In Memoriam: Lee Allain
We are sad to learn that long-time NAPS member, leader, and community supporter Lee Allain passed away in February, 2023.
Lee and his wife Wonda “retired” to Northumberland County in 1998. Lee began volunteering with NAPS, Northumberland’s Economic Development Commission (EDC), the Lions Club, the Northern Neck Master Gardeners and Heathsville United Methodist Church. Some of his first work with NAPS involved winning grants, three years in succession, from NOAA/Fish America for renovating natural marsh areas in local waterways.
With the EDC he was instrumental in providing “how to” information regarding oyster aquaculture to local watermen. He led the Lions World Service effort by designing and setting a team in place to construct home entry ramps for more than a half dozen people confined to wheelchairs. At his church, he led the Long Range Planning Committee, which resulted in construction of the Fellowship Hall that NAPS has often used for its special programs and annual meetings.
During composition of the 2006 Northumberland County Comprehensive Plan, he formed “Vision 2048” – a group of people dedicated to providing input to the county plan within the NAPS definition of appropriate land use.
Through NAPS, Lee spearheaded and led Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs and projects within the local school system with the goal of increasing student science and math participation. For one of the projects, high school students constructed a solar array from raw solar cells and wiring which, after completion, the students used as a cell phone charging station. He also won two grants from River Counties Community Foundation for STEM Boost, a project at both the elementary and middle schools, to start students thinking and planning in three dimensions as they construct LEGO buildings and bridges – like engineers. In addition, he arranged and chaperoned eco-tours of area waterways with local certified watermen/captains for students and Boy Scouts.
Lee was awarded the Northumberland Distinguished Citizen Award in 2015. Lee also served many years on the NAPS Board of Directors, and as NAPS co-president from 2016-2017.
Lee was active on the County Economic Development Commission and attended most Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor meetings. He also sat on Rep. Rob Wittman’s Environmental Advisory Council to provide his insights while representing Northumberland County.
Lee grew up in Maine enjoying lobstering, gardening and building houses with his parents. He received a MS in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University, and a BS in Physics from the University of Maine. His career, which began in the aftermath of Russia’s first-in-space satellite, Sputnik, was primarily involved with development of advanced US satellite electronic control and communications systems. In addition to his many civic activities after retirement, he enjoyed fishing, gardening and traveling.
Lee Allain’s contributions to NAPS and the Northern Neck community will be sorely missed.