Sep. 27, 1947 Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA
Oct. 16, 2007 Detroit Wayne County Michigan, USA
One of the country's pre-eminent lawyers, partner in the prestigious Dykema Gossett law firm in Detroit, Michigan and former federal judicial nominee to the United States Courts of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She also was the daughter of the late Honorable Wade H. McCree, Jr. (former Solicitor General of the United States). Kathleen McCree Lewis was born on Sept. 27, 1947 in Boston, Mass. She attended the Detroit Public Schools, graduating from Cass Technical High School in 1965. Lewis began her pursuit of higher education at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, her father's and grandfather's alma mater, and completed her formal education at the University of Michigan, graduating with a B.A. in political science in 1969 and a juris doctorate in 1973. It was while there she met and later married David Baker Lewis on May 17, 1969. The couple became parents of two children. In 1973, Lewis joined the Dykema Gossett law firm in Detroit, rising to become a partner at the firm and serving as the firm's appellate litigation specialist, arguing cases before the courts of Michigan and before many of the federal appellate courts. A quick thinker and erudite speaker, Lewis was also a gifted oral advocate whose arguments before the Bar were respected by judges and opposing counsel alike. Lewis's appellate expertise drew national attention and in 1999 President Bill Clinton nominated Lewis to serve as a judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court on which her father had served with distinction. Lewis made many valuable contributions to her profession. She served as co-chairman of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation Appellate Practice Committee and was a founding member of the State Bar of Michigan Appellate Practice Section. From 1987 to 1988, Lewis served as editor for the ABA Section of Litigation for their civic, educational, and philanthropic endeavors. In 1997, a joint project of Crain's Detroit Business and the Michigan Women's Foundation named Lewis one of Detroit's most influential women. Lewis was included in the 2006 and 2007 editions of Michigan Super Lawyers, and the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. In 2006, Michigan Lawyers Weekly named Lewis one of the state's top ten lawyers. Although Lewis's professional and civic achievements have received justified recognition over the years, she enjoyed most, and she was most proud of, her commitment to motherhood. Kathleen McCree Lewis died in Detroit on Oct. 16, 2007 from an inoperable tumor on her lung despite the fact that she had never smoked. The Lewis family established the "Lewis Family Scholarship," prior to her death which has and continues to give students the opportunity to attend college. Lewis will be remembered as a person who brought incredible joy and happiness to her family, her friends, her acquaintances and the general community because she gave selflessly of herself in every endeavor.