BELFAST – Leslie Lee Hastings, 86, passed away Feb. 16, 2013, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center after a brief illness. Known as “Lee” to her friends, she was born Oct. 17, 1926, in Highland Park, Mich., the daughter of Edward A. and Helen (Remington) Hulbert.
She attended Grosse Pointe High School in Michigan and the University of Wisconsin, where she met Tracy, her husband-to-be. The Hastings’ life was not typical in any sense. They spent three years in Akron, Ohio, three years – with two children – in the Republic of Panama, a brief time in Arizona, then 13 years – and one child – in Venezuela. It was in Venezuela in the 1960s that the Hastings co-founded Escuela Internacional, a bilingual grammar school that is still operating. About the same time Lee co-founded a kindergarten for the poor in a dusty little village named Magdaleno. Yes, Lee and Tracy were bilingual, Spanish and English. In her “free” time Lee taught bridge, the proceeds going to charity. She also found time to do volunteer work for the Children’s Service League in Caracas, Venezuela. The next 11 years were spent in Racine, Wis., where Lee discovered Julia Child. She dived into gourmet cooking, more bridge and volunteering for children’s causes to keep busy while Tracy was often away in Latin America. Two of her children were married during this period. Two years in Puerto Rico followed, after which the Hastings retired to Maine to enjoy the four seasons and snow, lots of snow. Leaving big city life behind forever they built a super-insulated house with solar greenhouse in the village of Jefferson. There they spent their next 17 years, enjoying a rich life centered on the out-of-doors. Lee now immersed herself into vegetable gardening, continued her interest in fine cooking and was very active in the Jefferson Historical Society. Ten consecutive years of lengthy visits to England added contrast to life in Maine. The 1998 ice storm prompted Lee and Tracy to consider a retirement community and they settled on Penobscot Shores, Belfast, where they quietly and pleasantly spent their last 14 years in what Lee called their “second retirement.” By 2012, however, Lee’s Alzheimer’s disease had progressed to the point where she moved to The Woodlands, a memory care residence. Her last days were spent in hospice at Penobscot Bay Medical Center, where she peacefully passed away.
Lee was predeceased by her parents; and by her 5-year-old sister, Helen Andrea. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Tracy K. Hastings of Belfast; daughter, Andrea Lee Solomon and husband, Jim, of St. Louis; son, Kenneth T. Hastings and wife, Ninda, of Avon Lake, Ohio; daughter, Celeste Hastings of New York City; brother, David E. Hulbert and wife, Claudia, of Santa Clara, Calif.; three grandsons, a niece, two nephews and several cousins.
Respecting Lee’s wishes, services will be private. Interment will be in Jefferson. Memorials may be sent to the Maine Chapter of The Alzheimer’s Association, 383 U.S. Route One, Suite 2C, Scarborough, ME 04074-9843 or the charity of your choice. Arrangements are under the care of Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. To offer condolences to the Hastings’ family, please visit www.ripostafh.com.