Lawrence “Rusty” Lee

FARMNGTON – Lawrence “Rusty” Lee, 95, resident of Weld, joined his loved ones and comrades on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 after spending the last three months at Sandy River Center in Farmington. Rusty was born in Weld, Maine, on April 2, 1924, the sixth child of Lester and Florence (Pulsifer) Lee. He was educated in Weld schools and was drafted into the U.S. Army in February 1943, prior to graduating from high school.

Rusty served during World War II in North Africa, before fighting in Casino, Italy, where he witnessed the bombing of the Casino Abbey. Rusty was wounded the first time from bomb fragments in his back. Once recovered, he then moved to Anzio, Italy, where he spent 33 days in one foxhole before pushing off to Rome to take the city, coordinating with the landing at Normandy in June 1944. He continued fighting in the battles in Italy with the 34th division and was wounded the second time on July 4, 1944, in Rosignano. He was wounded in four places, one of which was a severe wound to the head and resulted in his staying the hospital in Rome for six months. Rusty recovered but did not return home and was instead reclassified and assigned to an ordinance company for another year. Some notable things while in Italy were that he saw Mt. Vesuvius erupt, and he saw Ernie Pyle, the famous reporter, and Bill Malden, the cartoonist.

Rusty returned to Weld in November 1945 and opened a garage which he operated until it burned in 1953. Rusty met and married Donna Wagner of Livermore on May 20, 1950. They lived in Weld, then moved to Largo, Fla., after losing the garage. Rusty worked at Clearwater Packard car dealership for about four years. They then moved back to Maine and lived in Jay for a number of years, retiring in 1989 and moving permanently to the log cabin in his beloved Weld.

Rusty was instrumental in starting the Weld Fire Department and was a longtime member, and board member of the Weld Historical Society. He was also the current holder of Weld’s Boston Post Cane. He was raised to the Master Mason degree in 1947 and was a 72-year member of Mystic Tie Lodge No. 154 in Weld. Rusty was proud to receive his high school diploma with the class of 2010 at Mt. Blue, 67 years after he would have received it.

Rusty is survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his wife, Donna, who passed away Nov. 28, 2011. Also, by his sister, Madeline (Lee) Hutchinson and his brothers, George, Raymond, Robert and Carroll.

Craig would like to thank Rusty’s caregivers Helena Starr and Alan Burke for all their years of tireless homecare, along with the folks at Sandy River Center (Genesis Healthcare).

Public graveside services will be held Tuesday June 18, 2019, at 2 p.m. at the Overlook on Center Hill in Weld, with a Memorial Masonic service under the direction of the Mystic Tie Lodge #154 and full military honors provided by Camp Keyes and the Lane Dube AMVETS Post #33 of Jay. Following services, private burial at Center Hill Cemetery, Weld. His family invites you to share your memories and condolences on his memorial wall at Arrangements are in the care of the Wiles Remembrance Center: Adams~McFarlane Chapel, 137 Farmington Falls Road, Rtes. 2 & 27, Farmington, Maine.

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