Monroeville: The author of the American classic "To Kill a Mockingbird" has been laid to rest, in a private ceremony attended by only the closest of friends and family, a reflection of how she had lived.
Harper Lee, who died Friday at age 89, was eulogised at a church in the small Alabama town of Monroeville yesterday, which the author used as a model for the imaginary town of Maycomb, the setting of Lee's 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 yesterday by her long-time friend and history professor, Wayne Flynt.
Afterward, her casket was taken by silver hearse to an adjacent cemetery where her father, AC Lee and sister, Alice Lee, are buried.
Flynt, a long-time friend of Lee, said he delivered a eulogy that Lee specifically requested years ago. Entitled, "Atticus inside ourselves," the eulogy was written by Flint 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 wanted him to give it as her eulogy.
Details of the service were fiercely guarded. Lee had wanted a quick and quiet funeral without pomp or fanfare, family members said.
Lee was largely unseen in her hometown in recent years, as she first sought privacy and then was secluded 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.