Harper Lee, author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ dies at 89

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Harper Lee, author of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ dies at 89

MONROEVILLE, Alabama - The author of the American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird’’ was laid to rest Saturday in a private ceremony attended only by her closest friends and relatives, a reflection of how she lived.

Harper Lee, who died Friday at the age of 89, was eulogized at a church in the small Alabama town of Monroeville, which the author used as a model for the fictional town of Maycomb in her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

A few dozen people who comprised Lee’s intimate circle gathered at the First United Methodist Church to hear a eulogy Saturday by the writer’s longtime friend, Professor Wayne Flynt.

Afterward, her casket was taken by a silver hearse to an adjacent cemetery, where her father, A.C. Lee and sister, Alice Lee, are buried.

Flynt, a longtime friend to Lee, said he delivered a eulogy that Lee specifically requested years ago.

Titled “Atticus Inside Ourselves,’’ the eulogy was written by Flynt for a speech that he gave in 2006 as a tribute to Lee when she won the Birmingham Pledge Foundation Award for racial justice.

Flynt said Lee liked the speech so much that she requested he give it as her eulogy.

Details of the service were fiercely guarded. Lee had wanted a small quiet funeral without pomp or fanfare, family members said.

She had remained largely unseen in her hometown in recent years. She had always sought privacy but then secluded herself at an assisted living home. Security guards would shoo away the inevitable mix of reporters, curious onlookers and old acquaintances who were not on her list of approved visitors.

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