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Lee "Babe" Franklin Hallberg

• Apr 8, 2017 at 3:53 PM

Born in Chicago, IL to second generation Swedish immigrants Walter and Elsa Hallberg, Lee passed away two days short of his 84th birthday. The youngest of three boys, Lee was affectionately nicknamed and still called “Babe” by his family and friends.

Babe grew up in Western Springs, IL and attended Lyons Township High School where he was an honor student and a star athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He also met the love of his life Nancy his freshman year. He went on to graduate from Swarthmore College with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and developed great friendships with his Delta Upsilon fraternity brothers. The summer after graduation he and his high school sweetheart Nancy were married and started their family and long life together.

Lee’s professional career took he and Nancy to Cincinnati, OH, manufacturing a new “Crest” toothpaste with Proctor and Gamble and then to Barrington, IL to manufacture Jewel Tea Company’s coffee line. He was soon promoted to Jewel’s facility in Melrose Park, IL to manage their bakery and eventually their Hillfarm Dairy division. He and Nancy lived and raised their three children in Palatine, IL for 20 years. An eventual move to Pet Dairy in Florida then led him to the corporate office of Dean Foods in Johnson City, TN. Lee completed his career as Vice President of Manufacturing and he and Nancy stayed for 25 years in Jonesborough into retirement. Lee was a fiercely loyal and dedicated employee and executive throughout his career.

Retiring in Jonesborough, TN Lee enjoyed growing fruits (Arkansas Blacks apples, his favorite) and vegetables for the local Farmer’s Market, cutting and splitting wood, riding his Kubota tractor, singing in his church’s choir, playing bridge and playing golf in the Senior League. Lee and Nancy ran a bed and breakfast out of their home for 10 years, all while cheering on their beloved ETSU “Bucs” football and basketball teams.

While President of the Jonesborough Civic Trust, he loved helping restore the Duncan House, as he was talented in both construction and woodworking. He came from a long line of expert Swedish cabinetmakers. Along with his fellow Civic Trust colleagues, Lee was instrumental in combining the Civic Trust and the Historical Jonesborough Foundation into what is now the Heritage Alliance.

Lee was one of the most likeable, trustworthy, dedicated and selfless individuals to ever bless this earth. He has left all that he has touched with such meaningful memories and will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Lee is survived by his brothers Bruce (Joan) Hallberg and Jack (Joyce) Hallberg, his loving wife Nancy of nearly 62 years, sons Jeff (Patsy) Hallberg and Dale (Terri) Hallberg, daughter Donna (Ron) Pace, grandchildren Joshua (Michelle) Hallberg, Kris (Tabitha) Hallberg, Jacob Hallberg, Katie (Ray) Smith, Cody (Lisa) Hallberg, Jordan Hickey, Trevor (Angie) Hallberg, Casey (Elly) Hallberg and Morgan Pace. Lee and Nancy have been blessed with nine great grandchildren as well.

Lee was preceded in death by his parents and son-in-law Ron Pace.

A celebration of Lee’s life is being planned in Jonesborough this summer. A service will be held at his United Methodist Church. Please contact the church or family members for dates, times and details. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Haven Hospice in Lake City. FL and The Alzheimer's Association.