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Class of 1956

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Class Notes are posted in the order they are received, with the newest posts on top.

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Benjamin C. Cubbage Jr. (BA ’50) of Evansville, Indiana died November 15. He was 89. He earned his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt, served as an officer in the United States Navy, and the returned to Vanderbilt to earn his law degree. Benjamin practiced law in Henderson, Kentucky for nearly 60 years and primarily devoted his career to the oil and gas industry. He is survived by his wife, Delores, two daughters, two granddaughters and three great grandchildren. Posted 11.27.17

 James “Jim” Walter Gentry Jr. died February 10. Jim earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of the South. He began law school at the University of North Carolina but later withdrew to join the U.S. Marine Corps. He was deployed to Korea where he was wounded in 1952. Once released from the Naval Hospital in Millington, Tennessee, he attended Vanderbilt Law School where he received his law degree in 1956. While at Vanderbilt, Jim met Margaret (“Peggy”) Anderson of Memphis, whom he married in 1955. Jim and Peggy moved to Chattanooga, where he joined Spears Moore Rebman & Williams, later moving to Witt Gaither Abernathy and Wilson. In 1974, Jim formed Gentry and Boehm, which specialized in environmental law and, over the years, successfully represented many local, national and international businesses. The first edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” listed Jim as an expert in environmental and natural resources law, and he continued to be ranked within the list each year throughout the course of his career. Gentry and Boehm was dissolved in 1991, at which time Jim rejoined Spears Moore Rebman & Williams, where he remained until his retirement. Jim is survived by his wife, Peggy; four children; and two grandchildren. Posted 2.25.15

Mac Edward Robinson (BA'51) died September 11 at the age of 85. Mac was a proud graduate of Vanderbilt, where he had a notable four year career on the football team. After earning his law degree, Mac practiced law in Nashville for nearly 50 years. He was a member of the Nashville Bar Association, the Federation of Insurance Counsel and the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association. Mac is survived by two children. Posted 9.26.14

Leon W. Vaseliades (BA'54), of Houston died March 31 at 81. After earning his undergraduate and law degrees at Vanderbilt, Lee joined the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant in the military intelligence and Judge Advocate General's corps. In 1959, he began work in Washington, D.C., as senior trial attorney in the tax division of the Justice Department. In 1967, he moved his family to Houston, where he practiced law in real estate, tax and banking until his retirement in the mid-1990s. Lee is survived by his wife of 50 years, Joan Karakitsos Vaseliades. Posted 6.12.14

Judge William Robert Baker (BA'53) died December 12 at the age of 81. Bill was a foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State from 1956-59, stationed in northern Brazil. Following his tenure abroad, he had a private law practice in Ashland City for 36 years. He was a delegate to the 1965 Tennessee Constitutional Convention, City Attorney, General Sessions Judge, Ashland City Municipal Judge, secretary-treasurer of the Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference, and Cheatham County Commissioner. Bill was appointed to the Tennessee Claims Commission, a court for lawsuits against the state of Tennessee, serving as chairman of the commission from 1999 - 2004. His jurisdiction covered 42 counties. He is survived by his daughter, Sister Margaret Andrew Baker, OP; and his son, Father John Sims Baker (JD'89). Posted 12.16.13

Marvin Posner (BA'54), 81, of Memphis, died March 12 following a prolonged illness. He served his country as part of the U.S. Air Force. Marvin earned both his undergraduate and his legal degree from Vanderbilt. Following law school, Marvin moved to Memphis, where he settled for the remainder of his life. Following the death of his wife, Shirley Trotz Posner, Marvin remarried Eileen Borden Baer of Baltimore. He was well known for his volunteer and charitable work. He is survived by his wife, Eileen; 4 children, 22 grandchildren, and two great grandsons. Posted 3.14.13

E. Tucker Dickerson, retired Memphis lawyer, died July 8 at the age of 83. A graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, he practiced law in Manchester and served as a city alderman and Coffee County general sessions judge. After stepping down from the bench, he moved to Memphis where he practiced law as a solo practitioner for a short time before being employed by General Innkeeping Acceptance Corporation (GIAC), a subsidiary of Holiday Inns. While with GIAC, he rose from in-house counsel to president of the company - a position he held until he retired. Posted 8.7.12

William Felder Howard, a native of Nashville, died July 6, 2011 of natural causes. He was 80. William retired from the Metropolitan Legal Department in 1998 after a long successful career in law. He served his country as a United States Marine during the Korean War, retiring with the rank of Lt. Col. William is predeceased by his wife, Carrie Jane Smith Howard. He is survived by his two daughters and one son and two grandsons.