June 25, 2010

Shepard Lee's legacy felt in car business, Maine politics

Lee, who lived his principles of integrity and fairness as a dealer and a Democratic leader, dies at 83.

By Edward D. Murphy emurphy@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Catherine Lee also remembers the close relationship between her father and Muskie, and how she and her father would go through supermarket parking lots putting Muskie bumper stickers on cars.

Muskie often stayed with her family, she said, and he and her father would debate issues deep into the night -- conversations marked by Muskie exclaiming "Dammit, Shep!" when her father would push a policy that Muskie felt wasn't practical.

Lee fostered a similar relationship with former Sen. George Mitchell, who became Maine's leading Democrat in the 1980s.

Catherine Lee said Mitchell made it to her father's bedside on Wednesday, hours before his death, coming from the Mideast, where he is President Obama's special envoy trying to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

She said her father's support for equality and fairness extended to his children's causes, as he supported their advocacy of gay or women's rights.

It didn't, however, extend to the sweatshirt she had, emblazoned with the slogan "We don't need balls to play sports," when she was pushing for equal funding for men's and women's athletics.

One time, she said, Lee was asked where he got his values.

"He said, 'I don't know where they came from, but I know what they are.'"

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:



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