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Reaching Up to God

Monday, November 19, 2007

by Donna Parker

Lee Adcock Hunnell '58 has dedicated her life to her family, God, and a law career with the prestigious firm of Fulbright and Jaworski. Lee says she is most proud of her family life - a long marriage to husband, Jack, who has a doctorate in food science and her two children - son John, who is an Air Force colonel and daughter Mary, an attorney in Houston.

A close second, though, may be the new book she wrote about the conception, construction, and completion of her Houston-based church - also attended by Former President George H. W. Bush and wife, Barbara. The book, entitled Reaching Up to God, the Story of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, offers outstanding photographic images of each of the 36 stained glass windows, as well as the 100 Bible stories they depict.

"I found when writing the book that I relied very much upon my Trinity Old Testament history class with Paul Schwab Sr., department of religion. He enhanced all of the Bible stories I'd learned as a child by putting them into chronological order and placing them in historical context, which helped me tremendously with my factual organization," says Lee.

It was just one of the perks of attending a school that she describes as "offering a safe haven for four years in which she could grow up and prepare for life." As a young girl with a father in the military, Lee was well-traveled, having attended high school in New York and Japan but she remembers feeling very much at home on Trinity's campus. She says her student life was nurtured by professors such as Owen Reamer, department of English, who invited her into his home to practice cooking for his six children when Lee told him she couldn't cook!

"We had lemon pie with a ready made pie crust!" she laughs, and then adds wistfully, "By being invited into our professors' homes, it showed me how the world lived. You can't always remain in your little enclave."

Lee, who was a member of Chi Beta Epsilon sorority, the SPURS sorority, and Mortar Board, was graduated magna cum laude and went onto earn her doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Houston Law Center. She practiced several years as an appellate attorney, while generally enjoying life with her husband and kids...and, of course, spending a great deal of time writing her book.

She comments, "It's been a happy and interesting 49 years since graduation, filled with joint projects and extensive travel, but the smartest thing I ever did was marrying Jack!"

Lee says she and Jack drive over from Houston for most of the Distinguished Lecture Series and would welcome the opportunity while on the Trinity campus to catch up with friends and classmates.

You can email Lee at lhunnell [at]