SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — Community members are offering remembrances and making tribute to a longtime Siouxland activist who passed away on Thursday.
Born and raised in Sioux City, Flora Lee was 68-years-old. Friends said Lee was a woman that touched many lives in Siouxland through the many organizations she was part of, but her goal to help improve Sioux City and its residents shined bright in everything she did.
Over the years Lee wore many hats, from a strategist and consultant for the North West Area Education Agency for 20 years to recently being appointed the executive director of the Sioux City’s Women Aware organization.
“She was very thoughtful, she wasn’t a leader that got emotional about things. I mean she thought things through, she wanted to make sure it was the best decision for all the people of the community,” said Bob Scott, Mayor of Sioux City.
Mark Avery knew and worked with Lee for roughly 25 years. He remembers her as a very loving and passionate woman.
“Very high spirited, wanted to see more equality, and justice, and communication between all people and valuing all people. She was very firstly loving in that mission of hers,” Avery said.
During her time at the Northwest Area Education Agency. Lee helped hundreds if not thousands of students reach their full potential.
“(She) was very active in kids’ lives, very active in making sure that they received an appropriate education or whatever was going on in their life. So she’s helped a lot people in this community and done a lot of good,” said Maren Mackey, Sioux City Human Rights Commission Director and friend of Lee.
Ike Rayford, the president of the NAACP, says while Lee’s passing was a surprise to all, he believes she will live on through the people she’s helped and the memories that were created.
“We all understand that death comes, we understand that people will pass away at some point. “And I think what so surprising about Flora’s passing is that Flora was a superhero, and we don’t ever see superheroes dying,” said Rayford.
Mackey pointed out that Lee was the first woman of color elected in Woodbury County to an elected position. Lee served on the school board for 12 years.
“And she did amazing work while serving on that board really looking out for all of our kids in this community,” said Karen Mackey, the director of Sioux City Human Rights Commission.
Reyford also said, “She was recognized on so many levels in so many places. I mean Flora was recognized not only from organizations, but at the city level, the state level, and country. She is a name in the national office of the NAACP, because of the work that she has done.”
Funeral arrangements are pending for Lee and KCAU 9 will provide an update once more is known.