Lee Andrew Makela

April 22, 1967 ~ November 14, 2021 (age 54)

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Lee Andrew Makela of Maynard, MA passed away unexpectedly in his home on November 14, 2021 at the age of 54. He is survived by his loving wife Rachael Simkins-Makela and beloved son Andrew Finn Makela. He is also survived by his mother K. Wanda (Tierney) Makela, father Ray “Sonny” Makela, his siblings Pamela Holt, Patrick Makela, Michael (Robin) Makela, & Shelly (Sean) Smith, his uncle Thomas J. Tierney Jr, and aunt Mrs. Edward (Judith) Gillogly, his 23 close-knit cousins, and his cherished nieces & nephews Cameron & Connor Holt, Lyndsey, Kimmy, Sarah & Jenna Makela, Ashley Makela & Amber Heck, Jagger Smith, Emily Smith, & Kelsey Cronin. Lee was predeceased by aunts and uncles Patricia (Tierney) Sawtelle, John F. Tierney, Paul E. Tierney, John A. Makela, Jean A. Makela, and Edward T. Gillogly Sr., and grandparents Mr. & Mrs. Thomas J. Tierney (Sophie) and Mrs. Vieno Makela.

Lee was raised in Pepperell, MA and graduated from Nashoba Valley Technical High School, Westford, MA in 1985 for Machine Tool Technology, and attended NH Vocational Technical College. Lee was athletic & extremely adventurous as a child; he was determined & could teach himself just about anything. He played in Little League, did 4-H with his cow named Betsy, he played pond hockey, & loved skiing, swimming, fishing, boating, snowmobiling, and bowling. He rode dirt-bikes & worked at the Pepperell Motor-cross, drove fast cars, loved his Harley, and he has always tinkered with small engines since childhood until the day he died. 

Lee was a character, he was witty, funny, always the life of the party, and had a smile that lit up the room. He was thoughtful, kind, positive, and driven to keep moving forward, (SISU), he was an incredible leader. He was a dedicated employee & made an impact everywhere he worked. He received several achievement awards working for Fort Devens. Lee began dating his life-long partner Rachael Simkins when he was 18. They bought a home in Maynard, MA in 2004, and were married in 2008 on the deck of their family cottage at Little Neck, Ipswich, MA. Their adored son Andrew “Finn” was born in 2010. Lee and Rachael shared a deep love for each other, they were there for each other through the best and the toughest of times, through thick and thin. They experienced a lifetime of fun, crazy, wild adventures together. They loved to spend time together, with their son, & with family and friends boating, fishing, beaching, skiing, snowmobiling, bowling, hanging out, partying, and enjoying their home and yard. 

Lee’s love for his son Andrew “Finn” was fierce, they had a bond like no other. Finn was Lee’s world & Lee was Finn’s world. They were both the best of friends, they laughed hard, talked endlessly, snuggled, shed tears together, played hard, and did so many genuine amazing things together that only the most deeply loving father could do. Lee adored his son and his son adored him. 

Lee loved his entire family so dearly, they all meant the world to him, each and every one of them. Everyone loved when Lee was around, he was truly the life of the party. His relationships with his family were solid and genuine. He had dear friends everywhere he went. His personality was magnetic and in any aspect of his life he had the most genuine solid friends for life, his friendships were golden & important to him. 

Lee took great pride in his Carpenter’s Union, Local 275/339. They were the true sense of the word brotherhood to him. He was a determined and dedicated worker at any job site or company he worked for. 

A public visitation will be held in the McGaffigan Funeral Home, 37 Main St. (Rte. 113) Pepperell, MA on Saturday, December 4, 2021, from 2 - 5 p.m. Facial coverings are preferred. Following, a small reception will be held at the Pepperell VFW Post # 3291, 55 Leighton St., Pepperell, MA from 5 - 8:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to: 

· The GoFundMe Page “It Takes a Village” for Lee’s beloved son Andrew “Finn” to help support his son’s life. 

· A charitable donation to Lee’s prostate cancer doctor’s research, Dr. Kerry Kilbridge & Dr. Paul Nguyen at Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lee Andrew Makela, please visit our floral store.


December 4, 2021

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
McGaffigan Family Funeral Home
37 Main St. (Rte 113)
Pepperell, MA 01463

December 4, 2021

5:00 PM
Pepperell VFW Post # 3291
55 Leighton Street
Pepperell, MA 01463


"It Takes a Village"

Prostate Cancer Research - Dr. Kerry Kilbridge & Dr. Paul Nguyen at Dana Farber Cancer Institute

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