Robert Laurence Nason, 74, town manager of Lee for 19 years

He volunteered in many ways as a member of the Lions Club, tutored ESL through the Literacy Network of the Southern Berkshires and at his untimely death was being trained as a mediator for Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority.

Lee — Bob, born in Everett, Massachusetts, on St. Patrick’s Day March 17, 1946, died unexpectedly at home in Lee, Massachusetts on January 5, 2021.

Robert L. Nason

Born to Lawrence (Larry) and Bernice (Bunny Fale) Nason, he was the middle of three children. While he would claim he was the “overlooked” middle child, his sisters, wife, and all other family members would certainly say his beloved mother definitely spoiled him.

Bob spent his very happy childhood in Melrose, Massachusetts where he attended and graduated from elementary and high schools. He grew up in a tight-knit neighborhood of families and friends and remained in touch with many throughout his life. Bob played sports including football and basketball, and attended the Rotary Y camp in Boxford, Mass.

He graduated from Villanova University in 1968. He attended Villanova expecting to be a chemical engineer but graduated with a BA in political science and a love for college basketball, “March Madness” and the Wildcats as well as lifelong friends including Mike, Cathy, Roddy and Gino.  Upon graduating, Bob joined the Peace Corps and spent two years in Colombia, diversifying agriculture, helping to build many one-room schoolhouses and living as the only “gringo,” with a horse for transportation high in the Andes.

Upon his return to the U.S., Bob became a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War and was assigned to work at Spaulding Rehab Hospital (then Mass Rehab). As a fluent Spanish speaker, he helped to organize the hospital workers and performed in “Waiting for Lefty,” a play about a meeting of cab drivers who are planning a labor strike. He volunteered on Ed Markey’s first campaign for Congress and remained a fan to this day.

Once his service ended, he started a long career as a public servant, first in affordable housing with the Melrose and Chelsea Housing Authorities, the State of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, and Department of Mental Health. In 1998, he and his wife Lisa (Sloane) moved to Lee where he served as the Town Manager for 19 years.

While he loved his work, he also enjoyed his well-deserved retirement. He loved nothing more than playing golf with his friends and relatives including Jerry, Thom, Fred, Mike, Nick, Todd, Nic, and his now-deceased father-in-law. Walking the nine-hole Donald Ross course Greenock in Lee was one of his joys. He also volunteered in many ways as a member of the Lions Club, tutored ESL through the Literacy Network of the Southern Berkshires and at his untimely death was being trained as a mediator for Berkshire County Regional Housing Authority.

Bob loved to travel. His first trip to Europe was in 1989 and continued throughout his lifetime. With his wife and daughter and extended family, he traveled to Paris and other parts of France, England (including Wivenhoe, his grandfather’s native home), Ireland, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Canada, Mexico and Israel. In retirement, he purchased a special golf travel case so he could golf when he visited his daughter in California or with his wife when she traveled for work.

In 1988, working for the state housing agency, he met his wife Lisa (Sloane). They married in Salem, Massachusetts on August 10, 1996 in a joyful ceremony and party with beloved family and friends. There was no more joyful event for Bob than the birth of his daughter Sally. From kindergarten, until last March when travel and games were canceled, he never missed a soccer, basketball or lacrosse game, graduation or any other important event in her life.  He met every (known) suitor with a firm handshake and serious look in his eye. He told her when she was old enough to be President, she could date and he adopted a friend’s motto that “he was not afraid to go to jail.”

In addition to his wife Lisa Sloane and his daughter Sally Nason, Bob leaves his beloved and loving family including his sisters Jackie Maher (Wakefield) and Jean and her husband Jim Prendergast (Braintree),  his mother-in-law Toby Sloane (Swampscott; Highland Beach, Fla.), his sister in law Amy (Sloane) and Nic Pinel (Greensboro, NC and Paris, France), his brother-in-law Todd and Lili (Arienti) Sloane (Newton) and his beloved nieces and nephews Stacy Maher (Wakefield), Jim and Gillian (Roberts) Maher (Port Hueneme, Calif.) and their children David and John; Becky (Maher) and John Powell (Melrose) and their children Kate Ellen and Jolie; Caitlin (Prendergast) and Jake Gaffey and their baby Maeve; Allie Pinel and Sarah Pappalardo (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Charlie Pinel (Los Angeles, Calif.), Olivia Sloane (Boston) and Ian Sloane (Newton).

Bob was preceded in his death by his parents Larry and Bunny Nason, his grandparents Ellen and Tom Fale, his brother-law Alex Maher, former spouse Carmel Nason (Trickett), and his father-in-law Carl Sloane.

Please raise a glass of red wine to Bob on March 17 when he would have turned 75.

Those wishing to make a donation are encouraged to donate to the Lee Food Pantry or your own local food pantry, the Literacy Network of the Southern Berkshires or the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

To send remembrances to his family please visit www.finnertyandstevens.com.