David Cooper Blee
Saturday 4th of July 1953 - Sunday 29th of December 2019
Church of the Annunciation
1007 Main Street , Paris, KY
David Cooper Blee, a noted nuclear industry expert, who also served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary and later Director of Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of Energy in the Reagan Administration, died on December 29 near his family farm in Paris, Kentucky. He was 66.
Mr. Blee began a long career in national politics managing
numerous political campaigns, including as campaign manager in 1982 for U.S.
Senate candidate Prescott Bush in Connecticut, and later served as Chief of
Staff for U.S. Representative Connie Mack of Florida. Mr. Blee went on to serve as (acting)
Assistant Secretary of Energy in the Reagan administration, as Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Energy, and then in a series of roles advocating for new
nuclear energy. At the time of his
death, he was serving as the Executive Director of the United States Nuclear
Infrastructure Council, and Managing Director and founder of the Forrestal
Group, a strategic management group in the nuclear energy and infrastructure
Earlier in his career, Mr. Blee was an Executive Vice
President for NAC International, a U.S.-based energy services and technology
company, where he directed the company’s worldwide consulting group, and as a
Senior Vice President for the D.C.-based strategic communications firm of
Robinson, Lake, Lerer and Montgomery.
A passionate advocate for thoroughbred racing, Mr. Blee was
a co-founder and director of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), the
Kentucky horse industry’s leading political advocacy organization, and also
served on the Executive Committee and as vice president of Runnymede Farm, the
oldest continuously-operated thoroughbred breeding farm in Kentucky.
A son and namesake of the legendary OSS operative and CIA
counter-intelligence chief, David H. Blee, and the late Margaret Blee, David
was born in Karachi, Pakistan on July 4, 1953 and spent his formative years overseas, most
notably in India. Mr. Blee was a noted
hunter and conservationist, having been Knighted in the International Order of
St. Hubertus, an ancient international hunting fraternity. He was a member of
the Keeneland Club, the Iroquois Hunt Club, Maryland’s Gibson Island Club, the
George Town Club, the Georgetown Assembly, a dancing society dating back to the
early the 18th Century, and a member of the Lumen Institute, a
Catholic faith-based leadership group that supports the mentoring of young
people and feeding the homeless. Mr. Blee earned a B.A. in economics from
He is survived by his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Biz) Clay Blee;
three children Cooper, Elizabeth, and Augustus Blee; and brothers Richard, John
and Robert and twin sister Elizabeth.
A Visitation will be held Thursday, Jan. 2, from 5-8 p.m., with a Vigil Service from 8:00p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Milward-Broadway, 159 N. Broadway, Lexington, KY 40507. A Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, Jan. 3, at 11 a.m. at Church of the Annunciation, 1007 Main Street, Paris, KY. 40361. A Memorial Mass will be held at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church 3513 N St., NW, Washington, DC, in Georgetown, on Monday, January 13, at 10:30 am.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations could
be made to the Leadership Training Program of Bethesda, MD, or Georgetown
Preparatory School Scholarship Fund.
Dear Biz and Family of David: My heart is broken to hear the news of the passing of David. He was always a gentleman and a friend to me. I send my prayers for him and for all of you. Michael Reilly
It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of David Blee. I was honored to have known him for over three decades and join the many who will miss him . Our thoughts and prayers are with Biz and the children, as well as the entire Blee-Clay clan. Deepest condolences. May light perpetual shine upon him.
From all at Joseph Oat Corporation, our thoughts and prayers are with David's family during this very difficult time. David was a strong advocate for the Nuclear industry, and his voice and conversation will be sorely missed in the industry and personally.
Rona Nordeen Wendebornsays
Memories of New Delhi are brought to mind. Please send the family my love and prayers.
So many memories of school days in India. What a life and what a legacy of goodness he leaves behind. My thoughts are with his Ohana and friends and all who loved him during this tender time Aloha Pumehana.
Marsha and Andy Campbellsays
We have fond memories of David from high school days in India around 50 years ago. Our condolences to his family in Kentucky and in the Washington area. Rest In Peace David. Marsha and Andy Campbell