Memorial Resolutions 2013 | Chattanooga Bar Association

memorial resolutions for those attorneys who passed away in 2013


Memorial to
Ralph Russell Armstrong
As prepared and presented by Eric s. Armstrong, Esq.

         Ralph Russell Armstrong was a true gentleman and scholar who was loved by his family and friends and was respected and loved by those who knew him both personally and professionally. To his children and family, he was a mentor who served as a major influence for good upon them as a human being.

          Ralph Russell Armstrong was born July 24, 1929 in Knoxville, Tennessee as the fifth of seven children to Eric Russell Armstrong and Lela Mae Armstrong.  Ralph was raised on a farm in Knoxville, Tennessee together with his five brothers and two sisters, where he learned an honest work ethic that became the foundation for his entire life.

          After attending and graduating from Knoxville Halls High School, Ralph Armstrong attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration.  He was a member of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.  He also attended Law School at the University of Tennessee and graduated with his Juris Doctorate degree in 1954.  He also was a member of the Army ROTC and served in the U. S. Naval reserve for five (5) years before being honorably discharged in 1954. 

          After graduating from Law school Ralph Armstrong worked for State Farm Insurance Company as a claims adjuster in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He later worked at Allstate Insurance Company in the same capacity, however, he was eventually promoted to Senior Claims Adjuster in the Chattanooga, Hamilton County, region, before leaving in 1964 when he was offered a position at Combustion Engineering as in-house counsel.  

          While at Combustion Engineering, Ralph Armstrong served as counsel for Government Contracting in their Nuclear Engineering Division in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  He served in this capacity for eighteen years before leaving in 1982 to begin the private practice of Law.

          It was during his time in Chattanooga, that Ralph Armstrong met his future bride and wife, Mary Frances Armstrong, of Bledsoe County, Tennessee.  They were married September 6, 1958 in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  They lived there until 1968, when they moved to Cleveland, Tennessee.   He would reside there for the remainder of his life.

          Ralph Armstrong maintained a law office in Hamilton County, Chattanooga, until his passing last year.  While the focus of his practice was general in nature, his primary area of concentration of work centered on the investigation and work-up of cases for other attorneys, both plaintiff and defendant.  This work included, but was not limited to, the location and interviewing of parties and witnesses in cases.  It was in this capacity that he acquired a reputation among his peers as being tireless in his efforts and ability to locate the most difficult to find of witnesses and parties.  He also had an uncanny ability to get people to speak freely and honestly concerning the matters he was charged with investigating.

          Ralph Armstrong was an avid reader.  He collected and read books on almost all subjects, but his areas of greatest interest were in history and politics.  He was also an avid supporter of University of Tennessee Athletics.

          Ralph was preceded in death by his father and mother and all of his siblings.  He is survived by his wife, Mary Frances Armstrong, his two children, Judge Amy Armstrong Reedy, and attorney Eric S. Armstrong and his grandson, Wyatt Reedy.

          Ralph Armstrong was a generous man in life.  He gave much of his time to others, both in a personal and professional capacity.  He was a tireless worker throughout his life that supported his family financially and spiritually.  He offered to all who knew him an ideal example of resolute honesty and integrity.  In addition to his knowledge within his professional capacity, he was a wealth of knowledge and information on all matters.  He is greatly missed by those who knew and loved him.

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that Ralph R. Armstrong’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President



Memorial to
James Guy Beatty, Jr.
As prepared and presented by James M. Haley, IV

          It is, for me, a special privilege to pay tribute to someone whom I was honored to call my partner – Guy Beatty.

          James Guy Beatty, Jr. died on November 12, 2013, succumbing to the effects of a lengthy illness.  Guy was born in Atlanta in 1931.  He was a graduate of Sewanee Military Academy, the University of Florida, and Emory University Law School.  He was a member of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on Lookout Mountain.

          Guy is survived by his wife of over 50 years, Patricia Beatty; and two children, a son, Yarnell Beatty, of Brentwood, Tennessee and his wife, Elizabeth Beatty; and a daughter, Elizabeth Pierce of Richmond, Virginia and her husband, Paul Pierce, and by five grandchildren.

          When I joined Miller & Martin in 1975, Guy was, without formal title, the leader of our firm and the first partner to whose office I, as a new associate, was ushered. 

          As Miller & Martin recounts its storied history, Guy’s chapter will be written in bold print, for it would be impossible to overstate his importance to our firm. Miller & Martin has been fortunate to span three different centuries, and for us, Guy was the transformative figure of the 20th century. 

          As a corporate attorney, Guy, in our opinion, was without peer.

          He was corporate secretary of such prominent companies as the Navarre Corporation, Times Printing Company and Coca Cola Enterprises Inc., and a director of The Krystal Company, Brock Candy Company, Volunteer State Life Insurance Company, the Chubb Life Insurance Company, the Chattanooga Choo Choo and numerous other business enterprises.

          Guy also was counsel to a family of Coca Cola bottling companies including, Coca-Cola Bottling Company (Thomas) Inc., Johnston Coca Cola Bottling Company, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Miami, Coca Cola Bottling Company of St. Louis, and ultimately, Coca Cola Enterprises, which held the bottling rights to the vast majority of the United States.

          Guy also served as an executor and as trustee of the estates of the business icon, Thomas Carter Lupton, the founder of Lyndhurst Foundation, and his similarly philanthropic daughter, Elizabeth Lupton Davenport.

          The fierce client loyalties which Guy enjoyed were fashioned not only by his brilliant legal mind, but also by his uncanny ability to instill in his clients a sense of complete trust. They relied upon his business judgment and his legal advice implicitly, and they enjoyed a confidence that in him, they had a wise and savvy counselor and advisor.

          Guy’s civic and bar contributions were no less notable.  He was general counsel and secretary of the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga of which he also was a director and served as president from 1992 to 1994. 

          He was a member of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners of which he served as president and of the Board of Managers of the National Board of Law Examiners of which he ultimately served as chairman.  He was a member of the American, Tennessee and Georgia Bar Associations and of the Association of Life Insurance Counsel.  He was a member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association for several years.  In 1999, Guy was chosen as distinguished alumnus of Emory University Law School for which he served as a founding and later emeritus member of the law school counsel.

          Guy’s philosophy of law firm governance was as important to Miller & Martin as were his impressive array of clients and his other community and professional accomplishments.  Guy instinctively knew that mentoring and advancing younger lawyers, both with respect to the quality of the work to which they were assigned, and their compensation, were the keys to both the stability and growth of our firm. 

          His generosity and selflessness in sharing credit, responsibility, and income with our other attorneys set the bar for those that would succeed him, and gave us the credibility and stature to expand into other markets.

          No recollection of Guy would be complete without recalling his impeccable personal taste and regard for the finer things in life.  He was a discerning connoisseur - hand-tailored suits, vintage wines, classic martinis, five-star restaurants, exclusive boutique hotels, and renowned New York City jazz clubs.  To travel with Guy was to create a lifetime memory for younger lawyers such as me.

          Whatever prominence and success we as a firm have been able to enjoy, are directly attributable to Guy’s preeminence as an attorney and his vision for what Miller & Martin could be.  All of his colleagues at Miller & Martin revere his legacy and count themselves as his most fortunate beneficiaries. 

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that Guy Beatty’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President



Memorial to
Charles Josef Gearhiser
As prepared by R. Wayne Peters and Sam D. Elliott

          It is our honor to pay tribute to our friend and partner, Charles Joseph Gearhiser, who was taken from us far too soon on June 17, 2013. Charlie served his clients with zeal and integrity, his partners and associates with faithfulness and kindness, his profession with perception and wisdom, and his fellow man with humility and intellect.

          Charlie was born in Dyersburg, Tennessee on August 14, 1938.   His father was a Tennessee Highway Patrolman who was killed on duty when Charlie was two years old. His mother remarried and Charlie was raised and went to high school in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It was while he was in Oak Ridge that he met the love of his life, Joy.

          Charlie graduated from Austin Peay State University and received his J.D. from the University of Tennessee College of Law in 1961, graduating at the highest level of his class. In law school he was a member of the law review and the Order of Coif.

          Charlie began his legal career at the old Strang, Fletcher firm. He then took a job as law clerk to U.S. District Judge Frank W. Wilson, and served in that position during the historic Jimmy Hoffa trial in 1964.  Afterward, he was employed as Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, serving until 1966, when he rejoined private practice with Stophel, Caldwell and Heggie. In 1974, with Wayne Peters and Sid Carpenter, he started his own firm, which is today’s Gearhiser, Peters, Elliott & Cannon.   During this interval, Charlie served his community and his country as part-time United States Magistrate from 1967 to 1978.

          Charlie litigated numerous complex and difficult cases during his career, and tried over 100 cases to a jury verdict. He represented clients in complicated disputes, and was known for his ability to handle the most difficult tort and commercial cases, once bringing suit against a consortium of over 200 insurance companies to obtain a favorable result in favor of a catastrophically injured client. In the 1980’s, he was lead counsel for a number of the officers and directors of the failed Butcher banks of East Tennessee. Reflecting the high regard members of the bar had for his talent and professional judgment, Charlie was often consulted by and represented other lawyers in personal and professional liability matters.

           Charlie also strived to improve his community and profession, serving as Chairman of the Chattanooga Charter Revision Commission and as president of both the Chattanooga Bar Association and the Tennessee Bar Association, and as chairman of the Chattanooga Bar Foundation Fellows. The members of our profession recognized his leadership, devotion and professionalism with numerous honors. Among the more notable of these were membership in the American College of Trial Lawyers, being chosen a Charter Member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, Tennessee Chapter, as a Fellow of the Chattanooga, Tennessee and American Bar Foundations, and as a Life Member of the Judicial Conference for the Sixth Circuit. To the end of his days, judges and members of the bar frequently expressed the deep and well-deserved respect Charlie earned.

          Charlie was bright, he was innovative, and he had an incomparable sense of humor, whether it related to his work, what occurred in the office, or simply what went on in the world at large. He was a poet, writing both serious and humorous verses on a myriad of subjects. He loved being around other lawyers, he loved the heat of battle, he loved separating the wheat from the chaff in a case, he loved cross-examining recalcitrant witnesses, and he humbly appreciated the gratitude of the countless people he helped in the course of his career. He was a great lawyer because he was using the gifts God gave him to do what he loved—practice law.

           In the community, Charlie was known for his work with the Chattanooga Track Club, Chattanooga Track Foundation and the Golden Gloves. He was a member of the Chattanooga Rotary Club and he and Joy were members of First Centenary Methodist Church.

          Charlie loved the outdoors, and went camping, rafting and hiking all over the southeast. He loved to travel, and especially enjoyed extended trips out west on motorcycle rides and snowmobiling expeditions. Having been a great athlete as a young man, he loved sports all his life, and was a devoted Tennessee fan.

          Most of all, he deeply loved his wife, children and grandchildren, and treasured the time that he spent with them. The profoundest loss of his life was when his beloved Joy passed away in 2009.

          There is no way words in a resolution can properly reflect the outstanding qualities of our departed partner and friend, nor can they ever truly portray his bright intelligence, keen wit, and rare spirit. We remember him with fondness and respect, and with gratitude for his time with us.

           THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that Charles Josef Gearhiser’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

           BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President
 



Memorial to
Allan Geschwind
As prepared and presented by The Honorable S. Lee Akers


 
BE IT REMEMBERED, Allan Geschwind was born in 1943, and although raised in Bronx, New York, he was the requisite Southern Gentleman in both his personal and public life. Those of us lucky enough to have known him, found in Allan a unique individual with a brilliant mind, excellent legal skills, and honor in his heart.

We tend, however, to view attorneys from a legal perspective; that is much too narrow for Allan Geschwind. Allan was a gifted person. Allan was problem solver. Allan was a caring person. Allan enjoyed a wide variety of foods. Allan enjoyed cooking. Allan enjoyed his family. Allan enjoyed helping people. Allan was a voracious reader. Allan loved, appreciated, and collected art. But above all, he loved music.

Allan graduated from Performing Arts High School where he played the bassoon. He attended college at NYU Uptown and received his law degree from St. John’s University in New York. Allan was licensed in 1968 to practice law in the state of New York.

With his New York law license firmly in hand, Allan went straight…to the Peace Corps. He was sent to Brazil where he helped develop civil systems for impoverished communities. After his stint there, he came back to New York and joined VISTA, VOLUNTEERS IN SERVICE TO AMERICA, for a one-year stint to fight poverty in America. After that, Allan joined the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the EEOC, where he worked in improving working conditions for employees.

Allan was offered the opportunity to study music at The Juilliard School of Music with composer and pianist, Professor Kendall Durelle Briggs as his mentor. Professor Briggs’s specialty is J.S. Bach. One highlight of Allan’s life was learning to play Bach. While playing the piano, he would often tell his wife Tina he just could not believe he had achieved that accomplishment.

In 1993, Allan was admitted to practice law in Tennessee, although he continued to practice in New York as well.

Allan, always focused on helping others, had a long and varied career in civil rights, intellectual property, and estate planning. Allan and I loved to discuss decedent estates and how interesting the law and the facts made for such complex issues. Allan loved complicated issues and met them head-on. Allan spent his life focused on community, and used his training practice to enable others to overcome hardships and difficulties.

Allan served as a board member of the Chattanooga Choral Society for the Preservation of African Song. He was a long-time member of the Lookout Rowing Club. He also was a member of the Chattanooga Pipe Club. No, not the bagpipe or the pipe organ, it was the put-that-in-your-pipe-and-smoke-it kind. Allan loved his pipes.

Allan was a loving husband and father and an active member of his community. He enjoyed playing the piano, cooking & baking, the outdoors, reading, and especially, learning.

Allan died at the early age of 70 in the early hours of October 20, 2013, from complications of mesothelioma. He died peacefully surrounded by his family and close friend, Christine Buhr.

He is survived by his loving wife, Bettina, and daughters, Elyssa Helene and Madeleine Ilana, and son-in-law, Kevin Schnell, and many friends who have suffered a great loss in his passing.

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that Allan Geschwind’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President

 


Memorial to
Ben Haden
As prepared and presented by Susan Elliott Rich, Esq. and The Honorable William M. Barker


 
Presented by Susan Elliott Rich, Esq.:
Where do you start?  He was a minister, a newspaper man and a lawyer.  I have so many fond memories of him.

Ben was a friend and someone for whom I had and still have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration.  Did you know that up until a few years ago he attended each one of the Tennessee Law Institute seminars Don Payne use to oversee?  He did that even though he did not practice law and even though he was well past the age where continuing legal education was a requirement.  You have to admire a man who does that.  Most lawyers I know would not darken the door of a seminar if they did not have to.  Ben said he did it to keep his license.  I always teased him that that was a good idea in case he lost his touch in the preaching business.  In response, he always smiled that great smile of his!

On one occasion, the phone rang at home one evening and when I answered I was surprised to hear Ben on the other end.  Dallas, his daughter, was having a baby. Ben adored Dallas, he was worried, and wanted to talk to my husband, Steve, since he was an OB/GYN doctor.  Steve was in the shower but I rushed to get him out.  After an extended conversation, Steve allayed Ben's fears.  Ben always helped so many people it was an honor to be able to help Ben for once.  He later asked me how I got Steve to the phone so quickly.  I told Ben the truth - that I had told Steve God was on the phone.  Ben laughed.
Ben was so much fun.  He had a fabulous sense of humor, a hardy laugh, and joy in life.  Whenever I was at a party or event, I sought Ben out and most times we would sit next to one another at the dinner table.  We swapped stories and laughed most of the night.  One of those evenings as we were chatting, I noticed his hearing aid had come out.  I accused him of taking it out so he would not have to listen to me.  He had not but again, he smiled that great smile. 
 
How did Ben do everything he did?  He always was interested in other people.  He was so warm and approachable.  He truly cared about other people and could remember in amazing detail the details of their lives. I was fortunate enough to be one of the beneficiaries of his incredible memory.
Ben was a multifaceted and kind man.  One of the things he said was "Our God is a God of second chances."   He is, and Ben was.  Ben did not judge.  He had a worldwide outreach.  He touched the lives of so many.  He gave many people the much needed gift of a second chance and he always did it with that great smile and those engaging eyes. 

Presented by the Honorable William M. Barker:

Ben Haden was born in Fincastle, Virginia on October 18, 1925.  His father was a lawyer and judge.  He attended Woodberry Forest High School.   In later youth he lived in Houston, Texas and attended Lamar High School.  He matriculated at the University of Texas, where he was a campus leader, worked for the Daily Texan, booked bands and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. 

He continued his education at Washington & Lee University graduating from law school there.  But, he went into the gas distribution business as owner and president of Long Oil Company.  Subsequently, during the Korean War, he was a security operative with the Central Intelligence Agency. 

Mr. Haden was admitted to the Tennessee Bar in 1953, and although he never practiced law, he was very proud of his law degree and license and kept it current until the time of his death following a brief illness.

Mr. Haden met his future wife, Charlyne Edwards, at a wedding reception in Kingsport, Tennessee.  The third time they saw each other they were engaged.  The sixth time they saw each other they were married, on July 22, 1950.  The Hadens had one daughter, Dallas, born in Kingsport. 

Mr. Haden loved newspapers and advertising.  Following a mentoring process, he became Vice President and General Manager of the Kingsport Times-News.  He also was head of several civic organizations in Kingsport.

While in Kingsport, Mr. Haden accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and began teaching a Sunday school class and "sharing Christ" in various speaking engagements.  By 1960, he felt called to preach and enrolled at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta.  He was president of his class and graduated magna cum laude with honors. 

He was first called as pastor of Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church near Miami, where he served for four years.  He gave his testimony at several Billy Graham crusades. 

Chattanooga's First Presbyterian Church called Mr. Haden as its senior pastor in 1967.  It was not long afterward that he founded "Changed Lives" providing "a clear word about a clear Christ" through television, radio and print.

He was the voice of "Changed Lives" for 45 years and earlier was the voice of "The Bible Study Hour" for 2 years.  Millions heard him weekly on radio and television throughout the United States and via Armed Forces radio and television and in many nations of the earth.

He served his congregation for 31-1/2 years to capacity audiences.  He stepped down from the pastorate in 1999 and devoted his energies to "Changed Lives", which is located in Chattanooga. 

Not long after coming to Chattanooga, Mr. Haden received an honorary doctorate from King College in Bristol, Tennessee.  His style, however, was not to use either Dr. or Rev. before his name, preferring simply to be known as "Ben". 

Ben's riveting sermons were known for their simplicity.  He spoke as if he was having a conversation with a man on the street.  He eschewed the language of seminary graduates, though he graduated from Columbia Theological Seminary magna cum laude with honors and was president of his class.

His faithful witness was heard from the White House to national and state gatherings to Billy Graham crusades to countless church engagements. 

Despite the demands of his broadcast ministry, Ben pastored his congregation here in Chattanooga with intensity for over 31 years – from 1968 to 1999.  He married his flock, buried his flock, visited in hospital at all hours of the day and night, and counseled countless hours.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Charlyne Gay Edwards Haden; parents Judge Benjamin Haden and Anne Spiller Haden; and a sister, Lynn Haden Harvey. 

He is survived by his daughter, Dallas Haden Gibbons, son-in-law, Arthur Gibbons, and granddaughter Haden Gibbons, all of Lookout Mountain.

Following a brief illness, Mr. Haden left time and entered eternity on Thursday, October 24, 2013.  He was 88.

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that Ben Haden’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President
 




Memorial to
John Luther Lee III
As prepared by Benjamin T. Boyer


 
John Luther Lee III was born May 17, 1965, in Memphis, Tennessee and passed peacefully at a local Hospice facility on Sunday morning, Oct. 20, 2013 after a long battle with cancer. He graduated from East Ridge High School in 1983. John received his undergraduate degree from The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and his law degree from The University of Tennessee School of Law. John began his practice of law with Southeast Tennessee Legal Services in 1990. In 1997, John was briefly in private practice. He joined the Hamilton County District Attorney’s office on June 1, 1998. John participated as a community volunteer serving as a board member of The Boys and Girls Club of Chattanooga and The Alzheimer’s Association. He was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church since 1991. John married Shawn Kurrelmeier, who survives him along with his stepchildren Kristen Kelsay Belcher and Mak Kelsay.

As a prosecutor, John was always ready and willing to assist law enforcement officers who frequently sought his help. He taught at the Chattanooga Police Academy, at seminars for the Tennessee Attorneys General Conference and was instrumental in creating the Hamilton County Domestic Violence Task Force.

John’s special relationship with law enforcement extended beyond the courtroom: John was an experienced marksman who had attended several advanced firearms training schools and he loved going to the range and discussing firearms and tactics with police officers.
John served in the District Attorney’s Office in Hamilton County Criminal Court and with the Grand Jury Review Team. However, he most enjoyed the time he spent prosecuting in the Hamilton County General Sessions Court. John thrived in the often rough and tumble world of General Sessions Court. Though keenly aware of his duty as a prosecutor – to see that justice was done - John was never hesitant to seek just punishment when just punishment was deserved. One such well deserving criminal once referred to John a “red headed devil”. The name, of course, stuck.   

John’s battle with cancer was hard-fought. Doctor’s had to remove most of his liver. His cancer was a type that could not be cured but John fought it - engaging in a course of treatment that gave him a little more time to spend with those he loved. After diagnosis he bought a high-performance Pontiac and vowed to live the remainder of his life to the fullest always keeping in touch with his friends at work even though he could not return to the job that he loved so much. Eventually, the cancer would get worse and the drugs would no longer restrict it.  Though the cancer pained, fatigued and eventually took him – it never beat him. Even in the last few weeks of his life – when John knew he had so little time left - his welcoming smile and his courageous attitude greeted each of the many friends that visited him in his home.

John’s journey, for all of us who shared it, has been a testament to love and joy in living - and to courage and dignity in the face of death. We are left inspired by and in awe of the life of John Luther Lee III. He will forever be missed but never forgotten.

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that John Luther Lee’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President





 




Memorial to
The Honorable Edward “Butch” Snyder
As prepared by The Honorable Richard W. Gordon


 
Judge Edward “Butch” Snyder was simply one of the finest human beings I have ever met. He was humble and unpretentious. He was a person of rock-hard integrity, keen intelligence, abundant compassion and devotion to family and country. He was the epitome of what a jurist should be and we are all impoverished by his loss.

Following high school graduation, Butch enlisted in the US Marine Corps where he served from 1974-1977. Quickly rising to the rank of Sergeant, he assisted the US Department of State with embassy security in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.

Upon discharge, he joined the Chattanooga Police Department and was a police officer from 1978 to 1980.

Butch graduated with high honors from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in June 1982. He then graduated with honors from the Cecil C. Humphrey’s School of Law in Memphis with a Juris Doctor degree in May 1986.

Butch returned to the US Marine Corps in 1986 as a Judge Advocate, where he served as a prosecutor and later as a defense counsel. He left the Corps as a Captain in 1989 and came home to Chattanooga.

Private and corporate practice followed until he joined the Social Security Administration’s Office of Disability Adjudication and Review in Chattanooga in 1995. Butch advanced rapidly from his position as attorney advisor to senior attorney and special magistrate, to appointment as a U.S. Administrative Law Judge in 2008, and finally, to appointment as Chief Judge in 2011.

No tribute or remembrance of Judge Snyder should pass without a reference to his lighter/softer side. He loved to laugh, but never at the expense of another person.

Butch could be serious at times; such as when he took six months to choose just the perfect color of paint for a lake house he was renovating and, after he painted the walls, another three months to convince himself that he had made the right selection.

Butch wasn’t afraid to poke fun of himself.  He often told a story of working in Memphis while awaiting Bar results. At that time, the Bar results were posted in Nashville at the Supreme Court. Butch asked a friend in Nashville to call him on the day when the Bar results were in. The day went by and there was no phone call. Finally, in desperation, Butch called his friend who begrudgingly told him that his name was not posted on the pass list. In shock, Butch momentarily dropped the phone. He composed himself and, ever the gentleman, picked up the phone to thank his friend. Butch’s friend told him how sorry he was, but he had checked and rechecked the Bar results list, but there was no Butch Snyder on it. Butch’s friend then said: “But there was an Edward Snyder.”
And Butch had a softer side; He had two dogs, Claire and Bitsy. They were the joy of his life. He called Bitsy, who was a Chihuahua: Itsy Bitsy Snyder. When Judge Snyder held court, he always placed a small picture of Bitsy on the bench. He told me that when lawyers and claimants became difficult, he would simply look down at the picture of Bitsy and it would bring him great calm.

It is because of stories like these that we will never say goodbye to Butch, for he will always be with us.

 THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, in a special memorial session on this 7th day of March, 2014, that Judge Edward “Butch” Snyder’s good deeds and kindness be memorialized through this Resolution, and be adopted by this Association as words of respect, praise and memory.

 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a copy of this Resolution be filed in the archives of the Chattanooga Bar Association and be enrolled in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and that a copy be presented to his family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held, as an expression of our very deep sympathy and our mutual loss.

CHATTANOOGA BAR ASSOCIATION
(signed) Timothy L. Mickel, President