William J. Lee and Ruth Woodbury

  • William J. Lee and Ruth Woodbury
  • "Wakefield is fortunate to have another 'Mr. Wakefield,' a man who has played an active role in the town throughout the 20th century. William J. Lee, one of Wakefield's most prominent citizens has earned a reputation as both a successful lawyer and a friend to the community. A resident of Wakefield since the age of three, Attorney Lee attended the Warren and Hamilton Schools and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1919. He earned his baccalaureate degree from Fordham University and graduated from Boston University School of Law in 1930. After graduation he was admitted to the Massachusetts and Federal bars. In 1942, Mr. Lee graduated from the Naval Training School in Dartmouth and was commissioned a Lieutenant Commander in the Naval Reserve. He subsequently served aboard the USS Lexington in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. After returning to civilian life and Wakefield, Attorney Lee became actively involved in the community, serving as a member of the School Committee and later as Chairman. He was also a Trustee of the Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Town Moderator and Town Counsel. His involvement was not limited to elected office - he was one of the original founders of the Citizens' Scholarship Foundation in Wakefield and served as an active member of the Wakefield Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Chamber of Commerce, the West Side Social Club, St. Joseph's Church, the Wakefield Trust Company, the Wakefield Saving Bank and the First District Eastern Middlesex Bar Association. Throughout the years he was honored by numerous organizations for his unselfish contributions to Wakefield. William J. Lee passed away on October 24, 1988. Prior to her death in 1985 at the age of 82, many townspeople, young and old alike, were fortunate to hear the history of Reading, South Reading and Wakefield from Ruth Woodbury, Wakefield's Honorary Town Historian. A descendant of five of the town's first settlers, Miss Woodbury was well known for her knowledge of Wakefield history. She was a frequent lecturer and guest speaker at various schools, clubs and organizational meetings over the years and was an active member of the Wakefield Historical Society, holding several offices in the organization. In addition to her involvement in the Historical Society, she was a member of the Wakefield Planning Board for 29 years, the Wakefield Garden Club and the Hartshorne House Association. She was a member of numerous town committees including the Hall Park Commitee, a salary study commitee under the School Committee, the Elementary School Building Committee and the School Building Needs Survey Committee. To honor her years of service to the community, the Board of Selectmen appointed Miss Woodbury the Honorary Town Historian in 1976 during the nation's bicentennial celebration. The 1974 Annual Report was also dedicated to Miss Woodbury in recognition of her outstanding talent and service to the town." -- Text from calendar by Jayne M. D'Onofrio.
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 1989
  • Photos courtesy of the Wakefield Daily Item.
  • [Wakefield, Mass.] : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“William J. Lee and Ruth Woodbury,” NOBLE Digital Heritage, accessed May 16, 2022, https://digitalheritage.noblenet.org/noble/items/show/7185.


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