The Rev. Bernard Scott Lee, 55, a civil rights worker who was a close aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died of a heart attack Feb. 10 at his home in Washington.

A liaison to the religious community for former D.C. mayor Marion Barry, Mr. Lee had been a chaplain at Lorton Correctional Complex for the past two years.

He was a student leader at Alabama State University who rose through the ranks of the civil rights movement to serve as executive vice president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

He was a founding member of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, where he met Barry, and was an organizer of Freedom Rides in the South and civil rights protests in Albany, Ga., and elsewhere.

Mr. Lee marched with King from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery in 1965 in a campaign for voting rights for blacks, was jailed with King and was in a courtyard below when King was assassinated in Memphis in 1968. He was a coordinator of the Poor People's Campaign in Washington shortly afterward.

"He was the person closest to Dr. King, in that he traveled with him everywhere he went," said the Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, the District's former nonvoting delegate to Congress and a former associate of Mr. Lee from the SCLC. "You could always rely on him to know what Dr. King's current thinking was, because he was always with him."

A native of Norfolk, Mr. Lee was an Air Force veteran and a married father of three who was organizing student protests at Alabama State University when he first met King.

Taylor Branch, in his chronicle of the early years of the civil rights movement, "Parting the Waters," wrote that, that day "nearly four years' work toward an accounting degree began to fade inexorably from {Lee's} mind, along with his former plans and his attachments to wife and family."

"He began to move toward his future role as King's valet and shadow -- toward an identification so complete that Lee came to boast that his moods and whims, even his health cycles, moved in perfect concert with King's."

Although he did not graduate from Alabama State, Mr. Lee received a bachelor's degree from Howard University and he received a master's degree in theology from Howard.

He moved to Washington in 1976. He was an official of Walter Mondale's presidential campaign in 1984 and deputy campaign manager in Mississippi for the Carter-Mondale ticket in 1980.

He served as a special assistant to the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency in the late 1970s. A Baptist minister, he was assistant minister of Gethsemane Baptist Church.

As an aide to Barry, he helped organize annual Thanksgiving Day dinners for thousands of city residents. At Lorton, he counseled prisoners and organized activities for them.

Mr. Lee's marriages to Eleanor Lee and Pearl Lee ended in divorce.

Survivors include his wife, Angela Lee of Washington; five children from his first marriage, Chiquita Lee, Bernadette Scott, Kincherlow Lee, Toinette Lee and Bertha Lee, all of Montgomery; two children from his third marriage, Khalil and Denita Lee, both of Washington; a brother, George Lee Jr. of Virginia Beach; and four grandchildren.


Marine Officer

Richard D. Opp Jr., 73, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel and research analyst, died Feb. 13 at Mount Vernon Hospital after a stroke. He lived in Fort Belvoir.

Col. Opp was a 20-year member of the Marines who retired in 1962. His last assignment was as commanding officer of an artillery battalion at the Marine Corps Air Station at Kaneohe, Hawaii.

After he moved here in 1962, he worked for 10 years as a military operations research analyst at Research Analysis Corp. in McLean.

A native of the Bronx, N.Y., Col. Opp was a member of the class of 1942 at the U.S. Naval Academy, where he was an honorable mention all-America football tackle.

He served in the Pacific during World War II. Later, he was a member of the crew on the USS Philippine Sea when that aircraft carrier delivered Adm. Richard Byrd to his anarctic explorations in 1947.

His military decorations included the Bronze Star.

Col. Opp was an elder and deacon of Idylwood Presbyterian Church in Falls Church and, as a 50-year member, a Knight of the Golden Circle at the Army & Navy Club.

Survivors include his wife of 48 years, Ruth O. Opp of Fort Belvoir; a son, Richard D. Opp III of Dunn Loring; a daughter, Patricia O. McMahon of Salem, Va.; a sister, Edna O. Rasco of El Paso, and four grandchildren.