Richard E. Lee, a retired Baltimore attorney and jazz fan, died of Alzheimer's disease last Saturday at Arden Courts in Pikesville. He was 62.
The son of Robert Lexwood Lee, a boxer and machinist, and Bernice Mack Lee, a homemaker, Richard Edward Lee was born and raised in Towson.
After graduating from Towson High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1975 from Morgan State University.
He received a scholarship to study law at the University of Miami, and after a year transferred to the University of Maryland Law School, where he earned a law degree in 1979 while working full time at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Maryland.
He joined the law firm of Cummings & Smith, whose partners were now-Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a fellow University of Maryland Law School graduate; and Eddie Smith.
"While at the firm, he specialized in torts and criminal defense," said a daughter, Dr. Calinda Lee of Atlanta.
In 1982, he established his own firm, Richard E. Lee P.A., a general law practice, in the 2400 block of Maryland Ave.
"He was one of the hardest working people I've ever met," said Mr. Cummings in an email. "He was a protege and a friend, and I still remember fondly when we talked about cases. I was proud to see him start his own firm and soar."
"Richard was a phenomenal lawyer, but more importantly, he was a fantastic friend," the congressman said.
In a profile of her father, Dr. Lee wrote: "He cared deeply about winning justice for his clients and reminded people often that a good lawyer made all the difference between someone receiving medical care and compensation or facing a lifetime of struggle in the wake of tragedy."
He was a member of the Maryland Bar Association and Maryland Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Lee retired in 2012 because of failing health.
He was admitted to practice in the Maryland Court of Appeals, District Court of Maryland, 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, U.S. Court of Claims, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, U.S. Tax Court and the U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
A longtime Pikesville resident, Mr. Lee was a musician and jazz aficionado. He enjoyed trips to "far-flung jazz festivals," his daughter said. He also enjoyed working out and playing pool.
Mr. Lee was a member of Mount Olive Baptist Church, 816 York Road, Towson, where funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday.
In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his companion of 22 years, Claudia Tucker; a son, Rahkeem Lee of Baltimore; another daughter, Jessica Munford of Baltimore; a stepdaughter, Kisca Hunter of Florida; a brother, Robert Lee Jr. of Owings Mills; a sister, Aurelia Pope of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren. His marriage ended in divorce.
—Frederick N. Rasmussen