Crettie Lee, 71, a senior citizens advocate and a presidential appointee to the 1972 White House Conference on Aging, died Thursday at George Washington University Hospital of complications from leukemia.

Mrs. Lee was born in Gaffney, S.C. She came to Washington at an early age and graduated from Armstrong High School.

She then worked as a practical nurse and for the D.C. government's Department of Labor.

Following her retirement about 15 years ago, she became a strong supporter of senior citizens' rights and low-cost housing for the poor, the elderly and moderate-income families.

Mrs. Lee frequently spoke at D.C. Council meetings on behalf of senior citizens and on the need for low-cost housing. Former mayor Walter Washington and his successor, Marion Barry, appointed her to the D.C. Committee for Housing for the Elderly.

She also was appointed by Walter Washington as secretary of the advisory board of the National Capital Housing Administration, now the Property Management Administration of the Department of Housing and Community Development.

She twice served as president of the Garfield Terrace Citizens Association and had been first vice president of the Senior Citizens Clearing House Committee. She was a member of the Model Cities Advisory Committee and the Coordination of Municipal Aides' Senior Citizens Service Program.

Mrs. Lee, widow of the late William Lee, attended Metropolitan Baptist Church. She was a member of the Queen of Sheba Chapter No. 2 of the Order of the Eastern Star.

There are no immediate survivors.