Leslie "Lee" Cashman '70 October 18, 2023 3:27 PM updated: October 18, 2023 3:43 PM
Leslie Edward "Lee" Cashman
March 18, 1945 - June 5, 2023
Leslie Edward "Lee" Cashman, 78, died peacefully at his home in Stonington, CT, June 5, 2023. Lee was not one to give up easily and he fought hard against metastatic prostate cancer right to the end, drawing comfort surrounded by family, loved ones and his German Shepherds.
Lee was born March 18, 1945 in Philadelphia, PA, and grew up in Chevy Chase, MD, where he and his kindergarten buddies became an extraordinary group of lifetime best friends. He attended Ohio Wesleyan and American University before volunteering for service in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Following active duty, Lee continued school at Texas A&M University, where he met his first wife, Cara, and launched what would become a 38-year career in networking and IT. Residing in Dallas, Texas, and then Boulder, Colo., Lee and Cara had two children, David and Lesley, and they raised their family in Mahopac, N.Y. before parting ways after 25 years of marriage. Lee worked as a proud IBM'er on wide-area and local-area networking for much of his career from IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Lee valued challenging work and he retired from IBM only briefly, returning to work as a systems analyst at AT&T before officially retiring once again.
During the 1990s in AOL's ascendency, Lee met Karen Kolseth Brossard in an online dating forum, and they married in 1998. Lee and Karen built a multifaceted life and second family together, blending Lee's two children with Karen's four daughters, Lucie, Anne, Nancy and Katie, and were happily married for 21 years. Lee and Karen were beloved as "Mimi" and "Pops" to their children, children in-law, and 11 grandchildren, with Pops sharing special inside jokes and a strong bond with them all. Sadly, Mimi passed away in November 2019, from peritoneal cancer.
Helping people and serving his country and community were important to Lee. Among his many roles, he was a volunteer firefighter, little league baseball coach, State of Connecticut First Responder, motorcycle escort for the annual America's 9/11 Foundation Ride, and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding volunteer. In addition, in his early 70s, Lee became a certified State of Connecticut Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
Lee was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer in 2019, age 74, beyond the age medical guidelines recommend for PSA-based prostate cancer screening. It was important to Lee to tell everyone he could about PSA testing and to raise awareness about the risks if PSA screening is stopped above age 70.
Lee continued to embrace life and family and met a new special friend, Phyllis Evan, who he married in December 2022. Though their time with each other was not as long as they would have chosen, Lee expanded his horizon with new foods and adventures, and tried to fully enjoy the remaining period of his life.
Lee was a generous and caring patriarch, who had an inclusive and expansive understanding of what it meant to be family. He was loyal and thoughtful in his relationships, always remembering special days and taking time just to check in. Lee was also a wonderfully quirky technical engineer who took pride in things being done the right way, not the easy way, and truly marched to his own drummer. He made an impression and impact on everyone in his life, and he will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations for Leslie E. "Lee" Cashman can be made to Closer to Free Fund for Smilow Cancer Hospital, YNHH Development, P.O. Box 1849, New Haven, CT. 06508 or online at www.givetoynhh.org or donations can be made to America's 911 Foundation, 13630 Barn House Place, Leesburg, VA 20176 or online at americas911foundation.org. Either would be sincerely appreciated.
A service and reception will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, June 23, at Calvary Episcopal Church, 27 Church Street, Stonington.