Retired Jefferson County Judge Helen Shores Lee laid to rest

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (WIAT) - Helen Shores Lee, the first African-American woman to serve as a judge on the Jefferson County Circuit Court, was laid to rest Friday..

Lee passed away Monday, July 2, 2018.

Judge U.W. Clemon tells CBS 42 Helen Shores Lee died Monday morning.

Her son Arthur Shores Lee posted on Facebook Monday, "Mom has passed. She is with the Lord."

Lee's funeral service was held at First Congressional Church. Lee was buried at Elmwood cemetery.

Hundreds of family, friends, colleagues, and people in the community attended Lee's funeral service. U.S. Senator Doug Jones and former Birmingham Mayor William Bell were among some of the speakers.

Everyone gathered to honor Lee's life and career and to say their final goodbyes. Senator Doug Jones says she will never be forgotten.

"Her service to this community, her service on the bench will be remembered long, long after she has passed." said Jones.

Lee was the daughter of famous civil rights attorney Arthur Shores, who was at the forefront of litigation and The Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham. She was appointed Circuit Judge of the Tenth Judicial Court of Alabama in January 2003.

Her desire to ensure equal justice for all was shaped by events she witnessed and experienced growing up in Birmingham's Dynamite Hills neighborhood during the 1960s. She and her sister Barbara Shores co-authored a book highlighting those events in, “The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill, the Untold Story of Arthur Shores and His Family’s Civil Rights."

Lee was a graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., received her M.A. in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, and her Juris Doctorate from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham. 

Sandra Little Brown with the Jefferson County Commission says Lee's life serves as an inspiration to all.

"She was an icon to the black community. She came up through hostile environment. Racism, segregation, but she lived to see great integration. She's a role model for African American women. And for justice period. She's a role model." said Brown.

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