Catherine Kelly Cooper, 94, retired high school teacher and attorney, passed away September 15, 2018. She graduated from the UNC at Chapel Hill in 1945 with a B.S. degree in chemistry. While at North Carolina, she met Robert Cooper of Chattanooga, and they began a relationship that lasted the rest of their lives. After graduation, Catherine worked as a research chemist in Louisville, KY, before enrolling at Vanderbilt Law School, where Cooper was also a student. Catherine was one of only two women in the class of 106 members. Catherine and Robert graduated in 1949 and were married on Thanksgiving Day of that year. Catherine devoted much of her time and talents after marriage to education. She joined the faculty of the Girls Preparatory School in 1967, where she taught chemistry and other science courses and served as head of the science department. Catherine maintained an active law license for 55 years, representing family and friends and assisting her husband in his work as a judge on the Tennessee Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. Catherine was predeceased by her husband, the Honorable Robert E. Cooper, JD ‘49. She is survived by her children, Susan Hodges (Charles), Bobbie Martin (Bruce), Kelly Smith (Jack), Robert Cooper Jr., a partner at Bass Berry & Sims and member of Vanderbilt’s adjunct law faculty, grandchildren, Catherine Hodges, Chase Hodges (Katy), Andrew Martin (Heather), Rob Martin (Ryan), Sarah Smith, Jack Smith III, and three great-grandchildren. Posted 11.05.18
Marinell Rose Waggoner died June 21. She was 92. She earned her undergraduate degree from Maryville College before earning her law degree from Vanderbilt, making her the first woman attorney in Blount County. Shortly after setting up her practice of law in Maryville, she met her husband, A.B. Waggoner, Jr. Marinell later became involved in Waggoners Insurance Agency. She is survived by her children and many extended family. Posted 6.28.18
O. Lloyd Darter Jr. of Durham, North Carolina, died Jan. 19. He was 95. Lloyd was attending King College (now University) in Bristol, TN when his studies were interrupted by World War II. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946; his final assignment was with the First Army's 817th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Germany. After returning from the war and completing his degree, he earned his law degree, first working in the Franchise and Excise Division of the Tennessee Department of Finance and Taxation. He joined the legal staff AT&T/Western Electric in 1957, and moved to New York, where he and his wife, Nancy, raised their family. In 1982, he retired in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is survived by Nancy, his loving wife of 68 years, and three daughters. Posted 2.16.18
Milton P. Rice of Nashville died January 1. He was 97. He earned his undergraduate degree from Lambuth and shortly thereafter, went off to Notre Dame for 4 months of training and was commissioned as an ensign in the US Navy. Milton served two years in World War II aboard the USS James O’Hara taking part in the amphibious landings at Sicily, Saipan, Saleno, Palau, Leyte, Luzon and Iwo Jima. Upon returning from war, Milton went to Vanderbilt to earn his law degree. He then worked for the State of Tennessee in various legal roles including Sales Tax Director, Commissioner of Insurance and Banking, Tennessee State Attorney General and Tennessee Secretary of State. After retiring from the State, Milton served as Special Counsel for NLT. Posted 1.15.18
Theodore George “Ted” Pappas (BA’48) died April 18. He was 92. As a young man, Ted mastered the clarinet and led the Teddy Pappas Orchestra, playing "Music Hot and Sweet for Every Occasion." He left the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1943 to volunteer for the U.S. Army. He was trained in Russian and in military intelligence and served in the European Theater of Operations as a Master Sergeant in the 99th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. After earning his law degree, Ted practiced law in Waverly, Tennessee, and then became general counsel for Southern Bell Telephone Company in Nashville. In 1966 he joined Bass Berry & Sims and became the first managing partner there. He dedicated nearly 50 years of his life to Bass Berry & Sims. His clients and the lawyers and staff of the firm were not only business colleagues; they were also his friends. He served on the Tennessee Judicial Council and as president of the Nashville Bar Association. Ted was a Fellow of both the International Society of Barristers and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Annette "Jane" Dickenson Pappas, six daughters and ten grandchildren. Posted 5.18.17
Hon. Robert E. Cooper died July 10, 2016 in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. He was 95. Justice Cooper was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1920. After earning a degree from the Edmonson School of Business he began work with the Railway Express Agency. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy on December 12, 1941, as part of the first group of volunteers from Tennessee after Pearl Harbor. Justice Cooper graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1946, before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1949, where he was Order of the Coif. After law school, he first joined the firm of Kolwyck & Clark in Chattanooga before forming Cooper & Barger with Al Barger in 1951. He was an assistant district attorney from 1951-53. Justice Cooper was appointed judge of the Sixth Judicial Circuit of Hamilton County in 1953, and was twice elected to that post. In 1960, Justice Cooper was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals by Governor Buford Ellington, and twice won re-election to that position before winning a statewide election for the state Supreme Court in 1974. He was re-elected in 1982, and served for 19 months as chief justice. Justice Cooper was chairman of the Tennessee Judicial Council from 1967 until 1990. He also was chairman of the Tennessee Code Commission on two occasions, and was a member of the Tennessee Judicial Standards Committee, 1971-77. He is survived by his wife, Catherine K. Cooper, his son, Robert E. Cooper Jr, a partner at Bass Berry & Sims and member of Vanderbilt’s adjunct law faculty, his three daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Posted 7.25.16
Daniel D. Canale died May 4, 2016 in Collierville, Tennessee. He was 95. He graduated from Christian Brothers College (now CBHS) in 1938 and was later inducted into the Hall of Fame. He graduated from The University of Notre Dame, magna cum laude in 1942 and then served in World War II in the infantry division of the United States Army with an honorable discharge as captain after final service in the occupation of Japan. He then went on to earn his J.D. from Vanderbilt where he was Order of the Coif He entered law practice with his father’s law firm Canale, Glankler, Loch, and Little in 1949 and after 23 years, withdrew to continue practice in association with Cannon, Canale, and Gregory. He then practiced independently in banking, wills and estates and association law, serving as director and general counsel for several local and national banks to the extent of their local operations until his retirement in 2013. He was a member of the Tennessee and American Bar Association. He is survived by his wife, Ann Marie Canale, two sons, two step-children, six grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two nieces. Posted 5.23.16
Hugh Emmett Wright died August 10. He was 95. Hugh was the son of Hugh Emmett Wright and Frances Henderson Wright of Covington, Georgia. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and went on to earn his J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. After graduating, he joined the law firm of Moise, Post, and Gardner (later Hansell & Post) in Atlanta where he specialized in defense litigation until his retirement in 1987. He was predeceased by his wife of 64 years, Isabel Wert Wright. He is survived by his two sons; five grandsons; and great- grandson. Posted 8.28.15
James Marnen Craven died December 1. He was 91. Jim was a native of Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated from Christian Brothers College in 1940 and then earned his JD degree from Vanderbilt University Law School after serving as a B-17 navigator in World War II. He was an independent insurance agent in Memphis for almost 60 years, eventually owning his owned his own agency, Craven & Scharff Insurance. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy Fallo Craven and three children. Posted 1.2.15
George Whitfield Dodson Jr. of Vienna, Virginia, died October 31 at home. He was 91. He was born on October 19, 1923 in Memphis Tennessee. Whit enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II, rising to the rank of Second Lieutenant. After the war, he attended Memphis State College and remained in the Marine Corps Reserve. After earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, he had a brief law career in Memphis before being recalled into the Marine Corps for service in the Korean War. Following the Korean War, he returned to Memphis and began his career in the U.S. Civil Service. Whit and his family moved to Vienna in 1962 when he transferred to the General Services Administration’s offices in Washington, D.C. At retirement he was an assistant commissioner in the GSA and a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. He then began a second career as a consultant, forming the DOMAY Corporation and working with the International Data Corporation until his final retirement. Whit and his wife, Kay, enjoyed spending winters in Naples Florida. He is survived by Kay and their three sons. Posted 5.17.15
Fred E. Ivy Jr. died on October 17. He was 91. Fred began his law practice with Nelson Norvell & Associates, which later became Nelson Norvell Wilson McRae Ivy & Sevier. He practiced law for over 50 years and was a member of the Memphis-Shelby County Bar Association as well as the Tennessee Bar Association. He is survived by his wife and 2 children. Posted 10.22.14
The Hon. Fred A. Kelly III died on September 27 at the age of 93. Fred practiced law in Gallatin, Tennessee, for around 34 years and was active in his community. He served on boards at Belmont College, Sumner County Hospital, and Commerce Union Bank of Sumner County. He is survived by his three children. Posted 10.17.14
Cecil D. Branstetter,founding partner of the Nashville law firm Branstetter Stranch & Jennings, died Wednesday, May 7. He was 93. Cecil was still a member of the firm he founded in 1952 after earning his law degree. He was widely considered one of the best litigators in the history of both the Nashville and Tennessee bars, and the law school's Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation and Dispute Resolution Program was endowed in his honor in 2005. He was honored with Vanderbilt Law School's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. An in-depth review of his exemplary life and career can be found in this Tennessean article and Vanderbilt Law School news item. Cecil is survived by Charlotte, his wife of 69 years; four children, including Judge Jane Branstetter Stranch (BA'75, JD'78), C. Dewey Branstetter Jr. (BA'78, JD'81), and Kay Branstetter Johnson (MA'75); and ten grandchildren, including J. Gerard Stranch IV (JD'03) and Hunter Branstetter (JD'13). Posted 5.22.14
James H. "Boz" Boswell, age 90 of Jackson, died December 31, 2012. Boz was a graduate of Lambuth College. He served three and half years in the U.S. Navy during WWII, and upon his return, completed his law degree at Vanderbilt Law School, where he was a member of the SAE fraternity. He was a practicing attorney from 1950-92, was elected to the State of Tennessee Legislature as a State Representative for two terms, and served as a U.S. Magistrate for several years. He was a member, elder, and chairman of the trustees and board of The First Christian Church for many years; member of the Knights of Pythias; member and president of the local Lions Club; member and served on the board of the Jackson Golf and Country Club; Vanderbilt Law School Alumni; and served as president of the Madison County Bar Association and was a member of the State Bar Association. Boz enjoyed playing golf, attending horse races with friends, socializing with his and Anne's couples bridge club, working in his yard, listening to music and dancing with his beloved wife, Anne Berryhill Boswell whom he married in 1953. He is survived by his wife, Anne; two daughters; and four grandsons.
Peter W. Hampton, age 93, died August 28, 2012, following an extended illness. He was an Eagle Scout and World War II veteran, serving as a Naval Aviator in the Pacific Theatre. Peter received his undergraduate degree from East Tennessee State University before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt University. Following law school, he formed the firm of Hampton and Hampton with his brother, Stuart Hampton. During the course of his legal career, which spanned approximately thirty-two years, he was a member of the Tennessee and Carter County Bar Association and served as Elizabethton City Judge. In 1963, he was elected President and CEO of Security Federal Bank, a position he proudly held for forty-seven years. Peter is survived by his wife of 65 years, Margaret; two children; and three grandchildren. Posted 9.6.12
James W. (Jimmy) Allen Jr. (BA'48), age 86, of Nashville, died in August 2012. After graduating from Hillsboro High School, Jimmy served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After his service, Jimmy came to Vanderbilt, earning his undergraduate degree in accounting before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. Jimmy went on to have a long distinguished career as a CPA in Nashville. He will be remembered as a past master of the Corinthian Lodge 414; as a member of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, being named a 33rd Degree Mason for his knowledge, passion, and selfless service; for his election into the Royal Order of Jesters; and for being a founding member and past president of Hillwood Country Club. He is survived by his loving wife of six years, Gail; two children; and his grandson.
Morris N. Karch of Los Angeles, California, died March 2, 2012. He attended the University of Washington before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt. He joined the Army Air Corps where he later became a captain and an accomplished transport pilot in World War II. Everyone who knew Morris remembers his colorful war stories and how proud he was when he first broke ground at the Encino Law Center. Morris is survived by two children.
Edward Preston Acker Smith of Memphis, Tennessee, died February 28, 2012. He was 86. He practiced law in Memphis for over 50 years and was a member and past president of the Memphis Shelby County Bar Association. Edward was a member of the Tennessee Bar Association and the American Bar Association and was a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was elected to the Tennessee Senate at age 29, but when it was later determined that he didn't meet the age requirements, he didn't serve. Edward served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and flew for many years as a weekend Navy aviator in the Naval Reserve at the naval air station at Millington. He was commanding officer of fighter squadron 792 and attack squadron 792, and retired with the rank of captain. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne B. Smith.
John Evans McKee Jr. died on November 21, 2011 at the age of 88. He was born June 29, 1923 in Chattanooga, TN to Mr. & Mrs. John E. McKee. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Kay McKee Spear. He attended Messick High School and graduated from Milan High School in Milan, TN where he played football. After High School Mr. McKee joined the U.S. Air Force. In early 1944 he transferred to the 338 Fighter Squadron, 55 Fighter Group, 8th Air Force, Colchesten, England. He flew 67 combat missions in P-38 and P-51 Fighters including 6 combat missions during the first two days of the Normandy invasion. In the late summer of 1944, John and his squadron were selected to escort a large group of U.S. bombers to Russia from England. His unit flew 2/3 of the way as top cover and then returned to England while another group of fighters provided top cover to Russia. This was a 1600 mile flight. As World War II ended John was training a new unit for preparation for the invasion of Japan. During his combat tour he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, Five Oak Leaf Clusters and Eight Battle Stars. He was also in the Tennessee Air National Guard. He attended Southwestern University where he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. In 1949 he graduated from Vanderbilt Law School where he was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and he loved the Commodores. He practiced law in Memphis for almost 60 years. His first association was with the law firm of Nelson, Norvell and Floyd. He retired from Lewis, McKee and Hall. He served on various committees for the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Association. He has been a member of Second Presbyterian Church since 1954 where he was active in every phase of the church life. He taught Sunday School, served as clerk of the session, deacon, elder, Elder Emeritus, president of the church corporation, he and his wife are long time members of the chapel class. He was a member of the American Bar Association, The Shelby County and Memphis Bar Association, Downtown Kiwanis Club, 32nd Degree Mason and Shriners and English Speaking Union. He was also a longtime member of the University Club. He enjoyed tutoring and serving on the youth guidance committee. He was a devoted Christian man who loved his church and family. Mr. McKee is survived by his devoted wife of 64 years, Martha Ann Osterloh McKee; son, John Evans McKee III (Billie); 3 grandchildren, Stacie Northcutt Denton (Bill Joe), Taylor McKee Waring (Jeff), Evans Brooke McKee. John and Martha enjoyed family, staying at Bed & Breakfasts where ever they travelled, bridge, dancing, their friends and all church activities.
William E. Walsh Jr. died December 17, 2011. He was born on October 6, 1925, in Memphis, Tennessee, and lived his entire life in Memphis. After graduating from Christian Brothers High School, he was selected for the U.S. Navy's V-12 program and received a Bachelor in Civil Engineering from the University of Minnesota in just two years. He served in World War II as a Lieutenant JG. After his military service, he received a law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1949 and practiced law for many years in the Memphis and Shelby County area. He was predeceased by his parents, Marguerite Breen and William E. Walsh, Sr., his brother, Hugh Michael and his sister, Marguerite Ann Walsh Kern. He did not marry, but he is survived by his nieces and nephews, Hugh Michael Walsh, William Walsh, Thomas Walsh, Virginia Walsh Holt, and Stephen Walsh, Marguerite Kern Kingsmill and Kevin Kern, and sixteen grand nieces and nephews. He will be remembered by all for his never ending curiosity and capacity to learn about the world in which we live.
James M. Bryant died on August 2, 2011. He was 87. A World War II veteran of the U.S. Navy, James earned his J.D. and then served for two year in the Tennessee State Legislature. He retired after 25 years of service as a sales representative with ITT. James was active in Boy Scout leadership and was an avid golfer and tennis player. He is survived by two sons, three daughters, eight grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.
Lavelle Farr, Class of 1949, died June 11, 2011 in Houston. He was 88. Born in Haynesville, Louisiana, he served in Europe as a First Lieutenant during the Second World War. He attended College at LSU, Vanderbilt Law School, and SMU. He was a member of the Texas State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and practiced civil trial law in Texas from 1949 until his death. His wife, Evalyn Louise Freeman Farr, followed him in death on June 22, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Sidney and Evalyn were married for 65 years. They are survived by their four children; three grandchildren; and a step grandson.
Wilbur F. Cash, age 93, retired attorney at law and school teacher, died December 16, 2010 at his residence. Wilbur was a member of Covington First United Methodist Church, Mason, and Covington Lion's Club. He served on the Tipton County Board of Education, and was also a former Covington city attorney and city judge. Wilber was preceded in death by his wife Melbagene Black Cash. He is survived by his two daughters; son; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Memorials may be sent to First United Methodist Church or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Thomas “Tom” Gibbs, age 83, of Toledo, passed away on Tuesday, October 21, 2008. Tom was a longtime resident of the Toledo area, including many years in Oak Harbor, where he was a well-regarded and popular guidance counselor for more than a decade at Oak Harbor High School. In addition to his Vanderbilt law degree, Tom earned a B.S. degree in education from Bowling Green State University and an M.Ed. degree in guidance and counseling from the University of Toledo. In between stints in the military and while earning his degrees, he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad from 1943-1962. Tom began his long career in teaching and counseling in 1962. In addition to his years at Oak Harbor High School, he taught math and science at various schools and technical colleges in the Toledo Area. In the mid-'60s he was director of the Lucas County Head Start Program Summer Migrant School and Day Care Center and, as part of that, took the children for trips to Crane Creek State Park. Toward the end of his career in education he used his special interest and affinity for the mentally disabled to guide young people at Lott Industries and the Toledo Mental Health Center. He also enjoyed his post as the public address announcer for Oak Harbor High School football and basketball games. After retiring, he judged local science fairs and helped edit science workbooks for children. The political process was a great interest of Tom's, and he was an ardent Democrat. Over many years he volunteered at polling places, was a board of elections trainer and served on the Democratic Central Committee in Ottawa and Lucas counties. Tom is survived by his wife, Geraldine.
Lawrence F. Stewart, 86, of Winchester, TN, passed away on March 20, 2008. He completed his secondary education in the public school system prior to entering Sewanee Military Academy. After graduation in 1939, he attended the University of the South until the beginning of World War II. He entered the military service in 1942, receiving his basic and advanced cavalry training at Fort Riley, Kansas. Following his commission as a Lieutenant, he served as a part of the 1st Cavalry Division, 124th Regiment in the China-Burma-India Theater. After being injured in combat training, he returned to active duty and at the close of the war he ran a demarcation camp in Minchow, China. Following his discharge from the military with the rank of captain, he returned to Winchester and married his childhood sweetheart, Catherine Beulah Franklin. He was fond of saying that they joined the Methodist Church together on April 20th, 1930, and were married there on December 12th,1945. He returned to the University of the South before transferring to our Law School where he graduated in 1949. He began his law career practicing with his father in Nashville, TN, but soon returned to Winchester where he practiced law from 1950-1966. Governor Frank Clement appointed him to the position of Chancellor for the 12th Chancery Division for the State of Tennessee. This judgeship covered 14 counties in southern and southeastern Tennessee. He served this district until his retirement on October 1, 1989. After his retirement he remained active in the local lawyer organizations and in his community.
Gleaves M. Love, 83, of Memphis, Tenn., passed away August 13, 2007.
Farris Evans, Sr., 80, was born on August 28, 1925 in El Dorado, Arkansas and died, Wednesday, August 9, 2006 at Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis. He spent his youth in Louisiana, was a member of Independent Presbyterian Church in Memphis, served as board member for YMCA, was a former member of the 100 Club, was a member of the Chickasaw Country Club, was a Mason and a Shriner. Farris also served as a board member during the building of the Briarcrest Christian School System. Farris enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II serving aboard the submarine, USS PLAICE SS290 and participated in the liberation of the Philippine Islands. After the war ended, Farris entered Law school at Vanderbilt University earning a Doctorate of Jurisprudence in 1949, and was admitted to the Tennessee Bar. During the Korean Conflict, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps tank division and was among the first JAG officers serving in the Corps. After the conflict ended, he settled in Memphis and founded Farris Evans Insurance Agency, Inc. in 1955. In 1970 he established the EBCO Group where he was the active CEO. Farris was married to Violet Bivens in 1957. He leaves two sons, Farris Evans, Jr. and Stan Evans (Jeannie Shell Evans) and two grandchildren, Sara Catherine Evans and Drew Evans.
Marshall Edgar Derryberry III passed away on November 7, 2005. Derryberry served in a naval intelligence unit during World War II and retired from the Naval Reserve as a commander. After retiring from J.C. Bradford, he volunteered at St. Thomas Hospital and delivered Meals on Wheels for St. Luke's Community House.