Longtime Warner Robins civil rights champion Ada Lee died Thursday afternoon from complications from a stroke suffered earlier in the week. She was 94.
"Ada Lee was an inspiration to the entire Middle Georgia community," said Warner Robins Mayor Randy Toms. "She truly cared about Warner Robins and all its citizens.
"For me personally, she always had a kind and encouraging word for me, and I will miss her words of wisdom. I am certainly better for having her in my life," Toms said.
Lee was born in Wellston, a small railroad community that became Warner Robins.
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She fought and marched for school integration and voting rights. She was one of the founding members of the Houston County Chapter of the NAACP.
Lee was called upon to speak at a dedication of a monument to Pearl Stephens on the site of the original Pearl Stephens School in May 2014. Stephens was a school teacher who donated the land for the first school for black children in Houston County. Stephens was Lee's first teacher.
"She has been on that trail a mighty long time," said Ada Lee's grandson, Warner Robins City Councilman Daron Lee.
"She laid the foundation — not only civil rights but unity as well. She spoke up for those who were overlooked. She was also a leader when it came to being an example of unity and working for unity in all the communities regardless of your ethnic background, social (or) economic status," Lee said.
Ada Lee was honored in 2004 when a park in her neighborhood was named after her.
She's believed to have been among the first, if not the first, black person to work for the city of Warner Robins, has been credited with forming the first Girl Scout troop for black girls in Houston County and directed the first Head Start program in Warner Robins.
Lee has served on multiple boards over the years, including the Christian Women United Association, Family Support Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the NAACP executive board and a Strategy Planning Committee for the Houston County Board of Education.
She was named Mrs. Warner Robins in 1995.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Telegraph archives were used in this report.