SOUTH CHINA, MAINE--Lee Mathieu, age 78, passed away suddenly but peacefully at his South China, Maine home on December 14, 2012. He is survived by his devoted wife of 53 years Louise (Grenier) Mathieu. Lee was born and raised in Winslow, Maine, the sixth of nine children of Joe and Cecile (Roy) Mathieu. He was preceded in death by three brothers (Lou, Henry, Maurice) and a sister (Yvette). Born of humble roots, he was immensely proud of his French-Canadian heritage and always spoke fondly of the friends who influenced his early life. Lee was a graduate of Winslow High School, class of 1952 and Colby College, class of 1956. He was a gifted athlete, excelling in football, baseball and basketball. He captained the football teams at both schools and was named All Conference at Colby. Lee was a chemistry major at Colby and served in the ROTC program. Upon graduation, he was invited to rookie camp by the New York Giants, but had to decline the offer in order to fulfill his military commitment. Lee served as a navigator in the U.S. Air Force, stationed at the James Connally Air Force base in Waco, Texas. Upon his honorable discharge as a second lieutenant, Lee returned to Maine to begin a family with his new bride Louise. Lee and Louise had four sons (Dave, John, Tim and Jim) while residing in Waterville, Maine. Lee enjoyed a successful career selling pollution control equipment to the pulp and paper industry. He was well known in the many mills across northern New England. In his spare time, Lee coach his son's little league baseball teams, refereed high school football, and served in the Maine Air National Guard. Lee relocated his family to Danvers, Massachusetts in 1975 where they resided for 20+ years. Upon retirement, Lee and Louise relocated back to central Maine. Lee's interests included spending time with his brothers and sisters, doting on his grandchildren and watching his beloved New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox and Montreal Canadiens. Lee was also a volunteer football coach at Colby College in the later years of his life. Lee will be remembered as a loving husband and devoted father. His life clearly centered around his immediate and extended family, but his generosity touched the lives of so many who needed support or encouragement. He was a man of integrity who showed respect for people from all walks of life. Lee is survived by his loving wife, four sons, and seven grandchildren. Lee is also survived by two brothers, Norman and Tony of Winslow, Maine; and sisters, Arlene of Westbrook, Maine, and Ann of Rockland, Maine. Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, December 19, from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Lawry Brothers Funeral Home, 107 Main Street, Fairfield, Maine. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday, December 20, at 11 a.m. at Notre Dame Church on Silver Street in Waterville, Maine. A reception will follow at the Church. In lieu on flowers, the family ask that donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 75817, Topeka, Kansas 66675 or St. Jude Children’s Hospital, P.O. Box 1893, Memphis, TN 38101-9950.