Lee Worthington Smith

SEATTLE – On July 14, 2020, in Seattle, Washington, Lee Worthington Smith, loving husband, brother, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and war veteran passed peacefully from this life at the age of 95 with his family by his side.

Lee was born to his parents Esther (Harding) and William Rufus Smith in Waltham, Mass. He was the first child of a family of five, with three younger brothers and one younger sister. Lee grew up moving from school to school depending on where his father was employed including cities in Mass., N.J., Mo., Ohio, and Maine.

Lee had a long life of many stories, too many to tell here. His life began and ended outside of Maine but his heart always belonged to Maine.

After eleventh grade, in 1943, Lee joined the military during World War II. He spent 10 years in military service in the Navy, Army, National Guard and Air Force and earned multiple military honors including an American Theater Ribbon and a World War II Victory Medal.

In 1946, his parents moved the family to Maine, where both of Lee’s parents had relatives. After the rigors of war, Lee with his siblings enjoyed their new life in the coastal community of Friendship Maine including resurrecting a derelict Friendship Sloop. His younger siblings grew up in the summer sun and enjoyed their mother’s Maine cooking. The following winter, the family moved to Searsport and then Hampden Highlands near Bangor where Lee became a night clerk at the Bangor House and soon received his G.E.D. He then met his first wife Olive Haggarty from New Brunswick, Canada and they had a son, William Lee, who is today a resident of Canada. Lee and Olive later divorced and Olive predeceased Lee in 2011.

Lee attended the University of Georgia to study Veterinary Medicine and there met Chelsea Silva Bans, a Registered Nurse, who became his second wife and mother of four children. Lee and Chelsea moved to Maine onto a two-acre property gifted by his father as a wedding present. It was here that he built the first family home and obtained a veterinary related job vaccinating chickens. From there they bought a farm in Warren, Maine with acreage to raise their four children, cows, horses, pigs and the family business of egg-producing chickens! Many favorite extended family memories were created here with Lee’s siblings and their children gathering in the summer for egg and produce harvesting, ice cream churning, and during the winter holidays for pie baking and eating.

Later in life, Lee and Chelsea divorced and in 1981, Lee married Joan Aline Butterman Tyler in Lincolnville Beach, Maine. They co-parented Joan’s children including the youngest Leslie and Michael who were at home, while living at the “Crows Nest” where Lee was employed as caretaker. They later moved to Edgewater, Florida and used that as a home base while they traveled around the country as sales people in a furniture liquidation business. This career allowed them to see other parts of the country and visit family members along the way, including in California where they eventually resided in San Diego and Sebastopol before moving to Seattle, where they lived for the past seven years.

Lee is survived by his wife Joan Aline Smith of Seattle Washington; his children with Chelsea: Susan Scott of Warren, Maine, Kimberley Veilleux and spouse Jef, of Auburn, Wash., David Smith and spouse Collette of Renton, Wash.; and William (Billy) Rufus Smith of Warren, Maine; and William Lee Smith of New Brunswick Canada from his first marriage. Lee also has eight adoring grandchildren including: Derek, Jennifer, Jordan, Curtis, Chelsea, Hallie, Nicholas, Stephen and Jacob.

Lee is survived by his brothers: Barry Norton of Portland, Maine, Jeffrey Allen, and spouse Betsy of Swanville, Maine and Judson Darryl and spouse Becki also of Portland. His sister, Shirley Stewart, predeceased Lee in 2018.

Lee also has four surviving stepchildren with Joan: Darci Harrington of Bristol, Maine, Jennifer Berry of Sebastopol, Calif., Leslie Langley of Damariscotta, Maine and Michael Tyler.

Lee has many nieces, nephews, and great-grandchildren, who all adore him. He will be remembered by the younger generations as always having a quick wit, positive attitude, fun story and a kind and generous word. One could never leave Lee’s presence without feeling like you were the most important person in the world and that you had done him a favor by visiting him. Those memories of a long and well lived life will be cherished by all of his family and friends.

A military service will be held at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington on August 28. Attendance is limited. When we are all able to safely gather again a tribute will be held in Maine.

The family has suggested that if you would like to honor Lee Worthington Smith’s memory with a contribution to your local Animal Humane Society in his name, that

would be treasured.

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