Friends and family gather for the funeral of Harper Lee

MONROEVILLE, Ala. (AP) – The funeral for “To Kill a Mockingbird” author Harper Lee, who died Friday at age 89, was as private as her life. A few dozen family members gathered Saturday at the First United Methodist Church in Monroeville, Alabama to hear a eulogy by her longtime friend and history professor, Wayne Flint.

The eulogy, read by Flynt, was the speech that he wrote in 2006 as a tribute when Lee 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.

“I want you to say exactly that,” Flynt quoted Lee as saying at the time. “Not one thing more, and not one thing less.”

“If I deviated one degree, I would hear this great booming voice from heaven, and it wouldn’t be God,” Flynt said in an earlier interview.

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