A few years ago, kayaking and canoeing on
the Chelsea Creek was a novel – and to some a dangerous – proposition for those
However, after more and more have taken
their turn at the paddle, the idea of getting on the water has become
relatively normal – and fun.
The proof was in the paddle last Thursday night, June 27, when GreenRoots hosted their annual Paddle Night on the Marginal Street pier – and lines of residents waited their turn patiently to get a chance to paddle around in a kayak or canoe on the Creek.
AHOY! Kimberly Vasquez holds on tight to the sides of the canoe while Jose Alvarez paddles to the dock on the Chelsea Creek last Thursday night, June 27 during the GreenRoots first Paddle Night of the season.
Scores of residents came to the pier on Marginal Street and lined up for their chance to take a canoe or kayak on the Creek. Also pictured were a few resident who paddled into the Creek and were framed by the Mystic/Tobin Bridge while navigating the waters.
GreenRoots Director Roseann Bongiovanni said
it was the first of several Paddle Nights this year in Chelsea and East Boston
– all an effort to normalize an activity that no one would have participated in
10 years ago.
“We are having these activities three times
this summer in Chelsea and three times in East Boston,” she said. “We’re trying
to get as many people out on the water as possible…The hope is that we’re
attracting people from the neighborhood so they can come down. Many of them may
have seen the water here for a long time, but didn’t know they could come on
the water for recreation. Getting them out here on a beautiful Thursday evening
give them hope they can do it more frequently.”
The biggest challenge of the night ended up
being the fact that GreenRoots needed more boats to accommodate all of the
young people and families that showed up to go out.
Jose Alvarado said it was the first time he
had ever been on Chelsea Creek in a boat.
“I’ve seen it, but this was my first time
ever going out there,” he said. “I will definitely do it again.”
Chelsea Paddle Nights this summer will be on
Thursdays, July 25 and Aug. 15, starting at 5 p.m.
Kayaking in East Boston at 300 Condor St.
will be on Saturdays, July 13 and Aug. 31, at 10 a.m.
FRONT – 0096 AND 0123 –
AHOY! Kimberly Vasquez holds on tight to the
sides of the canoe while Jose Alvarez paddles to the dock on the Chelsea Creek
last Thursday night, June 27, during the GreenRoots first Paddle Night of the
season. Scores of residents came to the pier on Marginal Street and lined up
for their chance to take a canoe or kayak on the Creek. Also pictured were a
few resident who paddled into the Creek and were framed by the Mystic/Tobin
Bridge while navigating the waters.
Paul Pivaral, Akanni Hernandez, Edgar
Pivaral and Ann Moscoso ready to try their hand paddling on the Creek.
John Walkey of GreenRoots was all smiles in
his kayak, providing safety for the participants.
David and Ivette Martinez paddle around the
Kenya B. and Sydney B. took out the
two-person kayak and found tranquil waters off the pier.
On the pier were plenty of fun and games as
well, with Catherine Paviola practicing her dribbling skills ahead of the
Women’s World Cup matches last week.
Karalyn and Eduardo Montes play a game of
Connect Four on the pier.
From the GreenRoots ECOYouth team: Bryan Hernandez, Skakaya Moore-Perkins, and
Stacking it up! Little Pamela Pineda gets
the blocks just right for a tall tower.
GreenRoots folks chillin’ on the pier at
Paddle Night. (L-R) Maria Belen Power, Giselle Barahona, Noemy Rodriguez, Sarah
Levy, Roseann Bongiovanni, and John Walkey.
•The carousel in the front atrium is a
jaw-dropping centerpiece to the front door of the building, framed in glass on
three sides and having the waterfront in the background. The carousel feature
is fully made out of flowers and is the largest such design attempted by any
Communications Director Michael Weaver said
it is larger than a similar flower carousel that exists on a Wynn property in
Las Vegas. The majestic, colorful flower sculpture is punctuated in the back
with sweeping curved escalators – specially made for Encore Boston Harbor and
at an incredible expense compared to the traditional escalators.
Selfie Spot: Popeye Vs. Carousel
•There is still a great debate within the
Encore staff as to where guests will most likely take the majority of their
selfies on the resort.
Certainly the Popeye statue in the corridor
headed to the function facilities is a good guess, but many believe that in
Boston the hit will be the central flower carousel.
“In Las Vegas it was certainly Popeye
because Las Vegas has a tremendous amount of international visitors and Popeye
is such a classic American icon,” said Michael Weaver of Wynn Resorts. “I am
sure there are many picture albums in England, Spain and France with a family
member in a picture flexing with Popeye…Here, I think Popeye will have a lot of
competition for selfies with the carousel. The carousel at Encore Boston Harbor
is larger and more elaborate than the one in Las Vegas. So Popeye has his work
cut out for him in Boston.”
Comfort From Bed
•The in-room controls for Encore Boston
Harbor are some of the most technologically advanced systems in any Wynn
property on Earth. The rooms use voice activation commands and also allow one
to control virtually everything by an iPad stationed at the side of the bed.
With the iPad, one can control the
temperature, the drapes in every room, the do not disturb sign on the door and
even order room service. And all that without having to leave the comfort of
the famous 507-thread-count sheets.
Red Card Specials
•Red Card holders will be treated to several
different specials throughout the weekend. Already, those selected Red Card
members were able to attend the pre-opening “Play Days” this week. However,
other specials like parking onsite will be available.
Services On Site
• A sampling of the services offered at The
Salon at Encore:
Women’s Design & Style—from $75
Men’s Design & Style—from $55
Updo or Formal Styling—from $125
Signature Color Service—from $150
Classic Manicure – 40 minutes, $45
Classic Pedicure – 55 minutes, $75
•A sampling of the services offered at The
Spa at Encore Boston Harbor
New Suffolk County DA Rachael Rollins has
quickly come to be known as an agent of change, a passionate advocate for
equity in the law and a solid leader ready to stand up for a cause – but few
know that before all that she was an elite Division 1 college athlete, and it
was on the playing field where she first gained her love and respect for the law.
Rollins grew up in a large family in
Cambridge, and sports were part of her family from the beginning, long before
she ever thought of the legal system.
Rollins said she was a team captain of every
sport she played going back to youth soccer, and an All-Scholastic in
basketball at Buckingham, Brown & Nichols School (BB&N), but it was on
the lacrosse field where she was the most outstanding. The sport – which was
somewhat newer to New England in the 1980s when she was in high school – was
fast moving and, having been recruited to play after a basketball practice,
Rollins had a great skill set to be a high achiever.
“I was the oldest of five siblings and my
parents worked very hard to make sure we got a great education,” she said. “I
got into BB&N after the third grade, but at one point my parents sat me
down and told me I was a good athlete and a good student and needed to get a
scholarship if I wanted to go to college.”
Her skills led her to a full Division 1
Scholarship to UMass-Amherst for lacrosse, this coming after winning a national
championship on the high school level in 1989. After an outstanding freshman
year, Rollins and her teammates were shocked to learn that their sport was
being eliminated by the university due to budget cuts.
Though she was able to keep her scholarship,
she said she eventually missed the athletic fields, and that’s when she and
some other women athletes turned to the law – which she found to be a powerful
leveler for those without much of a voice.
“At first, I was kind of relieved because I
didn’t have to wake up at 5 a.m. for conditioning anymore, but later I began to
miss sports,” she said. “I’d played sports my entire life and missed the
camaraderie you feel when you have the team behind you and you score a goal.
“We only had three or four scholarship
players and we were good,” she continued. “The men’s football team hadn’t won a
game in years and they had 75 full-time scholarships with everything provided
for them, including food and lodging. I didn’t know a lawyer or a judge, but it
seemed so unfair. Myself ,and a few other athletes from the women’s teams,
asked to meet with the Athletic Director.”
That meeting didn’t go so well, and there
was no change, but DA Rollins said everything changed when they got a lawyer.
“Our lawyer threatened a Title 9 lawsuit,”
she said. “The AD completely changed his tune. We got all or our teams
re-instituted after a while.”
Rollins – who attended Northeastern
University Law School after UMass – said it was her first taste at how the law
can be used to empower and bring about justice.
And it was a powerful experience.
“I saw that lawyers matter and words
matter,” she said. “As a young person, I thought, ‘Oh my God, lawyers are
awesome.’ They make everyone fall into line and things change.”
It was the defining moment she points to
after a long legal career with MassPort, the MBTA, and now as the Suffolk
District Attorney, where the law became her passion.
However, when it came to leadership –
another characteristic she said has been critical as the newly-elected DA in an
office that has had the same leader for almost two decades – it was what
happened after the teams were re-instated that taught her the most.
She said when the team was finally brought
back, she was the only player left with any real experience. Most of the
players and coaches had been plucked from other sports like track and
volleyball. The elite athlete soon found herself the captain of a team that
couldn’t win a game to save themselves.
Yet, she said it was the most important time
of her life, leading a team that likely wasn’t going to win, but could still
accomplish some goals in the meantime.
“It was one of the best learning experiences
I ever had,” she said. “You show up with a smile on your face and give 100
percent even when things aren’t going well. It taught me character…Anyone can
be present when things are going great, but where are you when things get hard?
Do you still show up? I like to say it costs very little to pay someone a
compliment or be respectful. Yet so few do it.”
That kind of optimism for a competitive
person in the midst of a losing season was life changing.
“What’s beautiful is to learn not to be
discouraged and to be optimistic,” she said. “Those are actually the years I
broke records because the numbers of goals I scored. There are still records
out there 26 or 27 years later that I set and I’m proud to say I still hold.”
Certainly, the end of her athletic career
did not mean an end to those valuable lessons. In fact, she said, it has been
sports that taught her about justice and leadership.
“We are breaking down barriers,” she said.
“When you see a woman in leadership roles, it happens quite often that in the
past that woman had some athletic ability or played some sport. It teaches us
about inclusion or teamwork or perseverance. Sports doesn’t care about how much
money you have or where you live, it’s about how well you perform on the field.
It’s a great leveler. It’s been invaluable for me.”
And in the office, she is adjusting to being
that new person who is also the leader of the office. That, she said, takes the
kind of skills she honed on the athletic fields some years ago.
“I’m the new person to the team here in the
DA’s office and I’m also their leader,” she said. “Change is difficult. What I
try to do is show up, know the great work they do and be as encouraging and
purposeful as I can.”
Nowadays, Rollins doesn’t spend much time on
the playing field, but still enjoys watching her daughter run track, where she
has won national championships in the 100m and 200m races. Such things are
encouraging, she said, to see girls and young women have so many opportunities
that were hard-fought by the generation ahead of them – a generation such as
the women athletes like Rollins who used the legal system to challenge decision
“It’s really exciting to see young women are
getting the same opportunities men have had a long time,” she said. “Being
excited for my young girls playing sports doesn’t take away from my excitement
for young men playing sports. We want everyone to have the opportunity for
success, on and off the field.”
Rollins indicates her office will be more present at crime scenes
Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael
Rollins said one change she has made immediately to the office is making sure
at major crime scenes, she and members of her office are on scene.
That includes homicides and other such
Whether in Boston, Chelsea, Revere or
Winthrop, she said it is important to be present at the scene, even if it’s the
middle of the night.
She said she has instructed everyone to call
her no matter what time, and not to wait for the morning to brief her on major
“For me, it’s important to kind of be
proximate and present when things happen so people know we not only handle the
case, but also we had boots on the ground from the beginning. A lot of the work
we do is behind the scenes and people don’t see it…So, it’s important they see
us and we experience what they are dealing with because it really makes us have
insight into the work we do every single day.”
She said that,
particularly at homicides, she and her office would make every effort to be on
scene throughout the county.
Johanna DiCarlo (right) presents the Massachusetts Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award to JoAnne Lee-Nieves at the 2019 Girls and Women in Sports Day program Feb. 1 at Faneuil Hall, Boston.
When the Title IX law was first enacted, leading to increased athletic opportunities for females in the mid-to-late 1970s and setting the foundation for the explosion of high school girls’ sports that exists today, there was a Chelsea woman just getting started in coaching.
She was a pioneer in every sense,
introducing the joy of organized sports participation to Boston girls, teaching
them about teamwork and sportsmanship, instilling self-confidence in her
student-athletes, and providing lessons about life that they would carry beyond
the basketball court.
JoAnne Lee-Nieves was a woman ahead of her
time, recognizing right away the importance of athletics for girls as an
extension of the classroom. Her players at Jeremiah Burke would achieve
phenomenal success on the court. Long before ESPN started bringing attention to
women’s sports, Lee-Nieves was building a program and sending her athletes on
For four decades, Lee-Nieves earned multiple
championship and coach-of-the-year awards. No one did it better in Boston than
Last Friday, in an impressive ceremony at
historic Faneuil Hall in the city where Lee-Nieves became a high school
coaching giant, she received one of the MIAA’s most prestigious awards.
Before a capacity crowd of female high
school athletes, athletic directors and many of her former colleagues in the
profession, Lee-Nieves accepted the Massachusetts Women in Athletics
Distinguished Service Award.
One could only imagine how very proud her
parents, the late Charles Lee and Jeanette Weiner Lee, would have been to see
JoAnne’s amazing career recognized so deservedly in such an awesome setting as
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson understands
the magnitude of his cousin JoAnne’s statewide award and the immense
contributions that she made to high school sports. His own daughter, Lucia
Robinson-Griggs, is a former high school athlete and now a women’s basketball
coach at MIT.
“JoAnne is a very outstanding individual who
has achieved a lot in teaching and coaching,” said Robinson. “This is very
special for me that she was recognized for all the hard work that she has done
throughout the years. She is a true pioneer in women’s high school sports in
Boston. It’s a tremendous honor and I congratulate Joanne. We in Chelsea are
all proud of her.”
In a tribute to JoAnne that appeared in the
Girls and Women In Sports Day souvenir booklet, Jeremiah Burke Guidance
Counselor Ron Innes said, “JoAnne was a very reliable and dedicated teacher who
was well respected by her students as well as faculty and staff. Her knowledge
about her chosen discipline (Physical Education) and ability to reach and
connect with students made her a truly exceptional teacher. These great
qualities carried over to the many sports she coached. Her teams always played the
game with great discipline and pride.”
Burke Athletic Coordinator Sean Ryan had
nominated Lee-Nieves for the award. Said Ryan, “Her ability to engage a veteran
or a newcomer to the sport make her special. We evaluate a coach by how their
team progresses during the year, and JoAnne’s team each year plays their best
toward the end of the season. She truly provides each student-athlete with a
In her acceptance speech, Lee-Nieves was
humble and gracious. She thanked the MIAA for the recognition, but focused her
remarks on encouraging the young ladies in the audience to work hard and pursue
As she left the stage and walked to the VIP
area where she and husband Juan Nieves were seated, you could sense that JoAnne
Lee-Nieves was touched by this lifetime-achievement recognition from the
state’s official governing organization for high school sports.
It was indeed a special day for a special
teacher, coach, and role model.
Johanna DiCarlo (right) presents the Massachusetts
Women in Athletics Distinguished Service Award to JoAnne Lee-Nieves at the 2019
Girls and Women in Sports Day program Feb. 1 at Faneuil Hall, Boston.
JoAnne Lee-Nieves and her husband, Juan Nieves,
are pictured following the presentation of the Distinguished Service Award.
Members of Chelsea Uniting Against the War, a group of young women from the Chelsea Collaborative, peace activists from neighboring communities, Rhode Island and Vermont filled a bus from Chelsea City Hall to attend the Women’s March on the Pentagon on October 21. Other Chelsea residents came in large vans or cars.
The march was organized by Cindy Sheehan whose commitment against war and the military was sparked after the death of her first born son, Casey Austin Sheehan, an Army Specialist, who was killed in combat in Iraq in 2004. In an effort to talk to the President Bush, who refused to meet with her and to express her opposition to war, Cindy Sheehan set up camp outside of Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas in 2005. For three years, tens of thousands of people from the U.S. and internationally came to Camp Casey to show their support .
Cindy Sheehan’s activism has not wavered. She chose Oct. 21, 2018, as the date for women and others to march on the Pentagon to mark the 51st anniversary of the first March on the Pentagon. In 1967 over 50,000 people gathered at the Pentagon to demand and end to the war in Vietnam and to bring the troops home. The demands of this year’s march included the complete end of wars abroad, closure of foreign military bases, slashing of the Pentagon budget and the funding of healthy social programs and education.
Two women from Chelsea Uniting Against the War spoke to the crowd about the grass roots successful anti-military recruitment campaign at Chelsea High School. Every year since 2004 at the beginning of the school year, members of Chelsea Uniting Against the War welcome students and hand out English and Spanish leaflets in English and Spanish to each of the 1200 students to remind them of their right to withhold their contact information from military recruiters. In 2017, 70-percent of the seniors exercised their right to opt-out. Interest was expressed by many people in the audience to adopt Chelsea Uniting Against the War’s approach to educating students in their local high schools.
For some activists, the Women’s March on the Pentagon was their first national protest in the U.S.
As Juitiza Torres, a youth from the Chelsea Collaborative stated, “As a young Latina this march and the people involved encourages me to speak up and talk about what really needs to be talked about.” Dalia Juarez added “It was my first time in D.C. It felt like an amazing experience for me and it felt empowering to be there for something I feel very strongly about. It was an overall great experience to start the (school) year.”
The work of Chelsea Against the War continues with monthly meetings and events. For more information about Chelsea Uniting Against the War, contact us on FaceBook at ChelseaUnitingAgaistthe War (note there is an “n”missing) or firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-884-5132.
For more photos or to learn more about the Women’s March on the Pentagon, go to MarchonPentagon.com.
Rasi Chau has been a championship coach at various points in his career. He was an assistant coach for the 2005
Super Bowl champion St. Mary’s High School football team, and most recently, for the Women’s Football Alliance national champion Boston Renegades.
Chelsea High School Director of Athletics Amanda Alpert was a player on the Renegades’ professional football team, so she witnessed first hand the highly skilled coaching techniques and winning attitude that Chau brought to the field each day.
Alpert has appointed Chau as the new head football coach at Chelsea High School. He was the defensive coordinator for the Red Devils last year.
Chau succeeds Jack Halas at the helm of the program and joins a group of CHS head coaches that includes such familiar names as Henry McCarthy, Anthony “Chubby” Tiro, Todd Flaherty, Bobby Fee, Anthony Cardarelli, Robert Tiro, Joe Gaff, and many others.
Chau, 37, is a 1999 graduate of Lynn Classical High School where he played football. He went on to play college football at Mount Ida.
He is excited to take over a high school program as its head coach for the first time in his career. He had served one season as a head coach of the Southern New Hampshire Beavers semi-professional team.
“I’m looking forward to the new season,” said Chau, who is also a certified football referee. “I’ve met with the players and they’re doing their summer workouts. We have 32 players in the program right now and hope to have between 35-40 players on the team.”
Chau has selected Joseph Solomon as the team’s offensive coordinator, along with assistant coaches Richard Wilson, David Roque, and Steph Jeffers, who like Alpert, is a women’s professional football player for the Renegades. Mike Lopez has been named as equipment manager.
Chelsea will compete in the Division 8 Commonwealth Athletic Conference Small Division. Non-league opponents are Nashoba Valley, Whittier Tech, Greater Lowell, and Pope John (Thanksgiving game).
“I’m going to try to lead this team to the playoffs, but the first year as a new coach is always challenging because you’re trying to change the culture and make sure the players believe in you,” said Chau. “Right now, I like what I’m seeing with 20-plus kids lifting weights every day and participating in the pre-season conditioning drills.”
With the Chelsea High School football field being rebuilt, the Red Devils will play almost all of their games on the road this season. Chau said he has already introduced himself to the coaches in Chelsea’s two youth football organizations, Chelsea Pop Warner and Chelsea Pride.
Sen. Sal DiDomenico recently joined with Reps. Daniel Ryan and RoseLee Vincent to congratulate Roseann Bongiovanni on being recognized as an Unsung Heroine by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW).
Each year the MCSW recognizes women across the Commonwealth who make outstanding, yet perhaps unnoted, contributions to their communities.
Sen. DiDomenico and Representative Ryan nominated Bongiovanni, the executive director of the Chelsea-based environmental justice organization GreenRoots, for her efforts over the past 21 years to improve environmental conditions and quality of life in Chelsea.
On June 20 Bongiovanni was honored at the MCSW’s Unsung Heroines Celebration at the State House.
“I was happy to join Rep. Ryan and present Roseann with our citations.” said Senator DiDomenico. “This is a well-deserved honor for Roseann, who has made it her life’s work to assist individuals and families that need our help the most, and for her tireless efforts on environmental justice issues in our community.”
The Board, staff and members of GreenRoots were happy to hear the leader of their organization was getting credit for her years of work.
“On behalf of the Board, staff and members of GreenRoots, we would like to recognize Rosie for being recognized by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women as an Unsung Heroine of 2018,” read a statement from the organization. “Rosie was chosen as the Unsung Heroine for our District. We are lucky to have her as a model of leadership and unwavering commitment to our community.”
On May 21, officers were dispatched to Jefferson Avenue for a female party reporting that a male party followed her home and was still outside of her residence. Officers met with the reporting party, who stated that a male followed her home and grabbed her arm at one point to try to talk to her. She refused his advances and told him to leave, but he continued following her to her home. The victim identified the male leaning against a fence on her property. He was placed under arrest.
Lucio Ayala Rodriguez, 33, of Revere, was charged with criminal harassment and assault and battery.
DRUG RAID ON PARK
On May 24, members of the Chelsea Police Drug Unit executed a search warrant at 148 Park St. #4. The search warrant was the result of an investigation of a male subject for the Distribution of Crack Cocaine. Also assisting was Everett Police drug detectives.
Hector Sanchez-Balestier, 34, of 148 Park St., was charged with possession to distribute Class B drugs.
Every country has a story about the strength of its women. That was the lesson learned by the 30 or so young mothers who attended Roca Chelsea’s International Women’s Day celebration on March 29.
Roca’s Young Mothers program focuses on helping high risk young moms get out of violence and poverty, go to work, and care for their children. As part of the programming, Roca has built a community among the participating women through a weekly ‘family night,’ where moms and their children gather to take classes, learn, and grow – and also eat and socialize in a safe environment. The International Women’s Day festivity was an add on to this weekly gathering, giving the group a chance to learn about each other’s home countries and the women that helped shape history.
Ahead of the event, each participating young mom was asked to research a woman in history from her home country, and prepare a short presentation for the group. The result was a diverse line up of rock star women from all over, including Honduras, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and the US.
“We asked them to look for women in history that made a difference and acknowledge powerful women in Latin America who have always been there,” explained Roca Chelsea Young Mothers staff member Gina Josette. “We wanted to celebrate these women and ourselves as women in a fun and creative way.”
And celebrate they did. The women also brought traditional dishes from their home country to share with the group making the event a feast!
“It’s important and empowering for our young mothers to celebrate women in their country’s history,” said Josette. “For other events, we celebrate other important parts of our lives—Mother’s Day, graduations, etc. We celebrate any type of success in our group, and we celebrate it together.”
Jeanette (Weiner) Lee, of Wayland, formerly of Chelsea, matriarch of a longtime and well-known Chelsea family and a, died on January 23, 2018.
Jeanette Weiner Lee.
She was the beloved wife of the late Charles L. Lee. and the devoted and loving mother of Donald Charles Lee and wife Nancy of Holbrook, JoAnne D. Lee-Nieves and husband Carlos Juan of Mattapan, Michele L. (Lee) LaCosta and husband Charles of Holbrook and Brian R. Lee and wife Jodi Pages-Lee of Wayland. She was the loving daughter of the late Morris Paul Weiner and Anne (Babner) Weiner. She was the dear sister of Esther Wexler of Norton, Irving D. Weiner of Norton, and the late Lily Celata, Evelyn Sweeney and Rae Cummings. She was the loving grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of 3.
Mrs. Lee was born and raised in Chelsea and educated in the Chelsea School System. In her later years, Jeanette influenced and impacted many young lives in Chelsea. She taught Sunday school at the People’s Baptist Church Chelsea for 25 years. She was the Past President of the PTA at the Williams School, Chelsea, Secretary of the Women’s’ Progressive Club in Everett, a member of the Wayland Women’s Club, Secretary of the Greater Boston Baptist Association, Secretary of the Sister International and most recently a member of the Women’s Ministry of Ebenezer Baptist Church but her greatest love of all time was her family.
Mrs. Lee regularly attended her children’s school activities and took considerable pride in their accomplishments on the athletic field and in the classroom.
Throughout their lives, the Lee children exhibited the kindness, generosity, warmth, and personable manner of their parents, reaching out to those less fortunate and mentoring young people through their exemplary actions and uplifting words.
The Lee family was admired in Chelsea.
Longtime Chelsea softball fans will fondly remember Mrs. Lee’s husband, the late Charles Lee, who made umpiring in the Chelsea Fast Pitch Softball League a work of art. Players, coaches, and fans admired the charismatic umpire who called balls and strikes with aplomb and grace and was always impeccably dressed in his official uniform. Mr. Lee sponsored the Charles Lee Disposal team in the Chelsea Men’s Basketball League, reuniting Donald Lee with his former high school teammates, including his cousin, Leo Robinson, Bobby Long, Dale Johnson and Donald Wolcott.
Joanne Lee-Nieves became a highly successful women’s basketball coach, receiving state Hall of Fame honors. She was a role model to the inner-city women whom she coached and mentored.
Councillor-at-Large Leo Robinson said his aunt, Jeanette, was “a big influence on many young people in Chelsea who grew up to lead very positive lives.”
“She was a beautiful, wonderful person – a great lady,” said Robinson. “She was a very sensitive human being who really loved people.”
The city of Chelsea has lost a wonderful woman who brought much love and joy to her proud family and to all who had the honor of being in her company.
A Funeral Service will be at the Torf Funeral Chapel, 151 Washington Avenue, Cary Sq, Chelsea on Monday, January 29th at 11AM. Relatives and friends invited to attend. Interment in North Cemetery, Wayland. A Memorial Service will be held in Jeanette’s honor on Saturday, February 3rd at 11AM in the Ebenezer Baptist Church-157 West Springfield St., South End, Boston, MA. In lieu of flowers donations in Jeanette’s memory may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Boston-10 Chandler St., Boston, MA 02116 or to the American Kidney Fund-11921 Rockville Pike, Suite 300, Rockville, MD 20852. Visit www.torffuneralservice.com for guestbook and directions.