February 2017

Yours, Mine and Ours

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Heather and Luis Lee, the Observer’s 2017 Valentine couple, are pictured with Oliver, the newest member of their household.

Photo by Lester Smith

Heather and Luis Lee, the Observer’s 2017 Valentine couple, are pictured with Oliver, the newest member of their household.

Heather and Luis Lee have so many interests in common and yet so many interests and talents of their own that I will have trouble finding the space to get it all in.

We have written about Luis before and most of you are probably aware that he is a full blooded Indian, born on the Seneca Nation’s Allegany Indian Reservation in upstate New York. Heather and Luis met at Syracuse University where Heather majored in dress design and textiles and Luis received his BFA degree in Advertising Design.

After Luis graduated he had various jobs and ended up as Director of Packaging at Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd. until he left the corporate world and formed his own boutique design firm specializing in packaging design and consulting. During the summers while in school he worked with his father as an ironworker. After college Heather started out in retail but didn’t care for her job so made a jump to IBM and worked in administrative support.

After they graduated they lost contact but connected later and married. In September they will celebrate their 50th anniversary. They had a son and a daughter and now have seven grandchildren, and also a number of dogs, at the moment a French Bulldog named Oliver. They moved around a lot during the years, Luis working once in Canada but finally and luckily for us ended up in Suffield.

During those years in addition to being at home with her children Heather went to Manchester Community College and studied accounting and tax preparation. She volunteered for a number of years with the AARP doing income tax preparation and also worked with Luis for 20 years in his graphic design business doing graphic art on the computer and keeping the books. Heather is an accomplished seamstress. She purchases calico and makes “Ribbon Shirts” for him which are worn at powwows. She also makes leggings, and Luis does very beautiful beadwork on the shirts and wears those Indian clothes when he gives talks on his heritage. Luis is still very active on his reservation and they often visit and participate at events.

They are now “retired” but that doesn’t describe it. Heather volunteers at The Suffield Observer as a downloader, the Child and Family Thrift Shop where she is the official “seamstress” and is an expert at removing any kind of stain, is on the Town Ethics Commission, is participating in an elder study on dementia and plays bridge on a regular basis. She also has a very great sense of fashion.

Luis is on the Suffield Interfaith Council, and volunteers to help coach the SHS lacrosse team. For a number of years he was a lacrosse coach at the high school and used to take the team up to his reservation to play lacrosse. Suffield did not fare well against the Indian teams but it was a wonderful trip for the boys. He also makes beadwork jewelry, horn rattles and “wampum” shell necklaces and earrings which he sells at the reservation and other Indian venues including through his website – www.LuisRLee.com. He also over the years has been the president of the Rotary and Fox Hollow Gun Club, and he is currently president of the Suffield Lacrosse Association.

Together they have been involved as president and board members of The Deep Brook Harbor Homeowners’ Association, love to travel (most recently a boat trip on the Danube), have traveled over much of Europe and until a few years ago went tent camping. A definitely together and compatible couple.

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