(KTXL) — May Lee, the longest-serving California state employee, died on May 26 at 102 years old, according to the Department of General Services. 

She died a month shy of her 103rd birthday, which would’ve been June 23, 2023, the DGS said. 

May Lee. Photo courtesy of the California Department of General Services.

Lee’s service as a state employee spans 79 years, starting with the Department of Finance in accounting in 1943 and later switching over to the DGS when it was created in 1963. 

Lee retired from the DGS in the 1980s, but returned as a retired annuitant until last year, according to the DGS. 

“May Lee’s earnest and extensive dedication to public service embodies the essence of the Department of General Services (DGS),” the DGS said in a statement to FOX40 News. “We will greatly miss her enthusiastic and cheerful disposition along with her irreplaceable institutional knowledge.”