Obituary: Lee Arnold Colbath — World War II vet, active volunteer, outdoorsman
Lee Arnold Colbath, 92, passed away peacefully at home September 18, 2016 in Auburn, Maine. He was born November 16, 1923 in Howland, Maine to Lee and Helen Colbath.
Lee grew up during the Depression and, after graduating high school, served in the European Theater during WWII. He was a member of the 12th Armored Division “The Hellcats”, 7th US Army and awarded the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in battle. The 12th Armored Division was also known as “The Mystery Division” serving with General Patton’s Third Army. After returning from the war, Lee married Paula Lindner of Portage, Indiana. The couple settled in Maine where Lee attended the University of Maine and received a BS in Mechanical Engineering.
He was the first in his family to graduate from college. Most of Lee’s career was spent in sales with Rockwell International’s Edward Valve Division. Lee and Paula raised four children moving from Maine to Indiana, Pennsylvania, Georgia and finally settled in Darien, Connecticut where they lived for over 40 years.
A long standing member of the Noroton Presbyterian Church, Lee served as an Elder on the Properties Committee, taught Sunday school and participated in mission trips. Lee was active in community and civic associations including Rotary Club, Boy Scouts, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Program, Audio Books for the Blind, and the Darien Board of Assessors. In later years, Lee was an avid supporter of his grandchildren’s numerous sports and music activities, traveling all over the East Coast and known fondly by generations young and old!
Lee’s engineering and architectural talents spilled over into his many interests ~ as varied as those of his intellectual hero Leonardo da Vinci. He loved wood carving, sculpting, painting, photography and building, never afraid to try something new like Japanese brush painting, building a darkroom or building a sailboat in his basement! His family always said “Dad loved to understand how things worked and could fix almost anything!” Lee was a real “Mainer” and outdoorsman. While he enjoyed outdoor activities year round, Lee especially enjoyed summer fishing and boating on the lake in Maine. His camp at the lake was a joy and refuge his whole life, and a cherished gift to his family.
Lee was predeceased by Paula, his beloved wife of 59 years, and his sister, Marion Sage. He is survived by his sister, Lois Varrone, his four children: Jeff Colbath and his wife Mary Katherine of Atlanta, GA, Cindy Terry of Darien, CT, Liane Bender and her husband Dr. Robert Bender of Auburn, ME, and Clay Colbath and his wife Julie of Norwalk, CT. Lee was a loving and proud grandfather to his nine grandchildren: Dr. Greg Colbath and his wife Molly of Spartanburg, SC, Leigh Brassard and her husband Dan of Bedford, MA, Katherine Bishop and her husband Cameron of Atlanta, GA, Dr. Alex Bender and his wife Dr. Meaghan Kennedy of Contoocook, NH, Andrew Terry and his wife Sara of Hoboken, NJ, Dr. Christine Bender of Portland, ME, Captain Michael Bender of El Paso, TX, Lydia Colbath of Norwalk, CT and Baxter Colbath of Norwalk, CT. and great grandfather to: Annie Colbath, Caroline Colbath, Helen Colbath and Jane Colbath of Spartanburg, SC, Jack Brassard and Emily Brassard of Bedford, MA and Amelia Terry of Hoboken, NJ.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 5, 2016 at 2:00 pm, at the Noroton Presbyterian Church in Darien, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Noroton Presbyterian Church - Missions Ministry - 2011 Post Rd. Darien, CT 06820.
— by the Family