Truman Winifrod Lee III

Posted by Marilyn Tagliavia

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ST. ALBANS — Truman Winifrod Lee III a longtime area resident passed away on May 28, 2017 at his home, surrounded by his loving family after a short but courageous battle with cancer. Truman was a true renaissance man who will be greatly missed by his family, large social circle and animal friends.

Truman was born in Jacksonville, Florida on Oct. 22, 1955. The son of the late Truman Lee Jr. and Iris Rhoden.

Truman spent his very early childhood soaking up the warm Florida sunshine, jumping in puddles, and frightening his mother and gramma by playing with baby alligators. Later in life Truman would complain the sun never shone as hot in Vermont as it did in Florida, resulting in Truman rarely dipping more than his big toe into lake Champlain, and claiming “you can’t get a real tan up north.”

Later in childhood Truman moved to Barnes Corners, New York, home of the family business Lee’s Grocery and Grill. During his time in Barnes Corners or Snowbelt Chambers as Truman begrudgingly called it, he developed his life long love of hunting and tracking. As well as honing his skill at walking three miles to school in six feet of cursed snow. There Truman met his beloved childhood pet, Hector, a one-legged bantam rooster who was positive Truman was his mother and would insist on perching on his shoulder.

In his early teens Truman moved to Alburgh, Vermont and attended Missisquoi Valley Union High School. Truman enjoyed roaming the woods, fields and swamps of Alburgh for days on end with his favorite hunting and sled dogs. Here Truman would become an avid trapper, snowshoer, marksman, archer, musher, catfish connoisseur, camper, amateur yogi and gardener.

In the late 1980s, Truman, his wife, and daughter moved to the lakeshore of St. Albans town where Truman began his career for the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation mainly at Burton Island and Kill Kare State Park. Cruising around Lake Champlain and jumping waves was a favorite pastime. Truman never met a boat he couldn’t make seaworthy or an engine he couldn’t rebuild.

As of the mid 2000s Truman had moved up street to St. Albans City and taken up log cabin building which he greatly enjoyed. Truman also worked in subcontracting and as a notary. The job he enjoyed most was helping to care for his first grandchild who he was completely smitten with.

More recently a retired Truman never one to sit still kept busy by growing a jungle of houseplants, winemaking, never ending boat projects, vegetable gardening, teaching his zebra finches to talk and being a handyman extraordinaire for everyone who knew him. Truman ever the cinema fan found the joys of a good Netflix binge most agreeable often with his furry cat friend Oliver by his side.

Truman is survived by his loving wife and friend of over 30 years Tina (Poquette) Lee, daughter Emerald (Lee) Drake, son in law William Drake, granddaughters Violette Smith and Lucy Drake, grandson William “Finn” Drake all of Saint Albans City. A brother and sister Willy and Karen Lee, of Fairfax and Franklin. As well as a large extended family throughout northern Vermont.

Truman’s ashes shall be interred at Greenwood Cemetery following a private graveside service to be announced at the convenience of his family.

  • Debi Graziano

    Truman was a great friend of ours and we will miss his great sense of humor…<3

  • Becky Johnson

    Sorry to hear of Trumans passing. Hadn’t seen him since high school, ever an individual. May your spirit fly with the angels. My condolances to his family, may your memories bring you comfort at this difficult time