Leroy George Estey

ISL Obit Lee EsteyBAR HARBOR — Leroy (Lee) George Estey, 82, died at home in Bar Harbor on March 2 of longstanding heart disease. He was born in Somerville, Mass., to Roy and Wilma Estey. He received a bachelor’s degree in American history from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters from Lesley Collge, Cambridge, in computer programming.

Lee taught 7th and 8th grades and was principal of the elementary school in Stratton for 16 years. He was chairman of the Planning Board in town for several years.

He was an active outdoorsman: swimming, hiking, cross-country skiing, canoeing, kayaking and running all his life in spite of a coronary artery disease. He and his wife were instrumental in the creation of the Bigelow Preserve in 1976 in Western Maine, serving as heads of Friends of Bigelow, the group that brought the successful referendum campaign to save the mountain area from development.

Lee had been separated from his wife, Carol, for about 20 years. During his teaching career, he and his wife managed August Camp for the Appalachian Mount Club, hiring many Stratton students to work on the crew summers in Maine, Montana, Washington, New Hampshire and New York.

He leaves two daughters, Robin and Heather, both of Bangor, and two grandchildren, Hannah and Steven Hooke. His only sibling, a younger brother, Joel, predeceased him by 17 days.

In later years, he volunteered with a medical mission in Ecuador, assisting in health and dental clinics as well as in the operation room. He also spent a year in Alaska, working for the U.S. Census Bureau, flying in to remote locations to count people.

After returning to Maine, he settled in Bar Harbor and actively volunteered for Friends of Acadia, Island Connections and the Abbe Museum. He also worked as dining room manager for Meals for ME at Harbor Hill Apartments, as well as volunteer gardener and snow-shoveler.

He greatly enjoyed his Bar Harbor YMCA membership, exercising and participating in athletic challenges with friends he made there.

A joint memorial/visitation for Lee and his brother Joel will be held on Friday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to noon at Wiles Remembrance Center, 137 Farmington Falls Rd., Farmington.

Know when to pay your respects.