(Notes posted in the order they were received, with the newest posts on top.)
James K. Nelson, “Jim” died May 24th. Jim attended Vanderbilt where he played on the freshman football team as halfback and was written up as "the surprise of Vanderbilt's spring football drills". He earned his bachelor’s in 1961. He then continued on to the Law School where he participated in the Vanderbilt Law Review. After law school, Jim was called into service in the U.S. Army. His first assignment was in the Armor Division and shortly after was transferred to the 1st Special Forces Group – Airborne, serving in Vietnam. On his second tour he worked with Vietnamese hill people who were "still in the 1800's" and whom he admired for their honesty and fighting skills. Returning from Vietnam, Jim clerked in the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for the renowned Judge Harry Phillips. Business law followed with the highly regarded firm of Taft, Stettinius, Hollister in Cincinnati. Jim continued in real estate law with First National Bank of Chicago where he described his occupation as International Real Estate Attorney. Condominium conversion was a new field, and he then joined a pioneering firm in Chicago as Counsel which converted luxury East Coast apartment buildings to condominiums. Upon retirement he moved to San Francisco where he took up tennis which led to studying umpiring and refereeing. Jim worked his way up to officiating at the U.S. Open and working there for 6 years. He is survived by his wife, Jan Minar. Posted 8.1.17
Frank D. Allen Jr. of Washington, D.C. died August 11. He was 78. Frank earned his B.A. from Millsaps College before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt. He was an attorney with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice beginning in the 1960s and much later with the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Most recently, he was a sole practitioner on Capitol Hill. He is survived by his wife, MaryLee, and son, Sean. Posted 9.15.16
Charles Andrew Farrell, Jr. of Arlington, MA died March 7. He was a graduate of Babson College and served in the US Army and National Guard receiving a medal for marksmanship. He attended Vanderbilt Law School and later attained a master's degree in education. Charles is survived by his sisters, brother-in-law and nephew. Posted 4.5.16
John Bradbury Reed of Nashville died Feb. 2. He was 91. He attended Vanderbilt Law School, where he edited the law review and was the Founder’s Medalist for the Class of 1964. He taught at the law school from 1964 to 1972. Following his admission to the bar in 1964, Brad joined the law firm of Bass Berry & Sims, where he practiced for more than 50 years. He finished his career with Riley Warnock & Jacobson. Brad served a wide range of organizations including NLT Corp., Kentucky Fried Chicken and J. Alexander’s, as well as the Junior League of Nashville, which honored him with its Community Service Award in 2003. He is survived by his wife, Sharon Hels MA’82, PHD’87, three children, three grandchildren, brother and four nephews. Posted 2.25.16
Robert W. Dickey has written a book, Goliath of Panama: The Life of Soldier and Canal Builder William Luther Sibert (2015, Acclaim Press) that provides a look into Sibert’s accomplishments, from his work on the Panama Canal to his numerous other achievements at home and abroad. Robert has authored several other books, all focused on historical subjects and personalities. Posted 9.17.15
Duncan Hamner, Jr. (BA’59) was recently honored at the Florida Bar’s 50-Year member celebration at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. Duncan lives in Green Cove Springs, Florida. Posted 7.8.15
John R. Parker (BA'61) died January 21. He was 75. John was a Tennessee native and attended Vanderbilt both for his undergraduate and law degrees. He is survived by his two children. Posted 3.24.15
Lynn Haskell White, age 77, died November 16 in Nashville. Lynn was a native and life-long resident of Rutherford County. He is survived by his wife, Joyce A. White and three step sons. Posted 1.2.15
Fred Bryan Simpson died August 5 at his home in Huntsville, Alabama. Fred grew up in Calera, Alabama, with his mother and five siblings. At sixteen, he lied about his age in order to join the Air Force, where he served until he was twenty-one, stationed for the majority of that time in Japan. He then returned to Birmingham, where he worked nights as a police officer and attended classes during the day at Howard College (now Samford University), graduating in 1961. As soon as he graduated from college, Fred married Peggy Ann Hollaway and they moved to Nashville for Fred to attend Vanderbilt Law School. Fred and Peggy moved to Huntsville in 1964 in order for Fred to practice law. He was an investigator for the US Army at Redstone Arsenal for a year. From 1965-1969, he practiced law at Morring, Giles, and Watson. In 1969, Governor Albert Brewer appointed Fred to be the District Attorney of Madison County. He subsequently won two more elections and served as DA until 1981, and served as president of the Alabama District Attorneys Association. While in office, he was instrumental in getting the first state laws written against drunk driving and against child abuse. As a prosecutor, Fred tried over sixty murder cases. When he left the DA's office, Fred walked across the street and set out his shingle on the North Side Square, where he specialized in criminal law for another 25 years. Remarkably, he won acquittals for clients in two different capital murder cases. After one of those acquittals, he was recognized in June of 2002 by the Alabama Criminal Defense Lawyers Association for outstanding legal representation in a criminal case. Fred published three books. The first The Sins of Madison County is about lynchings that occurred in Madison County, Alabama. The second, Murder in the Heart of Dixie, is about capital murder cases in Madison County from 1904-1996. For the third book, A Walk Through Downtown Huntsville-Then and Now, Fred used stacks of old photographs taken in downtown Huntsville at the turn of the century. He determined exactly where the photographer was standing when the photo was taken, as well as the time of day and time of year. He recreated those photographs from the same location and published them side by side. In addition to being an author, Fred was also an accomplished artist. His charcoals and oil paintings can be found all over the Madison County courthouse, in his office, and in the homes of his family. One of his paintings of downtown Huntsville was recognized by the Huntsville Museum of Art. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, and four children. Posted 8.12.2014
James P. Stavros was honored by the Kentucky Bar Association for having spent 50 years practicing law. The ceremony took place Friday, June 20 in Covington. After law school, Jim joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation, serving as special agent in Cleveland and New York City. After three years, he returned to his hometown, Ashland, Kentucky, to practice law. He and his wife, Suzanne, are the parents of Peter and Cathy, who are both attorneys. Jim said he has no intention of retiring anytime soon. He said his health is excellent, which he attributes to his ritual of walking three or four miles a day, including to and from his office most days. Posted 7.16.14
William C. Wilson died December 1. He was employed by First Tennessee Bank in Memphis in the bank's trust division until his retirement. He was the youngest of seven siblings and is survived by two brothers and many nieces and nephews. Posted 12.13.13
D. Bruce Shine, a Kingsport, Tennessee, attorney, spent part of November in Israel and Jordan in his capacity as a director of the Gen. Raymond Davis Templar Foundation, which sponsors educational scholarships for the children of Arab Christians living in Palestine. Additionally, Bruce, who also serves as Honorary Consul for the Republic of Malta for Tennessee and North Carolina, attended foreign ministry meetings with Malta's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in Valletta in August. Posted 11.7.13
J. L. (Jack) Thompson III, age 74, died October 4. Jack graduated from Rhodes College before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. He practiced law in Nashville and surrounding counties for 48 years. Jack was a dedicated lawyer and a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. He served his community as a Boy Scout leader and as an elder in the Presbyterian Church of America. He and his wife of 52 years, Emma Young Thompson, hosted hundreds of outings and picnics at the Thompson Farm in Ashland City. He traveled to 20 countries as a missionary with World Missions. Jack is survived by his wife, Emma; two sons; and 18 grandchildren. Posted 10.10.13
Ned. A. Stewart Jr. (BA'61) has retired after 48 years in the legal field, the past 20 of which he spent serving as the Texarkana, Arkansas, city attorney. After earning his law degree from Vanderbilt, Ned took a position in Little Rock as a junior law clerk for U.S. District Judge J. Smith Henley. He was later appointed to be a U.S. assistant attorney in Fort Smith, Arkansas, a position he held until 1968 when he made his way back to Texarkana, to practice with the law firm Arnold and Arnold. In the early 1970's Ned went into private practice. In 1979, Stewart made his way back to Fort Smith to become a U.S. magistrate. During this time, he presided over the court system set up in Fort Chaffee, where many Cubans were detained following the Mariel boatlift that occurred in 1980. In 1987, Ned once again returned to Texarkana. He joined the firm Autrey and Autrey, and has served Texarkana ever since. In 1993, he became the city attorney for the Texarkana, Arkansas, Board of Directors and has helped with various city issues. Ned and his wife, Kathy, will remain in the area for the time being. Posted 1.5.13
Judge Hamilton V. Gayden (BA'61) is profiled in the March 2012 edition of the Nashville Bar Journal. Written by Bart Pickett, the profile highlights Judge Gayden's judicial career, which began in General Sessions Court, a seat to which he was appointed by then-Tennessee Governor Winfield Dunn. Judge Gayden ran successfully for a seat on Tennessee's First Circuit Court in 1978 and has served on the court continuously since then. He plans to run for reelection in 2014. Judge Gayden has been in charge of all Middle Tennessee mental health committals since 1982 and holds mental health hearings at area prisons. He is the author of two novels-A Circle Across and Miscarriage of Justice-and is currently writing a third novel. He and his wife, Paulette, have two sons, a daughter and one grandson. Posted 4.3.12
J. Roy Weathersby of Asheville, North Carolina, died on August 13. He was 75. Raised in Memphis, he graduated with a civil engineering degree from University of Tennessee. After earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, he specialized in labor and employment law and practiced for 40 years in Atlanta and throughout the U.S.. Roy was a life member of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Georgia and served for a time as the organization's general counsel. He also served as labor counsel to the Atlanta Olympic Games. He is survived by his wife, Lydia, and two sons. Posted 10.18.11
Robert Dickey recently released a new book, Greyhound to Vegas: The Odyssey of Hilda Reynolds Krause. Robert is also the author of Dynasty of Dimes, Eccentric Entrepreneur Engineers Empire, and Near Misses: Growing Up in Bowling Green with World War 2, Fledgling Femme Fatales and Fallible Football Fortunes. Greyhound was recently reviewed by the Bowling Green Daily News. Posted 10.17.11
Lon F. "Sonny" West (AS 1961), who became one of Metro Nashville government's biggest storehouses of institutional memory while working there for more than 55 years, died March 5, 2011 of kidney cancer. He was 73. Sonny started working for Davidson County on June 1, 1955, then worked for Metro after the city and county governments merged in 1963. He became the Metro zoning administrator in 1986. The Metro Council voted last month to name the auditorium at the new Howard Office Building for him, who is survived by his wife, Barbara, as well as four sons, one daughter and two stepdaughters. Posted 3.14.11
A Harrison "Harry" Johnson died May 1, 2010, in Nashville. Harry earned his undergraduate degree at the University of the South. After earning his law degree at Vanderbilt, he had a long, successful career in real estate law. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Mary; their two children, and two grandchildren. Posted 5.7.10
Warren Pengilley is an emeritus professor of law at at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Professor Pengilley, who received an LL.B. at Sydney before earning his J.D. at Vanderbilt, is a fellow in the Australian Society of Certified Practising Accountants and the author of more than 20 books and 300 refereed articles. He is married with two grown children, Andrew, a doctor specializing in emergency medicine, and Tara, an emergency medicine nurse.
Walker Taylor Tipton (VU '60) died July 18, 2009, in Germantown. He served as an Assistant State Attorney General, and served two terms on the Board of Mayor and Alderman for City of Covington. He served as a Special Justice on the Tennessee Supreme Court. He was also a member of the board of directors of the Covington Electric System Board for 25 years, part of which he served as chair. He was a Charter Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, was on the Board of Directors for First State Bank and served as Tipton County School Board Attorney. He leaves his wife, Ann, two daughters, and four grandchildren. Posted 10.31.09
D. Bruce Shine of the Kingsport, Tennessee, law firm Shine & Mason, has been named by Governor Phil Bredesen as one of three candidates for the Supreme Court vacancy created by the impending departure of current Chief Justice William M. Barker, who is set to retire on Sept. 15. Posted 8.26.08
Judge Hamilton Gayden's novel, Miscarriage of Justice, was released on February 10, 2007. His novel - a historical fiction / murder mystery about a murder/ambush involving a love triangle that occurred in Nashville in 1913 - was published by Center Street, a division of the Hachette Book Company, the successor to Time-Warner Books.
Russell Franklin Morris Jr., a Nashville attorney, age 67, died December 17, 2006. Russ earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt. He spent his entire career at Bass Berry & Sims where he became a senior partner and nationally recognized labor law specialist. He is survived by his wife, Hennie Benedict Morris, three children and seven grandchildren.
Charles McCallum has been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TerraLex, a global network of independent law firms.