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Atlanta Says Goodbye To Civil Rights Champion Lillian Lewis

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Photo by Cynthia Mallard CBS Radio

Photo by Cynthia Mallard CBS Radio

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Atlanta (WAOK)-Hundreds of friends, family and dignitaries crowded Ebenezer Baptist Church  today to say their final goodbyes to Lillian Lewis, the wife of Congressman John Lewis. The funeral brought out well known civil rights leaders such as Reverend Jesse Jackson, former Congressman, Atlanta Mayor and U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young and her close friend Xernona Clayton who spoke of her friend.

“People mentioned that everyone knew the congressman, but they did not know his wife that’s simply because Lillian was in the background making things work. Lillian was about doing, not showing” said Clayton.

Lewis earned two degrees, one in English from the then California State College at Los Angeles and a masters degree in Library Science from the University of Southern California. She met Congressman John Lewis in 1967 and married him a year later in 1968.

She’s credited with encouraging and thrusting her husband forward in his political career.  Former Congressman Andrew Young  addressing the crowd said; “Lillian  was outspoken but never pushy and never obnoxious just you shall know the truth and the truth  will set you free even if it does make you mad”.

Lewis died last week at the age of 73. She is survived by her husband and one son John Miles.

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