• 83 years old
  • Born on August 4, 1931 .
  • Passed away on December 26, 2014 .

Join us to celebrate the life and legacy of Lee A. Carty. We will hold the memorial on Friday, February 13, 2:00pm at St. Alban's Nourse Hall in Washington, DC. 

DIRECTIONS: 3001 Wisconsin Ave, NW, Nourse Hall • Washington, DC 20016
St. Alban’s is located next to the Washington National Cathedral at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin Avenues. Go under the arch at Lych Gate Road. Enter through red doors immediately on the LEFT (St. Alban's Parish). Nourse Hall will be on the left.

PARKING: Parking is available (for a fee) in the underground garage at the National Cathedral. You may also park on neighborhood streets.

Open House to Share and Remember

You are also invited to drop by the home of Lee and her husband of 61 years, Winthrop P. Carty, who passed away on October 10, 2014, to share among friends and family. 

The dates and times are:

4:00 – 7:00pm, Friday, February 13

10am – 1pm, Saturday, February 14

Lee Carty, an influential force in Washington, DC political and civic life across three decades, died on December 26th of complications from lung cancer.

Lee Carty was born in New York City to Samuel W. Anderson, a banker who served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Eisenhower Administration, and Lorraine Combs Anderson, a graphic artist. Her childhood was divided between a farmhouse in Huntington, Long Island, her grandmother’s artists’ community in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and Washington DC. She attended Smith College. 

After marrying Winthrop Peirce Carty in 1954 in New York, the couple moved to Bogotá, Colombia, where Lee worked as a freelance reporter for the New York Times. Shortly upon returning to the US in 1962, the couple landed in Washington where Lee continued her work in communications, first as Communications Director of the National Cathedral and mostly notably as Director of Publications for Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, the nation’s leading civil rights organization for children and adults with mental illness and intellectual disabilities.  Lee joined the Center in the mid 1970’s as the new organization pioneered legal strategies on behalf of thousands of people who previously had been  “warehoused” in institutions without adequate treatment.  Lee retired from Bazelon in 2011 after four decades.  

In response to the surge in homelessness in Washington DC as in elsewhere in the nation, Lee helped found Friendship Place (then known as Community Council for the Homeless), increasingly recognized nationally for its innovations in addressing the causes and consequences of homelessness. She later served on the organization’s board for over 10 years, and was honored in 2002 with the organization's Benjamin E. Cooper Award for volunteer service. Lee also helped launch the Green Door, a DC program that helps people with mental illness make a successful transition from confinement in an institution to life in the community.  

In politics, she was a leading Democratic organizer in the Washington DC, especially in Ward 3 and she served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972. Lee was a close friend and loyal political aide to DC City Council member Polly Shackleton. She was communications director in Council Member James Nathanson's three campaigns and a key supporter of Sterling Tucker’s unsuccessful mayoral bid in 1978 against Marion Barry.

A gourmet cook, Lee Carty’s cuisine ranged from Boeuf Bourguignon to fiery Mexican Mole Poblano. Lee and her late husband enjoyed Washington DC sports and culture to the fullest.  They were season ticket holders of the Caps Hockey team since the 1980s, avid fans of both the Senators and Nationals baseball teams, and regulars at the Arena Stage and Shakespeare Theater.   

Lee is survived by a son, Winthrop Carty of Cambridge, MA, daughters Jane MacNealy of Silver Spring, MD and Elizabeth Carty of El Cerrito, CA, and five grandchildren. The family is planning a memorial to be held in February. Her brother, Michael Anderson died in 2001 and her husband of 61 years, the journalist Winthrop Peirce Carty, died October 10, 2014. 

Donations in her memory can be made to Friendship Place at FriendshipPlace.org or to the GALA Hispanic Theater at galatheatre.org.

Posted by Joselyn Sierra on 26th December 2015
Hermosa Lee hace un año partiste de este mundo terrenal para encontrarse con el Padre Eterno en su infinita gloria, se que desde allí siempre estará pendiente de seguir ayudando a quienes pasamos por su vida, en especial a sus hijo e hijas que se que mucha falta les hará, Dios la tenga en su santa Gloria.
Posted by Pat Goeldner on 26th December 2015
I think of Lee so often, but lovely to have this opportunity for a special remembrance today. She was so gracious, wise, optimistic, classy - such a great role model.
Posted by David Apatoff on 10th February 2015
Lee was a wonderful presence at the Bazelon Center-- she always brought enthusiasm and humor and dedication to a very worthwhile cause. Her energy inspired many others. I always looked forward to seeing her friendly face there. We shall miss her.
Posted by Pat Goeldner on 26th January 2015
I too served on the Friendship Place board for a number of years with Lee. She was a role model. She was intelligent, savvy, gracious, passionate and compassionate. So knowledgeable about issues and policy and equally interested and comfortable with the persons being served. She served as representative payee and mentor to many over the years at Friendship Place. Such a good listener and also a giver of good counsel. She will be sorely missed.
Posted by Sally Zinman on 22nd January 2015
I got to know Lee over 35 years ago or so. I became a Board member of what was then the Mental Health Law Project (now Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law,) We became friends outside of the Board and our mutual passion to advance the rights of people with mental disabilities. I stayed at Lee's house often when I cam into Washington for Board Meetings, the big house and the apartment. We went to art museums and farmers markets. Once when my daughter got sick in Washington, Lee put me up for a week, driving me back and forth to the hospital. I met some of Lee's family in the Bay Area. I have always considered Lee as a special person in my life. A good friend, whether we were in touch or not. Her kindness to me and my daughter when we were in crisis has stayed with me throughout my life. I am so sad about her death. But people like Lee stay with you forever. My daughter and I send our sympathies, and love for Lee.
Posted by Elizabeth Siegel on 21st January 2015
I was privileged to serve on the Board of Friendship Place with Lee--what a dynamo! What a moral force! She wrote our newsletters for all those years before we could afford to hire someone. She was a great writer and a terrific advisor to me when I stepped up to be Executive Director for 2 years.The world is a lesser place without Lee.
Posted by BETTY KING on 12th January 2015
It is with great sadness that I learned of Lee's passing. She was dynamic, compassionate and energetic in her dedication to the many causes she championed. I valued her friendship and send my deepest sympathy to her family in their loss.
Posted by Christine Lauterbach on 12th January 2015
As a staff member at the homeless services organization Friendship Place, I had the joy of working with Lee over the past 10 years, since she was one of the organization's founders and a long-time board member. She and a handful of other community activists in DC's Ward 3 worked with dogged determination to get the organization off the ground 24 years ago, and now Friendship Place helps more than 2,000 people a year all over the region and receives national recognition for our programs. It might never have happened without Lee Carty's passion and drive!!! Under the "Stories" tab on this website, I posted what we wrote about Lee when she won Friendship Place's Benjamin E. Cooper Award back in 2000.
Posted by Martha Minow on 12th January 2015
No one has shown more devotion, energy, compassion, and creativity on behalf of those in need. As a former board member of the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, I had the privilege of watching Lee work her magic both inside the organization and well beyond it. The world is so much better because of her efforts.

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