Alice Lee, sister of “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee and influential Alabama lawyer, passed away on Monday at the age of 103.
Johnson Funeral Home and Monuments in Monroeville posted an online notice of her death. The funeral home did not say how Alice Lee died and as of Tuesday morning, funeral arrangements had not been completed.
— Jim Abath (@JimA48) November 18, 2014
Alice Lee was born on Sept. 11, 1911 and grew up in Monroeville, Alabama.
As Harper Lee’s attorney, Alice Lee was well-known as the gatekeeper to her ultra-private sister. Nelle Harper Lee, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her only published novel in 1961, often had requests for interviews to which Alice Lee would always answer a firm, but polite, “No.”
She was also celebrated as a trailblazer, one of few women who practice law in Alabama prior to World War II.
In 2012, at the age of 100, she was the oldest attorney still practicing law in the state of Alabama.
“I would consider I’ve had a good life,” she told the Press-Register in 2011. “A good life to me is one that has been happy, one that has been productive. Things I have done have been good for other people. I’ve tried to be a good citizen in my community.”
She stopped practicing law once she turned 100, according to author and acquaintance to Alice Lee Mark Childress.
On Tuesday, he took to social media to share his memories with Lee. He met Alice Lee as a child while she was working on a case for his father.
“She told me she modeled her career on that of her father, Mr. Amasa Coleman Lee, who was of course the model of Atticus Finch,” he wrote. “I don’t think there’s any reason to feel sad about the end of a life so richly and completely lived.”
For years, Alice Lee was an active leader of the United Methodist Church, which has an award named in her honor that is given to women in ministry. She was the first and still only female to lead the Alabama-West Florida Conference delegation to the church’s general conference, ABC News reports.