The Hon. Harry Walker Wellford, a third-generation Memphian and long-time federal district and appellate court judge, died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends on April 17, 2021, at the age of 96. Harry is survived by his five children and their spouses and a host of grandchildren and great grandchildren. Harry was deservedly proud of his military service. His favorite song was "Eternal Fathe r Strong to Save," more commonly known as "The Navy Hymn." He was also a man of deep and abiding faith, expressing it most clearly through a lifelong association with Idlewild Presbyterian Church, where his grandfather chaired the Building Committee, which ultimately led to the construction of the beautiful and historic landmark building located in the heart of Midtown Memphis. Posted 4.30.21
Henry Cox McCall (BA’47) died April 17, surrounded by his family. He was accepted to join the U.S. Navy at age 17, but was not called to serve until 1943. He was assigned to the Navy V-12 College Training Program and received officer training in naval science at Rice University, after which he was commissioned an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He was later sent to Pearl Harbor for to be trained as a combat information officer and then assigned to the destroyer USS Madison, on which he served for two years. Henry was in Tokyo Bay on V-J Day and witnessed President Harry S. Truman sign the peace treaty with the Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Henry returned to Nashville in 1946 to complete his undergraduate studies and earn his law degree at Vanderbilt. He moved to Columbia, Tennessee, in 1952. He soon transitioned from legal practice to the insurance industry, where he pioneered the concept of underwriting and marketing to professional and trade groups through his company, Mid-South Benefit Plans Inc. In 1971, he and two partners established Financial Institution Services Inc., which pioneered selling club packages to bank customers. FISI followed a meteoric rise, spawning other entries in the field undertaking similar efforts. As an adjunct to the services provided by FISI, he and a partner founded a subsidiary, Teletravel Services Inc., which provided travel services as an enhancement to FISI bank customers. In 1983, he took FISI public on the New York Stock Exchange; it subsequently merged with Comp-U-Card International in 1985. Henry began another successful career in 1991, developing real estate through his firm, Prime Properties Inc. He is survived by his wife, Sue, and a large extended family. Posted 5.2.19
Robert E. Kendrick (MA ’57) of Nashville died February 24. He was 93. Bob, who grew up on a farm right outside of Clarksville, joined the U.S. Army Air Force immediately after high school and served in WWII. Upon his return from war, he attended Austin Peay University, where he met his wife Margaret. Bob then earned both a law degree and a master’s degree in economics from Vanderbilt. He spent the next several years teaching at Vanderbilt Law School and David Lipscomb University. In 1957, his family moved to Connecticut for a year where Bob earned an advanced law degree from Yale University on a Fulbright Scholarship. In 1961, Bob went to work for the Federal Government in Washington, DC, working first at the Justice Department under Bobby Kennedy and then at the Commerce Department. After moving back home to Nashville in 1967, he soon became an elder at Belmont Avenue Church of Christ (now Belmont Church). While serving at Belmont, he pioneered the racial integration of their church services, and personally drove the family station wagon through the Edgehill area to make sure anyone in need could have a ride to church. He was heavily involved in the benevolence program at Belmont and delivered a multitude of food baskets to needy families in the poor neighborhoods surrounding the church. Bob's distinguished legal career continued with the Metropolitan Nashville legal department and the Tennessee State Attorney General's office. Upon his retirement from the State of Tennessee, he went to work as a federal administrative law judge for the Labor Department and Social Security Administration. He survived by two children, five grandsons and five great-grandchildren. Posted 3.27.18
William T. Gamble of Kingsport died November 13. He was 90. William earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt where he graduated in the top 5% of his class. Posted 11.27.17
Charles Ray McBride of Ozark, Alabama, died October 8. He was 91. Charles retired as an attorney from Fort Rucker in the civil division of the Judge Advocates General after 25 years of service. He served in the Secret Service for 5 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters. Posted 10.18.17
Richard T. Moore (BA ’42) of Newbern, Tennessee died September 3. He was 95. After earning his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University, Richard enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in the Battle of Okinawa during WWII and attaining the rank of first lieutenant. In 1947 he earned his MBA from Harvard University and then earned his law degree from Vanderbilt. Richard served in the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1953-1957, and the Tennessee Senate from 1957-1959. He continued serving the U.S. Army Reserve until 1978, completing 36 years of service and attaining rank of colonel. He is survived by his three children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Posted 9.15.16
William W. Woodruff died Jan. 1. He was 91. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he earned his bachelor’s from Middle Tennessee State University before graduating from Vanderbilt Law School. Woody practiced law briefly with the firm of Locke and Holsford in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, before he was appointed by Tennessee Sen. Kenneth McKellar to the staff of the Secretary of the U.S. Senate in 1950. Beginning in 1961, he joined the staff of the Senate Appropriations Committee, where he served until 1973, retiring as counsel to the committee. In March 1973, he was confirmed as assistant secretary of the Air Force for financial management, and in 1975, he received the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Award, the highest award conferred upon Air Force civilian employees. He then worked for Hughes Aircraft Corp. for 14 years, retiring in 1989. Woody is survived by his daughter. Posted 2.25.16
Barrett Boulware Sutton (BA’49) died October 11. He was 88. Born in Forsyth, Georgia, he went on to earn both his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt. While in Law school, he was Order of the Coif. Before graduating, he served in the U.S. Navy. After Law school, he joined the Life and Casualty Insurance Company of Tennessee, where he worked until they were incorporated into the American General insurance group. He retired as associate general counsel of the merged L&C and national life and accident unit. He is survived by his daughter and two sons; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. Posted 11.3.15
William Barker Paine, Jr. of Louisville, Kentucky died September 1. He was 90. Bill graduated from Western Kentucky University before going onto earn his law degree from Vanderbilt. He protected the Gulf Coast of the United States during World War II in the Army Air Corps. Bill was the founder and CEO of several insurance companies to include W. B. Paine Insurance Agency. He is survived by his longtime companion, Beverly; two sons; two stepsons; sister; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. Posted 9.17.15
Robert B. Deen Jr. will be honored by Mississippi State University by having the Newberry Building on the MSU-Meridian Riley Campus named in his honor. Posted 12.10.14
Fred P. Wilson Sr. died August 31at 91. Fred was born in 1922 in Amory, Mississippi. He was a graduate of Memphis State College. His education was interrupted by World War II. After graduating from Midshipmen's School at Columbia University, he served as a Naval Officer in the Pacific Theater. Fred practiced law in Memphis for 54 years before retiring as senior partner in the law firm of Wilson McRae Ivy Sevier McTyier and Strain. Fred was a member of the Memphis and Shelby County Bar Associations and the Tennessee and American Bar Associations. He was also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the Tennessee Bar Foundation. He is the widower of Helen Jean Carter Wilson, and he had two sons. Posted 8.12.2014
Lt. Col. William E. Lacy, 90, died May 19. After high school, Bill entered the military, where he trained as a bomber pilot flying on the Douglas A-20. Following law school, he served as the head Judge Advocate on military bases all over the world, including numerous Strategic Air Command locations. Bill is survived by his wife of 67 years, Nancy; four children; and six grandchildren. Posted 7.16.14
Joseph B. Graves Jr. (BA'48) died on Friday, February 7, 16 days before his 89th birthday. He served his country with the U.S. Navy during World War II, stationed in the South Pacific. In 1946, he married Jean Christian, and they raised four daughters together before Jean died in 2009. Joe worked for the U.S. Housing Department under Eisenhower, and his daughter, Cierra, remembers that Joe and Jean were often invited to the White House for dinner. In the early 60's, they returned to the desert southwest. Joe began his career as an educator in 1964, taking a job in the Political Science Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. He was instrumental in establishing the Criminal Justice Department at the university, and for years, he taught in both departments. He was "an institution" at UTEP a colleague said; teaching his final class only 3 days prior to his death. When he entered the hospital, his only concern was that his students be told that he would not be there for his Thursday class. He had a tremendous impact on the lives of those he taught, and they would often tell his family that he was the best professor they ever had. He is survived by three daughters, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Posted 2.17.14
William L. "Dick" Barry (BA'48) died May 22, 2013 aged 87. A retired attorney with Barry & Walker, Dick completed both his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. A Lieutenant in the U.S. Army serving in Japan with a medical unit, he developed a lifelong fascination with the Japanese culture. Much of his life was dedicated to government service. He was a longtime chairman of BRWDA and was instrumental in bringing this agency to Henderson County which in turn created the 7 lakes in Lexington & Henderson County. Having served 6 terms in the Tennessee House of Representatives, his terms were markedly distinguished as he held the honor of serving as Speaker of the House for 4 years, 4 years as Majority Leader, and 4 years as Executive Assistant to Governor Buford Ellington.
Carrol Duane Kilgore, age 86 of Nashville, died March 26, 2013. Carrol adored his family and loved his nation. He was a Lt. JG in the Navy Pacific Theater during WWII. After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, he practiced law for over 60 years in Nashville. During the first 2 years of his career, he was Assistant Attorney General in the Kennedy Administration. Author of Judicial Integrity and Restoring the Constitution, he championed the integrity of the U.S. Constitution in this rapidly changing nation. Carrol is survived by his wife of 59 years, Hilda Johnson Kilgore (BA'48, MS'79); four children, including Laura Sparer (BA'78); and 7 grandchildren.
Clarence Waters "Pete" Phillips Jr. (BA'46), age 87, of Shelbyville, Tennessee, State Legislator for Bedford and other Counties for thirty years, died on December 12, 2012. Pete graduated from Shelbyville Central High School, where he was president of his senior class, before attending Vanderbilt University. He was an Eagle Scout. He served in the U.S. Army for two years at the end of World War II, participating as a corporal in an infantry division in the Battle for Okinawa in 1945. After the war, he completed a BA at Vanderbilt, before earning his law degree. He was nearly as staunch a Vandy fan as he was a committed Democrat. In December 1947, he married Faith Hall Phillips (BA'46), with whom he lived in Shelbyville as an attorney from 1951 until she passed away in 2010. Pete was an elder of the Shelbyville First Christian Church, and was a past President of the Shelbyville-Bedford County Bar Association. Representative Phillips was a member of the Tennessee House for the 88th through 102nd General Assemblies, and served as Chairman of the House Calendar and Rules Committee as well as Chairman of the Commerce Committee Utilities and Banking Subcommittee. He was colorful and outspoken, and genuinely loved serving his constituents. He is survived by two sons, including C. William Phillips (BA'78); and two grandsons.
Jack Lynn Logan, age 90, died September 17, 2012. Jack was a Lieutenant with the U.S. Army Air Corps and flew a B-26 Marauder on D-Day in World War II. He had 66 combat missions over Europe. Jack was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for "heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight.” Upon his return home, he earned his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. Following a 40+ year career with Kemper Insurance Company, Jack retired. Jack is survived by his wife of 65 years, Grace Odum; four children; four grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Judge E. Brooks McLemore Jr., age 92, long-time judge and advocate of court modernization died August 15, 2012 at Piedmont Henry Hospital, Stockbridge Georgia. He was a lifelong resident of Jackson Tennessee. Judge Brooks was educated in the Jackson City Schools, West Tennessee Business College, and Union University before he earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt. As a senior at Vanderbilt, he organized the moot court system and was the first Chief Justice. He was also a graduate of the National College of the Judiciary at the University of Nevada, Reno. He was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega college fraternity and a member of Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. He served his country for 44 months during World War II, spending 2 - years in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. He was engaged in the private practice of law from 1950 to 1960, and then served three terms in the State Senate and was nominated for a fourth term before he was appointed Chancellor of the 14th Chancery Division of Tennessee in 1960. After serving 15 - years in that office he was elected by the Supreme Court of Tennessee to be the Executive Secretary of that Court (now known as Administrative Director of the Courts). After serving one year, he was elected Attorney General of Tennessee by the Supreme Court. After retiring, he continued to serve as Special Justice of the Supreme Court and Special Judge of the Court of Appeals by designation of the Chief Justice.
He was president of the Judicial Conference of Tennessee 1966-67 and was a member of the Judicial Council of Tennessee for 14 years. He served as a delegate to the National Conference of State Trial Judges, American Bar Association, three consecutive years. He was very active throughout his career in court modernization and after his retirement, was cited by the Judicial Conference for his outstanding services and devoted leadership. Judge Brooks is survived by his wife of 70 years, Elizabeth Meeks; and two nephews.
Robert B. Deen Jr., president and chairman of the philanthropic Riley Foundation, will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Mississippi State University in May. Bob was a Lauderdale County attorney in general practice for 55 years, and is a founding member of both the Phil Hardin and Riley foundations, as well as the Mississippi Bar Association Foundation. Bob served in the Pacific Theater during World War II and spent three years in the Army Air Corps. A national and international award-winning photographer, he is a former national secretary of the Photographic Society of America. Posted 05.08.12
Robert Winfield Collins Sr. died March 29, 2012 in Pendleton, Oregon. Bob served as Master Sergeant in the Army Air Corps during World War II, where he was a member of one of the few B-17 units in the Pacific theater. Bob returned to Kentucky and enrolled at Ashland Junior College, where he met his future wife, Ruth Mae Brooks. Robert earned his undergraduate degree at Centre College of Kentucky before earning his law degree at Vanderbilt. He practiced law at Raley Kilkenny & Raley and, later, was a partner in Fabre Collins & Kottkamp. After his sons, Michael and Robert, became lawyers, Bob founded Collins & Collins in 1980 and spent the rest of his career practicing law with his sons. In 2001, he was recognized by the Oregon State Bar for 50 years of distinguished legal service in Oregon. After Ruth's death in 2004, Bob married a childhood friend, Mary Emily Thompson of Louisville, Kentucky. He is survived by Mary Emily; four children; 11 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and three step-children.
John B. Henry of Brentwood, Tennessee, died February 6, 2012 from complications of diabetes. He was 93. John served in the Army Air Corps as a pilot instructor for B-24 and B-29 bombers during World War II and, later, with the Fifth Air Force Headquarters Squadron during the Korean Conflict. After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, John practiced law with H.H. Chitwood in Nashville. He was appointed standing trustee for Chapter XIII in January 1960 and held that position until March 1976. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Christine; two children; five grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Robert Lee Wright died at home on January 6, 2009. He was 89. A native of Putnam County, Tennessee, he had lived in Cleveland, Tennessee, for 57 years. He earned his law degree at Vanderbilt after serving as a flight instructor for the Army Air Force during World War II and as a pilot for Chicago Southern Airlines. Richard served in the Pacific in the 6th Army and later as an Engineering Officer in the 8th Army during the occupation of Japan. He retired from active Army Reserve in 1965 as a Lt. Colonel. After he earned his law degree at Vanderbilt, he worked for several federal agencies, including the Corps of Engineers. In 1956, he joined the legal department at Bowater Southern Paper Corporation. In 1970, he became the company's General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. He served on the board of directors of Bowater and several affiliated companies. After his retirement in 1986 he established a limited practice of law in Cleveland. He was a member of the American, Tennessee and Bradley County Bar Associations and was a former president of the local organization. He served on the Advisory Boards of Liberty Mutual Life Insurance Co., the Bowater Employees Credit Union and the Stonecastle Property Association.
Charles Richard Dietzen died on December 30, 2008, in Chattanooga. He served in the Army during World War II from 1943-46, and was discharged as sergeant after combat in France and the Rhineland with the 254th infantry, antitank units. After graduating from Vanderbilt Law School, he practiced law in Chattanooga with his father, Judge W.N. "Buck" Dietzen, and his brother, John William Dietzen, as well as attorney Fielding Atchley. He was president of the Chattanooga Bar Association in 1961-62. He served on the Tennessee State Board of Professional Responsibility, which provides ethical oversight body for licensed attorneys in Tennessee. He retired in 2004. He is survived by his wife, Martha, a son, and two grandaughters.
C. Allen High, who served as a judge in Davidson County Chancery Court for 21 years, died November 12, 2008. He was 83. Allen was first elected to the court in 1974. He won re-election in 1982 and 1990. Probably the most significant legal case to come before him was Tennessee Small School Systems v. State of Tennessee. The Small Schools lawsuit, filed in 1988, claimed that Tennessee's funding system for public education violated students' constitutional rights because those in rural schools did not have equal access to the educational amenities and opportunities available to urban students. Allen ruled in favor of the rural school systems in 1991. Although the court of appeals overturned his ruling, the Tennessee Supreme Court later reinstated it, prompting legislators to enact funding reforms sought by the smaller schools. In a 1985 case, Allen's ruling in favor of the executors of Elvis Presley's estate helped establish that celebrities enjoy what has been called a "posthumous right of publicity," preventing others from trading on their names. Serving as president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 1982, Allen founded the Tennessee Judicial Academy, which remains in operation today. He was a co-founder of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court, a Middle Tennessee legal society. He also helped form the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association and served as its president in 1970. The impression Allen left on attorneys who practiced before him was evident in the outpouring of reaction to news of his passing. "Before Allen went on the bench, he was a very effective civil lawyer. Because of his extensive trial experience, it was a pleasure to try cases to a jury in his Chancery Court. Allen was always very polite to lawyers and allowed the lawsuit to be tried without undue interference from the bench. He was admired by all Nashville lawyers,” said Ed Yarbrough, '72, U.S. Attorney for Middle Tennessee. "He was a people's judge, with a very good judicial temperament. His down-to-earth approach to trials was unique, especially his willingness to let anyone be heard in his court, despite objections from lawyers. He has been missed by the bench and bar since his retirement, and now will be missed by the community he so loved and served,” said George Barrett, '57, Barrett, Johnston & Parsley. Allen was a Nashville native, and the day after he graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1943, his draft notice arrived. He enlisted in the army and joined the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper. Allen made several combat jumps during the war, including some in Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star. Nashville attorney Robert Brandt, '66, who served as a chancellor alongside Allen, recalled that he was full of tales about his time in the service. "Hardly a week went by that he did not tell some great story," Brandt remembered. "One I recall was his capture of a German field marshal when he was 18 or 19 years old. At least that was what he and his buddies thought, the man had on such a fancy uniform. Turned out he was the village police chief." After the war, Allen earned degrees from Peabody College and Vanderbilt University Law School. He practiced with the firm of Denney, Leftwich & Osborn in Nashville. In 1958, he was elected as a delegate to the Tennessee Constitutional Convention and in 1967, he was elected to the state legislature, serving a two-year term. Allen retired from the bench in 1995. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Mary Frances High; their two sons, Nashville attorneys Charles Allen High Jr. and David E. High, and four grandchildren.
Colonel George B. Wallace died November 13, 2008, at his home. Born in Lewisburg, Tennnessee, on February 23, 1924, George entered the Army Air Corps February 19, 1943, where he attended pilot training school at George Field in Lawrenceville, Illinois. He was sent to the European Theater in Burma, where he flew over "The Hump.” He was a highly decorated officer, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. George volunteered his services again in 1951, where he served as director of operations in the Korean conflict. Between his service in WWII and the Korean War, he married his childhood sweetheart, Dorothy Dean Davis, and started a family in Lewisburg. After the war, George returned to Tennessee, earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Tennessee and his law degree from Vanderbilt. After spending a short period in Lewisburg as a judge, George went back to his passion of flying, this time as group commander of the 105 Squadron at Berry Field in Nashville. He retired from The Tennessee Air National Guard in 1984, achieving the rank of colonel. He worked as a pilot for Ingram Oil from 1955 to 1959. In 1959, he was called by his lifelong friend, Gov. Buford Ellington, to serve as the pilot for the State of Tennessee. He served in this capacity from 1959 to 1963. In December 1965, he contacted President Andy Holt of the University of Tennessee with a business proposal to buy a plane for the university. George was hired by the university as staff assistant to the president. He established the UT Systems Flight Operations, and headed that organization until his retirement in March of 1986. George is survived by his two children, George B. Wallace, Jr. of Lebanon, Tennessee, and Anne Wallace of Lewisburg, Tennessee.
The late William D. Howell's wife, Louise Burrell Howell, died August 31, 2008 at the age of 82. Born November 22, 1925 in Eustis, Florida, she graduated from Florida Southern University, where she was a member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, and received a masters degree from George Peabody College in Nashville. In 1950, she and Bill were married and moved to Dover, where they made their home for almost forty years. During this time, Lou was very active in community organizations, including Ft. Donelson Methodist Church, serving on the board of directors of Progressive Directions, Inc., a center for handicapped adults, as well as many other church and civic activities. Lou also taught at Stewart County High School for several years. In 1998, Lou and Bill moved to Brentwood, Tennessee to be closer to their family. Lou is survived by two daughters and three grandchildren.
William Donald Howell, better known as Bill, died at the age of 83 on March 22, 2008. He was born on March 8, 1925 in Big Rock, TN, and graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy before serving as an Ensign in the US Navy in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. In 1950, Bill and wife, Helen Louise Burrell, moved to Dover where he joined his uncle, General William C. Howell, in his law practice. For the next forty-five years Bill was instrumental in the growth and development of Dover and Stewart County, facilitating the original incorporation of the City of Dover, initiating water, sewer and fire protection systems and securing health care in industrial development. In 1955 he was elected to the State House of Representatives and two years later became State Senator from that district. After retiring from law practice in 1992, he remained active in community affairs and service projects, including serving on the Stewart County Library Board, Kiwanis Club, and Ft. Donelson United Methodist Church. In 1998, he and his wife relocated to Brentwood, TN, to be nearer to other family members. When he wasn't working, Bill enjoyed landscaping, jazz music and entertaining.
Whitney Stegall, who as a Tenn. state senator was instrumental in bringing Middle Tennessee State University its university status, died September 21, 2007 at age 91. A Rockvale, Tenn. native, Mr. Stegall was a graduate of the class of 1937, when it was still called Middle Tennessee State College. He wanted to see the college grow and provide more opportunities. As a state senator in 1965, he introduced the resolution to give MTSU a higher status. Mr. Stegall also provided the legal work in establishing the MTSU Foundation to raise money for scholarships and other university efforts. The foundation building is named the Wood-Stegall Building in his honor. "I really feel like his biggest legacy was that he always wanted to do something for someone else and anything that he could he would," said his daughter Amy Swartz, a Murfreesboro, Tenn. resident.
Mr. Stegall also established the Stegall Educational Foundation to provide scholarship money for students attending law school. "He just thought everybody should get as much education as they could and there was no better education than law school, even if you didn't want to be an attorney," his daughter said.
Mr. Stegall entered private practice in Murfreesboro after graduating from law school in 1950. He served as a circuit judge before becoming a chancellor for 16 years. In 1999, local officials dedicated the Buckner-Rucker-Stegall Judicial Building on the public square in Murfreesboro in honor of Mr. Stegall, former Sen. John Rucker and the late Judge Jim Buckner.
Mr. Stegall died after suffering complications from hip surgery, two days after the death of his friend and former law partner Dick LaRoche (also class of '50). Mr. Stegall tripped and broke his hip at Nashville International Airport on Wednesday. "I wish I could keep him around another hundred years. I always thought he was going to be the first immortal," said his son, Whit Stegall.
Mr. Stegall served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the U. S. Army 4025th Signal Service Group of the Signal Corp. After suffering severe burns on the island of Luzon in the Philippines during World War II, he was honorably discharged. He also worked as a high school teacher and coach early in his career.
Richard Frederick (Dick) LaRoche, Sr., 85, Attorney at Law and former Circuit Court Judge of Rutherford/Cannon Counties, died at the Middle Tennessee Medical Center surrounded by his loving family, September 19, 2007. A native of Franklin, New Hampshire, he attended the University of New Hampshire, then volunteered for and was sworn into the U.S. Army Air Corps Cadet Program on January 27, 1942. He received his Bombardier Wings and 2nd Lieutenant Commission in Victorville, Calif. Oct. 31, 1942. Following Phase Training, he was assigned as Bombardier Instructor at Dyersburg Army Air Base, in Halls Tennessee, in B-17 Bombers. He was then sent to Barksdale Army Air Base in Louisiana for transition to B-29 Bombers and served in the United States Air Force, operating from Guam and Saipan in the Marianas. He was released to inactive reserve duty with the rank of Captain in April 1946, enrolled in Vanderbilt University June, 1946 and completing undergraduate requirements, entered Vanderbilt Law School in 1947. He was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1949 and received the Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Vanderbilt Law School in 1950.
While attending Vanderbilt Law School, he met Whitney Stegall and the Law Firm of Stegall and LaRoche was founded in Murfreesboro in March, 1950. They established a successful practice as partnership until 1966 when Dick was appointed Circuit Court Judge and later elected to that office. He resigned in 1969, was admitted to the New Mexico Bar and practiced law in Albuquerque until March 1974 when he returned to Murfreesboro and practiced law independently in the law firms of Wilkes Coffey and Larry Trail until he became of counsel with the Blankenship and Blankenship law firm. He remained active in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and retired as Colonel in 1981.
He was very active in the Murfreesboro Community; instrumental in soliciting industry in the 1950's and 60's, he was one of the founders of the National Bank of Murfreesboro (now First Tennessee Bank) and served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors; he was a charter member of the evening Exchange Club and served as State President of that club. He was the first President of the Middle Tennessee Medical Center Development Foundation and served on its board for thirteen years. He was active in the Middle Tennessee Council of Boys Scouts, serving as a Merit Badge Counselor, he received the Long Rifle award, and the Distinctive Leadership Award. He held membership in the American Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, the Rutherford/County Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, and the Tennessee Trial Lawyers Association. He was co-founder with Judge Don R. Ash of the Andrew Jackson American Inn of Court. He was honored by the Rutherford/Cannon County Bar Association with the Pro-Bono award and an annual Pro-Bono Award was established in the honor and name of Richard F. LaRoche, Sr. to be given to a deserving attorney for pro-bono legal service given to the poor and oppressed. He was initiated as a Fellow in the Tennessee Bar Foundation January, 2005. He was very active in St. Rose Catholic Church: served as Parish Council President, chaired the finance drive in 1992, was charter member of the Marian Council of the Knights of Columbus, and was a Fourth Degree Knight.
Joe H. Foy, 81, died September 17, 2007. Maybe it was his sense of humor, or maybe it was his classy style, but whatever it was about Joe H. Foy, his presence and participation always strengthened an organization or effort. “Joe Foy left big footprints in our history. He was a top lawyer and businessman and wielded vast political influence,” said Steve Clack, a Kerrville, Texas lawyer and long-time friend. “He was a true statesman whose efforts benefited countless thousands. Joe leaves behind an incredible legacy.”
Foy was born in Henderson, Tenn. He attended Freed-Hardeman College and Georgia Institute of Technology, and in 1948, he earned a bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University. Two years later, he received a juris doctorate from Vanderbilt. Before completing his college education and law degree, Foy served as a commander of a landing craft infantry in the U.S. Navy.
From 1950 to 1964, Foy was the San Angelo city attorney and was a partner in the law firm, Hardeman, Smith & Foy. He later moved to Houston to take a position as general counsel for Houston Natural Gas Corporation and later became president until the company's merger with InterNorth in 1985 to create Enron, according to a biography compiled by Clack. Foy then served on Enron's board of directors until 2000. His political involvement included a diplomatic mission as a U.S. envoy when Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt during President Jimmy Carter's Administration. He also pushed for changes in federal and state legislation that deregulated natural gas markets.
Foy retired as a senior partner in the international law firm Bracewell & Patterson, now Bracewell & Giuliani. He served on several local boards, including Schreiner University, Community Foundation of the Texas Hill Country, Kerrville Performing Arts Society, Symphony of the Hills and the Cowboy Artists of America Museum, now Museum of Western Art.
Bob Schmerbeck served as president of the museum when Foy was chairman of the board. In many ways, Foy was a mentor, Schmerbeck said. “He had so many gifts, it was so unbelievable,” Schmerbeck said. “The way he led the museum to success it had not enjoyed before. His leadership was infectious. Everyone wanted to follow his lead to make the museum the best it could be.”
Joseph Benham, president of the Symphony of the Hills Association, said Foy's presence will be missed by him, other board members and dozens of the musicians. “He and Martha are high on the list of music lovers and persons blessed with vision and community spirit whose generous donations make our concerts possible,” Benham said in a statement. “Even when his health forced him to cut back on day-to-day participation, he was always available by telephone and e-mail to offer insightful comments and good advice to me and to the rest of the Board.”
Foy is survived by his wife of 58 years, Martha (Overall) Foy; his two children, Joe H. Foy Jr. of Austin and Melissa Dreier of San Antonio; two grandchildren, Timothy and Carrie; and many friends and colleagues. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Church of Christ building fund or any charity of choice in Foy's honor.
Raymond J. Morris Sr. passed away August 1, 2007. During World War II, Raymond served in the Army Air Corps, flying B-17's and other aircraft. After the war, he returned to work with the U.S. Postal Service, where he spent his entire career. During his time with the postal service, he earned a law degree from Vanderbilt. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Marjorie.
Henry Barr Spurrier died Saturday, May 26, 2007 at his home in San Francisco, CA. He was 84 years old. A native of Memphis, TN, he moved to San Francisco in 1950. He was the son of Keith M. Spurrier, Sr. and Irene Barr Spurrier Walker, and he was the brother of Keith M. Spurrier, Jr. and Jane Ann Spurrier Page, all of whom had pre-deceased him. He is survived by six nieces and nephews and by 11 great-nieces and nephews. Mr. Spurrier graduated from Memphis Central High School, from the University of the South at Sewanee, and from Vanderbilt University Law School. He was president of his high school fraternity, Phi Kappa. He also was a member of the United States Navy. In San Francisco, especially since his retirement, he served actively and generously in charitable volunteer endeavors. His family and friends will dearly miss his kind and loving spirit.
James Perry "J.P." Foster died May 9, 2006, at his home in Nashville. J.P. recorded decades of life in Nashville after he started keeping a daily journal in 1938; he donated it last year to the Tennessee State Library and Archives. J.P.'s topics ranged from buying a Christmas tree for 75 cents on Eighth Avenue to his military pension for the malaria he contracted during the war to the daily weather. Born in Columbia,Tennessee, J.P. received both his bachelor's degree and J.D. from Vanderbilt. He earned the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and other honors as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Southwest Pacific. After working as managing partner and senior tax partner for what was then Touche Ross & Deloitte, he joined the faculty of Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Management.