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Carol Provensal

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Carol Lee Alley Provensal

1942-2010 Carol Lee Alley Provensal passed away April 26, 2010, at Baptist Memorial Hospital East, Memphis, Tenn., after a valiant battle with cancer.

Born April 12, 1942, in Kansas City, Mo., daughter of the late Geraldine Jehl Alley and Calvin Lane Alley, she was the wife of James "Jim" Clifford Provensal, formerly of Bennington, Vt.

In Kansas City, her dad took his first job as editorial cartoonist for the Kansas City Journal. When the Journal stopped publication in 1942, Mr. Alley moved the family to Nashville, Tenn., where he worked for the Nashville Banner. The family then moved back to Memphis, when Mr. Alley took the position of daily editorial cartoonist at the Commercial Appeal. This was the position his father and Lee's grandfather, the masterful and internationally famous cartoonist, J.P. Alley, had held.

J.P. Alley's editorial cartoons were credited with helping the Commercial Appeal win the Pulitzer Prize for its stand against the Ku Klux Klan in 1923. J.P. Alley drew the nationally syndicated cartoon feature "Hambone." Those who grew up in Memphis will remember the cartoon strip "The Ryatts," which Mr. Alley created that was based on his own family situations or those of friends and neighbors. Lee was "Kitty" in the cartoon strip.

Lee attended St. Anne Catholic School, Highland, and graduated from St. Agnes Academy. She worked as a graphic artist at Holiday Inns and Archer Malmo. Later in life, she pursued her bachelor's at the University of Memphis, graduating with a degree in journalism in 1998.

She was a member of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Memphis and was a life-long and devoted Catholic. Lee was a leader in Memphis Cursillo for many years, and served as rector for the first Women's Cursillo in Jackson, Tenn., in 1989. She was a founding member and first president of MESA, Memphis Ecumenical Single Adults, in 1978.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Geraldine "Sissy" Jehl Alley and Calvin Lane Alley, award winning Commercial Appeal cartoonist; her sister, Jan Alley Petree; and her brother, Calvin Lane Alley Jr.

She is survived by her husband, James; her children, Carey Elizabeth Williams and Harmon Clay Williams Jr., both of Memphis; her sister, Jehl Alley (Joe) Palvado, of Gulf Shores, Ala.; her brother, Richard Wesley "Rick" Alley, of Melbourne, Fla.; and her brother-in-law, Harry Petree, of Foley, Ala. She also leaves to cherish her memory many family members and friends as well as her special canine friend, Buckwheat.

FUNERAL NOTICE: The family will receive visitors at Canale Funeral Directors, 2700 Union Avenue Ext., in Memphis, Tenn., on Thursday, Apr. 29, from 5-7 p.m. Lee's life will be celebrated on Friday, Apr. 30, at 10 a.m. at The Church of the Holy Spirit, 2300 Hickory Crest Drive in Memphis. Interment will be in the family plot at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Memphis Cursillo Movement in care of Canale Funeral Directors, 2700 Union Avenue Ext., Memphis, TN 38112.

Published in Bennington Banner on Apr. 28, 2010
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