by Henry Lane Hull
The services for former President George H.W. Bush appropriately redirected America’s thoughts to the sacrifices made by his generation toward securing victory over the evil empires of Nazi Germany and Japan during the Second World War. At the same time that the nation was saying goodbye to the President, Kilmarnock was saying goodbye to one of its own from that same era of dedication in the person of Agnes Lee.
Agnes was a Yankee, who upon her marriage to Edward Lee became a Virginian. In her case the zeal of a convert was perpetually evident as she joined in giving of herself, her talents and her time to making the lower Northern Neck both her own home and a better place to live for all of her neighbors.
The Lees lived on their historic land in Fleets Bay, and Agnes worked locally as a nurse. During the War she had served as a United States Army nurse, which profession she continued in the Northern Neck, working at the Kilmarnock Clinic and as a school nurse in the Lancaster County school system. She enjoyed seeing people get well and knowing that she had done her best to help them in that effort.
Agnes lived to be 96, but she never became old. In the days before her death she actively attended the various Veterans Day commemorations in the area in her typical manner of remembering the services of those who like her had labored in wartime to make us safe and free. This year’s commemorations were particularly poignant in remembering the centenary of the end of the First World War. As a veteran Agnes was also an active member of the American Legion Adams Post # 86.
In retirement she was a “tireless” volunteer for the Kilmarnock Museum, and a staunch proponent of the banners along our streets recognizing the local heroes who had served with her during the war and in other conflicts. If the museum hosted an exhibit or an event, Agnes could be counted upon to be present doing her part to make the occasion a success. She enjoyed serving as docent at the museum, explaining exhibits and selling items to raise funds. She especially liked the programs whereby individuals could bring in items to have experts identify them, and she was ubiquitous in promoting the annual Extravaganza that is the museum’s principal fundraiser.
The Northern Neck Free Health Clinic was another of Agnes’ favorite projects. She volunteered there, working in her own profession to insure better health care for those in the community who needed medical assistance. Her interest in the medical profession and health care was lifelong and never waned.
Well into her 90s, Agnes opened her home to a puppy, which she named Beau. He is a Cocker spaniel from a litter that her son and daughter-in-law, James and Twila, had bred. Agnes was not one to let age interfere with living the life that she found rewarding and fulfilling. To use a somewhat trite expression, but one that describes her most accurately, in every respect, for almost a century, Agnes lived life to the fullest.
Agnes Liddell Lee, November 15, 1922 – December 5, 2018. R.I.P.
Last week immediately after penning the column I traveled up to Washington, crossing the Potomac on the Nice Bridge, which had been the subject of the item. In the column I noted that plans are underway for the bridge’s replacement, and speculated that the Maryland Department of Transportation would retain the name of the bridge, which honors former Governor Harry W. Nice.
Ironically, as I crossed I observed a new sign designating that the name had been changed to share the naming honor with Maryland State Senator Thomas “Mac” Middleton, who represents Charles County in the State Senate, thus the structure is now the Nice-Middleton Bridge. At the Maryland Welcome Center I found that the change occurred last month.