Alice Lee MacLean Doolittle was born on December 14, 1929 in College Park, MD to Norman Lee MacLean and Ruth Liggett Hartsock MacLean. After 90 full and active years, Lee left us at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA on April 19, 2020 from complications of the COVID-19 virus.
Lee grew up on Beechwood Road near the University of Maryland and she attended College Park Elementary School and graduated from Hyattsville High School. She married Clarence Doolittle, Jr in 1951 and they eventually moved to Little Ferry, NJ and then to River Edge, NJ before settling in Hanover, MA where they raised their four sons – Bill, Jim, Bob, and Paul. Lee was an active member of the PTA and a Music Booster, and a member of the Church Hill United Methodist Church in Norwell, MA. She was always ready to visit and share a cup of coffee, conversation, and a giggle, and friends or friends of the boys would often stop by. Her Jam Squares, Christmas Spritz cookies and pot roast are still legendary!
For several years, Lee worked as a teacher’s aide and she worked in the library at Cedar School in Hanover, MA. She thoroughly enjoyed working with the children. She was patient, engaging and fun, and children were drawn to her. Lee often mentioned how meaningful her work with the children was to her, and she continued to share stories of her experiences there, even in her last few years. In the early 1980’s Lee worked at Halliday Lithograph, a printing and binding company for books. She loved being involved in the process of making books, especially children’s books.
In 1985, Lee moved back to College Park, MD. She worked briefly for Millard T. Charlton & Company in the Magruder House and then she worked for the Prince George’s Post Newspaper located in the George Washington House, two of the historic properties of the Aman Memorial Trust. Her interest in historic preservation began with her involvement in the Trust, and she soon became a Trustee. She was next employed by Downey Communications Inc. as the Distribution Director of Military Lifestyle Magazine . Her responsibilities included traveling overseas to US military bases to manage and coordinate the distribution of the magazine in the PX’s at each base. Lee enjoyed traveling, and she thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to tour and visit cities throughout Europe.
When Lee retired, she became Secretary of the Aman Memorial Trust and continued her historic preservation work, specifically of the George Washington House/Indian Queen Tavern and the Market Master’s House in Bladensburg. She was a gracious host at various teas and events, and she helped insure the properties were well-maintained. An example of her attention to historic detail and her foresight is that she obtained seedlings from Maryland’s historic Wye Oak, a 400 year old white oak tree. She cared for the seedlings until they were mature enough to plant at the Magruder House in Bladensburg and at other historic properties. Lee’s trees have grown tall and sturdy, and are a testament to her vision. Lee also participated in the planning process for the “Undaunted in Battle” Monument, completed in 2014, which commemorates the 1814 Battle of Bladensburg during the War of 1812.
In 2012, Lee moved back to the South Shore of Massachusetts to be closer to her sons, and she loved the visits from her family and from dear friends.
Lee could always find joy in her days. She had a passion for the color red and for dark chocolate. She loved her Melita coffee, especially in one of her favorite mugs with a tiny spoonful of sugar. She kept a coordinated wardrobe and she liked a good purse and her favorite red lipstick, and she loved her woven Clark clogs. She had a strong sense of style and her homes were carefully decorated with things she had collected that had meaning to her. She was always ready to try new things. She was ever ready to jump on the back of a motorcycle, to get in a canoe or to try to make sound come from a trumpet, a sax, or a guitar. She loved her family and her friends, and making new friends. People often described her as a beautiful lady. She was beautiful, with big brown eyes, a warm smile, a gentle giggle, and expressive hands. Her heart was also beautiful, and she deeply cared for others. People felt cared for and they liked to be around her. She made little things special.
Lee’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren cherish the memories of time spent with Mom and Nana Lee. Her sons are Bill Doolittle with his wife Nancy of Poughkeepsie, NY; Jim Doolittle of Hanson, MA; Bob Doolittle of Hanover, MA; and Paul Doolittle of Whitman, MA. Her grandchildren are Tim with his wife Kayla, Peter with his fiancée Cordell, Amanda, Amelia Lee, and Maclean “Laini”, and her great-grandchildren are Connor, Audrey, Quinn, and Hannah.
Lee is also survived by her sister, Ruth MacLean Wagner of Hanover, PA, nieces Barbara Bowers with her husband Ron, Lynn Owens with her husband Bill, and nephew Dan with his wife Claire; her sister JoAnn Holmes with her husband Stewart of Springfield, VA and niece Julie Phillips with her husband Dirk, and her brother Doug with his wife Janelle of Olney, MD and niece Hannah MacLean. She was pre-deceased by a nephew, Andrew Holmes.
The family would like to thank the staff at Windrose at Weymouth, at Bridges by Epoch in Hingham, and at Harbor Elder Service Plan in Brockton for taking such good care of Lee and for making her always feel special and loved.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by MacKinnon Funeral Home, Whitman, MA.