived by his sister, Margaret (James) Kelsey, and brothers, John (Jacqueline) Lee and Daniel (Tina) Lee, his brother-in law, Ernie (Karen) Wheeler, many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Tom graduated from St. Ann’s School, and Hornell High School, earned a BS in Civil Engineering at Lafayette College and a Masters Degree in Construction Management from Pennsylvania State University.
His career spanned some of the major construction projects in this country. He was an engineer, estimator or a project manager on many projects, which included rebuilding the I95 Freeway in Philadelphia, building a dam in Harlan County Kentucky, construction of runways at Detroit Metro and Dallas-Fort Worth airports, the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway in Mississippi, the I80 roadway at Salt Lake City airport, the I490/I590 “Can of Worms” reconstruction in Rochester, New York, the Second Level Roadway at Los Angeles International Airport and the “Big Dig” in Boston.
For many years, Tom served as the President and Vice President of the Millbury Improvement Initiative, Inc. He enjoyed the work he did with his dear friend, Cindy Burr. The MII helped fund downtown improvements and a number of cultural activities, including the very popular “Peanut Butter and Jam in the Park” concert series.
Tom was a tireless volunteer and cheerleader for his wife and sons at their schools, sports, concerts and musicals, Tom was content to let them take the spotlight while he supported them from the sidelines. Attending AnimeBoston each year was a joy, he was so proud of his sons’ contribution to that community. With Christine, he worked the ticket gate at Abby Kelley Foster Charter School football and basketball games, and chaperoned the Classics Club trips. Tom had a deep commitment to education, and enthusiastically provided assistance when needed.
Tom was a man who loved his home. Being seated at the head of the dining room table, or next to the lake, surrounded by family and friends was his idea of heaven. He was an ardent Patriots fan. On game days, you could find him at the Elm Draught House Cinema, wearing his team jersey, eating pizza and sipping a beer.
We will remember him as a loyal, devoted husband, father, brother and friend. We will miss his love and his beautiful smile.
A heartfelt thank you to the dedicated medical professionals, Dr. Jeremy Golding and Dr. Margaret Owegi, the physicians and nurses at UMASS Medical who provided Tom with top notch care. We would also like to thank the inspiring ALS researchers at UMASS, led by Dr. Robert Brown who are working to eliminate ALS, creating hope in a future where no one will suffer the torment of this disease. Thanks as well to the VNA hospice doctors, nurses and staff, who are experts in caring not only for the patients, but also the families of the terminally ill. Last, but certainly not least, we owe a debt of gratitude to the incredible friends and neighbors who stepped up and helped care for Tom and our family, providing support, meals and transportation, which was a gift of dignity and love at the end of Tom's life.
Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life, Sunday, August 5th at the Elm Draught House Cinema, 35 Elm Street, Millbury, MA 01527. Calling hours begin at 1 p.m., at 2:30 p.m. there will be a Remembrance of Tom, followed by a time to be with each other and celebrate this great guy.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations please be sent in Tom’s name to the UMASS ALS Cellucci Fund. Please click the following link to watch the inspiring video that explains the research your donations will fund, then if you wish, you may click on the button to donate.