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A Remembrance of Albert Lee: One of Windsor Locks' Greatest Athletes

Al Lee was one of the greatest all-around athletes in Windsor Locks history. He was a fearless and fierce competitior who drew people to him.

 

Albert E. Lee, Jr., 66, formerly of Windsor Locks, died Sunday, April 29, 2012, at his home in Torrington, Ct. Born on October 14, 1945, Al grew up on Chestnut St. with his three brothers and was proud to be a " midtowner" as he was fond of saying. The Lees lived just around the corner from Pesci Park, where Albert spent many hours honing his considerable athletic skills, especially at the outdoor basketball court there and in the Pesci Park pool.

As a sophomore, Albert was a starting guard on the 1961-62 basketball team, the last team coached by Al Shapiro. That team was one of the best in the school's history and featured players such as all-stater David Lingua, Donnie Gilbert, Bill Devlin, and Don Pisati. Fellow guard and teammate Don Pisati remembers Albert as a " hard-working and extremely competitive" player, who had no weaknesses in his game.


Albert went on to play both basketball and soccer for legendary Raider coach, Danny Sullivan. Coach Sullivan commended Albert both for his skills as a soccer and basketball player and for the "intensity" of his competitive nature. "Give me 5 Albert Lees on a basketball court, and I'd never lose a game," claims the hall-of-fame coach.

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Albert and his younger brother, Dana, were both outstanding soccer players who were part of the 1963 and 1964 state championship soccer teams. Both brothers have been inducted into the Windsor Locks Athletic Hall of Fame.

After graduating from high school in 1964,  Albert attended Mitchell College in New London along with Raider teammates Dave Ollari and Eddie "The Hawk" Seaha. All three were part of the Mitchell team that won the national championship in the fall of 1964. Coached by Dan Sullivan's former teammate, Warren Swanson, Mitchell defeated Warren Wilson Junior College from North Carolina, 1-0 in Buffalo, NY.

Though not as well publicized, Albert's achievements in competitive swimming were simply amazing. I used to watch Albert and my brother, Bill, swim for the local summer league team at Pesci Park. They both were outstanding swimmers. Having coached swimming and diving for 34 years, and having refereed the sport for 36 years on both the high school and collegiate level, I can say without qualification that Albert Lee was one of the top 5 butterflyers that I have ever seen. Possessing powerful upper body strength and tremendous coordination, he just flew through the water. It was something to witness.

The main legacy that Albert leaves is that he was one of the very best all-around athletes in the town's history. His friends will remember him also as having a great sense of humor, an intense competitive spirit, and a strong sense of loyalty to his friends, to his family, and to his teammates. He was absolutely fearless in a competitive environment, believing that neither he nor his team could or would ever lose.

As such, he possessed a natural kind of charisma that always drew people to him and made them hope that he could overcome some of the difficulties that he faced in the later stages of his life-- difficulties that even a person as competitive as Albert couldn't overcome.

Albert leaves behind his daughter Lucinda (Lucy) Maupin and her husband, Mike, of Florida, and his brother, Dana and his wife, Angela and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Bobby and John. For details about the funeral service, go to the Windsor Locks Funeral Home website: http://www.leetestevens.com/adv_tunnel.php

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