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Class of 1970

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

Do you have news you would like to share or just want to let everyone know what you are up to these days? Submit your class note online, email Class Notes or call 615-322-2606.


Wayne Alan Luce passed away at his home in Asheville, North Carolina, on July 16, 2021, at the age of 75. He is survived by Carolyn Roberts Luce, his wife of 54 years, his siblings Laurilla Luce Nash and John Luce, his son Timothy, and his grandchildren Katharine and Audrey. Posted 7.30.21

Justin Wilson was reelected by the Tennessee General Assembly to his sixth term as Comptroller of the Treasury of the State of Tennessee.  Posted 1.15.19

Edward Scruggs Kelly, Jr., died Wednesday, January 2, 2019.  He was 74. Ed was born in Nashville, son of the late Edward, Sr. and Martha Anne Kelly. He was preceded in death by his wife, Kelley C. Kelly. Survivors include his siblings, Alice Kelly McCurdy, Bill (Glenda) Kelly and Carole Kelly, along with several nieces and nephews.  He practiced law in the Nashville area for more than 40 years.  Posted 1.9.19

Neil Philip Cohen, former Distinguished Service Professor of Law and W.P. Toms Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee College of Law, died May 8, 2017. He was 72. Neil earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and earned subsequent degrees from Vanderbilt Law School, Harvard Law School and Cambridge University. He began teaching law at the University of Tennessee in 1972 and taught his final class on April 26, 2017 as a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco. In 45 years of teaching, he taught thousands of students at law schools all over the world. Students described him as "demanding, funny, completely fair and one of the best law professors they've had." After Neil retired from the University of Tennessee, he and his wife Riva lived in San Rafael, California. He is survived by his wife, three sons, step-son and four grandchildren. Posted 2.6.18

John Kimbrough Johnson of Memphis died November 7. He was 75. Kim served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps from 1964 until 1966, ultimately achieving the rank of Captain, and including an active tour of duty in the war in Vietnam. A Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, Kim practiced law for almost 50 years in Memphis, Tennessee, for the law firm now known as Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop. He is survived by his wife, Judith, three children and three grandchildren. Posted 11.14.17

David H. Carr of Nashville died December 11. He was 76. Davis earned his B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt. After graduation he joined Boult Cumming Conners & Berry. In 1984, Davis became the managing partner of the firm and served in that role through 1997. Boult Cumming Conners & Berry merged with Bradley Arant Rose & White on January 1, 2009, and Davis continued as a partner in the firm. He also served as general counsel to several financial institutions and served on the board of directors of American Security Bank & Trust Company, First Union Bank of Tennessee, Dominion Bank of Middle Tennessee and Bank of Eagleville. Davis was active in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee community, and was a past trustee, vice chair and member of the executive committee of the board of trustees of Fisk University; past chairman of Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee; a past director, member of the executive committee, and founding chairman of the Nashville Downtown Partnership. He is survived by his four daughters, and 7 grandchildren. Posted 1.19.17


Justin P. Wilson, Comptroller of Tennessee, is known to colleagues as "Mr. Wonderful."





William Russell Rice Jr. (BA'67) died October 10, 2014 of a heart attack. He was 70 years old. Russ earned his BA from Vanderbilt and then went on to graduate from Vanderbilt Law School. He was an attorney with his father and brother in the law firm of Rice and Rice. He is survived by his three children. Posted 1.2.15

Benson,CraigCraig B. Benson succumbed to his battle with Pick's Disease May 10. A native of Memphis, Craig earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University. Craig focused on entertainment law, first working in house for Stax Records and then starting his own practice, where he specialized in publishing and music contracts. Craig is survived by his wife, Sarah, and two daughters. Posted 7.16.14



Thomas A. Rill, 68, of Lafayette, died August 17. Thomas graduated from Phillips Andover Academy in 1963 and Yale University in 1967 before earning his Doctor of Juris Prudence from Vanderbilt. He practiced law in Syracuse until retiring from Melvin & Melvin. Thomas is survived by his loving wife, Shelley Rill. Posted 8.22.13

Paul CowdenPaul David Cowden, age 67, died September 23. Paul was a graduate of Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, and graduated with honors from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts before obtaining his Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt Law School. Following law school, Paul worked in private practice as a lawyer in Mount Sterling before serving as Deputy County Attorney for several years in Montgomery County. He then was elected Montgomery County Attorney, a post he held for 28 years until he retired in 2006. Paul was president of the Kentucky County Attorneys Association from 1993-95, and served more than ten years on the Board of Directors of the National District Attorneys Association. He was twice named Kentucky County Attorney of the Year by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Paul assisted in the training of new prosecutors as an instructor at the Kentucky Prosecutors' Institute. He served as president of the Mount Sterling Rotary Club in 1993-94 and was honored as a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow. He was named to the Community Trust Bank's Board of Directors and the Mary Chiles Hospital Board of Directors, serving several terms as Chairman. He was legal counsel and ex-officio member of the Mount Sterling/ Montgomery County Industrial Authority, and was named Distinguished Citizen of the year in 2007 by the Mount Sterling/ Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce. Paul is survived by two daughters. Posted 10.9.12

JamesDuBoisJames T. DuBois, 68, well-known Columbia attorney and community activist, died May 15. Jim received his undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University before earning his law degree from Vanderbilt Law School. He practiced law in Columbia and Southern Middle Tennessee and also served as United States Magistrate for Southern Middle Tennessee from 1971-1982. He was co-owner and Chairman of the Board of Directors of DuBois & DuBois and DuBois Closing & Title Services. Jim was a member and served as president of the Maury County Bar Association and was selected as a Fellow of the Tennessee Bar Foundation in 2000. Among his numerous civic and community activities include serving as past president of Maury County March of Dimes, Maury County Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Main Street, and Columbia Noon Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow; and a founding board member of Maury County Wildlife Association, Maury Alliance, and Maury County Economic Development Association. He was honored as Maury County Outstanding Young Man in 1974 and Rotarian of the Year in 2001. An avid supporter of Boy Scouts of America, Jim served as an assistant Scout Master of Troop #103 for a number of years and served as executive board member of the Middle Tennessee Council and Duck River District of Boy Scouts of America. He was honored with the Duck River District's Long Rifle Award and Middle Tennessee Council's Silver Beaver Award. Jim is survived by his wife, Beth; two daughters; a son; and 8 grandchildren. Posted 6.1.12

Geier Rita '70 WEB.jpg Rita Geier, Associate to the Chancellor and Senior Fellow at the Howard Baker Center for Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, has joined the board of directors of the Tennessee Justice Center. With more than 40 years of legal experience, Rita joined the University of Tennessee in 2007 to lead efforts to achieve the university's inter-cultural and diversity goals and to promote solutions to critical public policy issues. She also serves on Vanderbilt Law School's Board of Advisors. Posted 10.17.11 



NickGladdingNick Gladding, special counsel in the Sarasota, Florida, office of Adams and Reese, has been named to the Florida Energy Systems Consortium Advisory Board, which researches and develops innovative energy systems that lead to alternative energy strategies, improved energy efficiency, and expanded economic development for the state of Florida. The Consortium was created by Florida statute in 2008 to promote collaboration among energy experts at Florida's 11 public universities to share energy-related expertise and assist in the development and implementation of a comprehensive energy strategic plan for the state. As an environmental lawyer, Nick has more than 40 years of experience in more than 35 states and most EPA regions. Posted 10.17.11 

LarryBarcellaLarry Barcella died November 4, 2010 after a long battle with bladder cancer. Larry was a partner in the litigation practice of Paul Hastings, where he chaired the firm's White Collar, Internal Investigations and Corporate Governance practice. Before entering private practice, he was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for 16 years, during which he served as Deputy Chief of the Major Crimes Division. He was selected by the Attorney General as Senior Litigation Counsel, a position reserved for only the most experienced and qualified federal prosecutors. Larry's handling of many complex criminal and allied civil fraud matters garnered him national recognition as both a trial lawyer and skilled investigator. Among the many awards he received during his career was the John Marshall Award, the U.S. Department of Justice's highest award for litigation. He was admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and a variety of federal and local courts. He was vice chair of the American Bar Association's White Collar Crime Committee of the Criminal Justice Section and the Litigation Section's Complex Crimes Committee, and a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers. Read an article from the New York Times. Posted 11.5.10

Larry Ramsey died November 5, 2007 after a brief battle with leukemia. Larry, a Dickson County, Tenn., real estate attorney and community activist, began his practice with the White & Regen law firm in Dickson. In 1974, he opened his own office where his practice eventually focused on real estate-related litigation and real estate transactions. He later spun off a titale and closing business (Dickson Title, LLC) from his law practice, which eventually became known as Ramsey Thornton & Barrett. But Larry wasn't known only for his real estate expertise. He also was a benefactor for several county endeavors. In 1999, Larry and Dana, his wife, were instrumental in launching the Community Foundation of Dickson County, an endowment that provides annual quality-of-life grants for community projects. Larry is survived by Dana and daughter Adrienne Bracker.