Memorial Resolutions 2004 | Chattanooga Bar Association

Memorial Resolutions 2004


Memorial to 
Eugene Newton Collins 
As prepared by Josiah Baker 

        Gene Collins was born in Chattanooga January 3, 1927. He died August 26, 2004. It has been said that there is a time to be born and a time to die; and that the measure of a man is what happens in between. The measure of this man was great. Gene received his education in Chattanooga. After graduating from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Navy for a short term. Upon re-entering civilian life he attended the University of Chattanooga  and graduated under an accelerated program in 1948. Gene graduated from Vanderbilt Law School in 1951 after progressing through the accelerated course that most of us took in those days.

        He was married to Mildred Jacqueline Fogo in 1948, and began law practice with her father, Byron Mills Fogo. Gene was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives in 1952 and was re-elected in 1954. His service there was for two terms: 1953 through 1957. During the second term he was elected Majority Floor Leader at age 28, the youngest in the history of the State at that time -- a distinction which, I believe, still holds today. 

        In his practice of law Gene practiced with Mr. Fogo and also served as an Assistant District Attorney, under Corry Smith. 

        Gene next served for seven years as Assistant City Attorney with Mr. Joe Anderson. This was back in the days before we had a City Code and before copy machines were available. The City Ordinances were kept in the City Attorney’s office, and Mr. Anderson, upon request, might let a lawyer look at the ordinances, if he felt the interests of the City would be served.

        Gene became City Attorney, upon Mr. Anderson’s retirement, in 1963. It was under Gene’s service in that office that the first City Code (1968) was published being readily available to all. In 1975 and 1976, Gene Collins was the elected President of NIMLO, the National Institute of Municipal Law Officers, which was an outstanding honor bestowed upon Gene and national recognition to this City. Gene served Chattanooga with courage and distinction until he retired in 1990. 

        Surviving him are his wife, “Millie Jack,” and five children: Dr. David N. Collins; Debra Collins Fairey; Cathy Collins Elser; Nancy Collins Petty: and Kevin Collins.

        There are a lot of memories of Gene Collins that I could share. He was a worthy and well-qualified City Attorney. His record attests to that, and most folks around Chattanooga know that. Now, I want to share here some thoughts about Gene that many may not know. 

        He not only knew the law and how to practice it, he was also a student of history and the classics and the honorable art of politics. 

        Gene always carried with him a folded paper with a quotation from Teddy Roosevelt:

  "Far better it is to dare mighty things 
   To win glorious triumphs, 
   Even though checkered with failures, 
   Than to take rank with those poor spirits 
   Who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, 
   Because they live in that gray twilight 
   That knows neither victory nor defeat."

        This is a good principle for anyone's  guidance. But it is especially appropriate for trial lawyers. They enter the courtroom to strive for a result, but with no certainty of outcome until the contest is over and the judge has posed the ritualistic question : 

"Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, have you reached a verdict?"

        There are times when one must have the courage to risk an occasional defeat in order to gain great victories. Gene lived by that principle and encouraged others to do so.

        Gene was the classic southern gentleman. He was a southerner, through and through, down to the marrow of his bones. Throughout the many years that I knew him, he kept on his office wall a plaque with the words of Edward Ward Carmack:

"The South is a land that has known sorrows; it is a land that has broken the ashen crust and moistened it with tears; a land scarred and riven by the plowshares of war..., but a land of legend, a land of song, a land of hallowed and heroic memories.

"To that land every drop of my blood, every fiber of my being, every pulsation of my heart is consecrated forever. I was born of her womb; I was nurtured at her breast; and when my last hour shall come. I pray God that I may be pillowed upon her bosom and rocked to sleep within her tender and encircling arms."

    Gene Collins served with strength and integrity. He kept a steady hand on the rudder to guide his client through the rocks and shoals of turbulent times, whenever necessary, 

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that Eugene Newton Collins’ 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 and as an expression of our very deep sympathy in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
Ann Gaines Darlington 
As prepared by The Honorable Suzanne Bailey

        Ann Gaines Darlington was born on November 5, 1954, in Cincinnati, Ohio. After living in Jackson, Mississippi with her parents, Robert (Jack) and Beth Darlington for several years, she moved with her family to Memphis, Tennessee. Ann Gaines spent much of her free time during her elementary school years acting as her father's unofficial assistant in his laboratory at St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, where he was the hospital's first electron microscopist. She learned to experience loss the hard way at an early age, having attempted to adopt a number of the hospital's laboratory animals as pets.

        Upon graduation from White Station High School, Ann Gaines attended Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, graduating in 1976. Following college, Ann Gaines pursued graduate studies at the University of Richmond and the University of Kentucky, before deciding to become a lawyer. She enrolled at Washington & Lee University School of Law in 1979, graduating in 1982.

        Ann Gaines practiced law in Knoxville for several years with the firm of Lockridge & Becker. She moved to Chattanooga in 1986. After working in Senator Ward Crutchfield's office for two years, Ann Gaines established her own practice which she maintained for the rest of her life. Ann Gaines had developed an acute interest in child welfare, and limited her practice to family law matters. She received the greatest satisfaction from assisting parents in adopting children and in mediating resolutions to family law disputes.

        Ann Gaines did not limit her professional assistance to the roles of advocate and mediator. Following the tragic death of Sheila Russell, Ann Gaines worked as a Child Support Referee at Juvenile Court on a regular part-time basis for several years. In that capacity, she presided over cases involving the establishment of parentage, setting support and enforcing the support orders of the Court. Ann Gaines made certain, however, that the parties appearing before her understood that the cases were not just about paying support but about taking responsibility for the children. Through that fair but firm manner of hers that we all knew so well, she reminded each parent of his or her role in insuring their child's well being and the consequences if they did not.

        Ann Gaines believed strongly that lawyers have a moral obligation to donate their services to those who cannot afford those services. In support of her beliefs, she was very active in the Chattanooga Pro Bono program, and was the recipient of the first Bruce C. Bailey Volunteer Lawyer of the Year award. For many years, Ann Gaines worked actively with the Chattanooga Bar Association. She was chairperson of the Family Law Committee, and served a two year term as a member of the Board of Governors. She also served several years as a member of the Law Library Commission, including her tenure as Chairperson of the Commission. In 1998, in recognition of her service to the profession, she received the Albert Hodge Award.

        Ann Gaines' civic contributions were not limited to the legal profession. She was a 15 year member of the Chattanooga Area Volunteer Support Committee, which is dedicated to providing support services and gifts at Christmas for this area's foster children. During her tenure as President of the Committee, the Chattanooga Chapter was awarded statewide Volunteer Support Committee of the Year.

       Ann Gaines is survived by her husband of 20 years, Scott McDearman, and her mother, Beth Darlington.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that Ann Gaines Darlington’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 her family as a token of the esteem and honor in which he has been held and as an expression of our very deep sympathy in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
Harry Kenneth Hays 
As prepared by Glenn T. McColpin

        Harry Kenneth Hayes was a native of Elrama, Pennsylvania, and the son of the late Mary Elizabeth McGinn Hays. He was a graduate of Clairton High School in Clairton, Pennsylvania, and attended West Virginia Wesleyan University. He graduated from Tennessee Temple University and graduated from the Nashville Night Law School with a doctorate in Jurisprudence.

        Harry was a member of First Baptist Church, the Chattanooga, Trial Lawyers Association, Chattanooga Bar Association and Tennessee Association of Private Investigators.

        Harry is survived by his wife, Loyce Carden Hays; daughter, Mary Hays of Chattanooga; brother Robert O. Hays of Albuquerque, New Mexico; brother and sister-in-law, Williams and Marsha Hays of Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania; and several nieces and nephews.

        Harry generously donated his body to Vanderbilt University for research. He requested that anyone wishing to remember his legacy, do so by donating in memoriam to the First Baptist Church Education Fund.

        Harry Kenneth Hays will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Our community has lost a trusted member and friend.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that Harry Kenneth Hayes’ 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 and as an expression of our very deep sympathy in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
The Honorable Ralph H. Kelley 
As prepared by The Honorable John C. Cook

        A congressional page, a soldier, a lawyer, a state representative, a mayor, a judge, a husband, and a father–yes, Judge Ralph Kelley was all of these.  But, as we all know, Judge Kelley was much more than the roles he served.  For it was how he served in those roles that made Judge Kelley an extraordinary and unforgettable man– a man of great wisdom and common sense, a man with superb leadership and communication skills, a man with a wonderful sense of humor, a man who loved people, his community, and his profession, and a man who passionately loved his family–his loving wife Barbara, and his three daughters, Laura, Ellen, and Karen. 

        Ralph Houston Kelley was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on September 23, 1928. At the age of 12, Judge Kelley was appointed to be a congressional page in Washington, DC, for the then Tennessee Representative Estes Kefauver. He subsequently became the first page ever to be named as speaker’s page, working exclusively for Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn until 1946.

        Thereafter, Judge Kelley enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and served until his discharge in 1949. Upon his discharge, Judge Kelley returned to Chattanooga and enrolled in the University of Chattanooga where he received a B.A. degree, majoring in Political Science.  He then entered Vanderbilt University law school, and subsequently received his J.D. degree in 1954. He and classmate Joe DiRisio opened a law office in Chattanooga later that same year, and soon Clarence Shattuck joined them in the practice.  Eventually, all three of these lawyers became judges in our city.

        Judge Kelley’s early years of public service included two years as Assistant Attorney General for Hamilton County, and two years in the Tennessee House of Representatives.  In 1963, Judge Kelley was elected Mayor of Chattanooga.  He served as mayor during the height of the Civil Rights Movement when racial tensions often led to violence in many southern cities.  Judge Kelley worked skillfully and diligently to promote good race relations in Chattanooga during this period and because of his efforts, Chattanooga did not experience the violence that was seen in so many other cities.  Judge Kelley’s unique skills at bringing people together to communicate and to settle disputes peacefully were clearly evident during his early years.

        In late 1968, U.S. District Judge Frank Wilson appointed Judge Kelley to serve as Referee in Bankruptcy, and Judge Kelley began his long and illustrious judicial career in January 1969.  He retired as Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee in 1993, but continued to serve as a bankruptcy judge in recall status until his death on June 24, 2004.  

        During his tenure on the bench, Judge Kelley worked tirelessly at improving the bankruptcy system not only at the local level, but also at the national level. He testified a number of times before Congress concerning pending legislation and bankruptcy issues; he served on the Budget Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States for ten years; he was President of the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges from 1985-86; and he served for many years on the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges’ Legislative Affairs Committee both as a member and committee chairman. When something needed to be done for the court system on the national level, bankruptcy judges, and many district and circuit judges, would look to Judge Kelley for guidance, advice, and leadership. Judge Kelley’s political skills and judgment were simply unsurpassed when it came to accomplishing important goals for the judiciary.

         Throughout his life, Judge Kelley received many honors and recognitions which included the Herbert M. Bierce Distinguished Judicial Service award presented by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by the Chattanooga Bar Association, the Distinguished Service Award for Lifetime Achievement presented by the National Conference of Bankruptcy Clerks, the National Association of Chapter 13 Trustees, and the Mid-South Commercial Law Institute.  He was elected Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy Judges in 1987, elected Fellow of both the Chattanooga Bar Foundation and the American College of Bankruptcy in 1992, was a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Committee on Consumer Bankruptcy of the American Bankruptcy Institute, and he was a Life Member of the Tennessee Jaycees.  

        Judge Kelley was a member of the  Kiwanis Club of Chattanooga (former president), a member of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, Federal, and American Bar Associations, a member of the Episcopal Church of SouthEast Tennessee, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Christ Episcopal Church, a member of the Chattanooga Music Club, the Chattanooga Jaycees, the Chattanooga Boating Club (past commodore), the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the Exchange Club of Chattanooga, the Chattanooga Half-Century Club, and Lambda Chi Alpha.  

        Looking back over Judge Kelley’s life, one sees a life dedicated to public service and to people. Judge Kelley’s lifetime accomplishments and achievements are so numerous and varied that it is impossible to capture in a few paragraphs the full extent of this man’s contributions to his fellow citizens.  All of us here simply know that the impact Judge Kelley had on this community and on his profession was profound and unforgettable.     

        While it would be easy to talk in some detail about the many talents and abilities that Judge Kelley possessed,  I would like  to close these remarks by mentioning a particular attribute of Judge Kelley that I think benefitted so many people over the course of his life, an attribute that I mentioned during the reception following his funeral. Judge Kelley had a remarkable way of dealing with people, and he always struck me as a peacemaker. He had an uncanny ability to sway people from hardened positions to positions of compromise and agreement. He brought people together. He facilitated consensus. And he achieved results beyond what conflicting parties were able to accomplish on their own. One of the reasons Judge Kelley was able to achieve so many peaceful and satisfying solutions to problems is because he was so skillful in being able to reduce a problem to its essential components or core, and then he helped parties find solutions that represented a real and effective compromise. Judge Kelley was so effective at bringing people in conflict together because people trusted Judge Kelley, they looked up to him, they respected him, they liked him, and they found him to be a wise, practical, and caring man. Yes, Judge Kelley had many outstanding attributes and talents, but to me, I’ll remember him most vividly as a masterful peacemaker and a wonderful colleague. He was truly someone very special. His life was so full, so productive, so meaningful, and now so missed. Our legal community, our bankruptcy court family, judges from across the country, and the citizens of Chattanooga will always remember Judge Ralph Houston Kelley as one of our best.

        THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that The Honorable Ralph H. Kelley’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 in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
J. Thomas Mann 
As prepared by The Honorable W. Neil Thomas, III

        Tom Mann, who was born in Asheville, North Carolina, passed away on April 15, 2004.  He graduated from Lee Edwards High School as vice president of the student body and was later graduated from Davidson College with a degree in philosophy. After serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army in Korea, he received his law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1956, where he was on the Law Review.

        He moved to Chattanooga in September, 1956, beginning his law career with the firm of Folts, Bishop & Thomas and enjoyed a long career in trial and appellate practice.  His cases included one which was argued in the United States Supreme Court, Paty v. McDaniel.

        Tom served as President of the Hamilton County Tuberculosis Association, Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department and Chairman of the Juvenile Court Commission.  He was also a member of the Board of Directors of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Bicentennial Library from 1969 to 1977 and a member of the Mountain City Club. He served as Secretary and Vice President of the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners from 1969 to 1973. In 1967 Tom was included in "Who's Who in the South and Southwest," and in 1977 he received a key to the city.

        Tom was also an accomplished pianist and possessed one of the few Bosendorfer pianos in the United States.

        I had the privilege of practicing with Tom from 1976 to 1992, and his legal mind was exceptional.  He had the rare capability of actually seeing in advance the legal result of a set of facts, a rare quality in today's trial attorneys who see only a monetary result from a set of facts. 

        THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that J. Thomas Mann’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 in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
The Honorable John Millican 
As prepared by Walter F. Williams, Judge (ret.)

        It is said that it is not important how long a person lives; the real question is how a person lived. What did the person do to contribute to society and his fellow man? Did he make a difference in the life of somebody?

        Truly, Judge John Millican, with all of his human imperfections, loved people. He really wanted to help those who were downtrodden. He knew that to be of service to others he would have to prepare himself for the challenges of life. Therefore, he decided to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Later he went on to earn the Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University Law Center in 1995. Additional studies were completed at Lincoln University in Oxford, Pennsylvania. 

        After obtaining his education, he found his way to Chattanooga where I was one of the first people he visited. Being a good fraternity man (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity) I quickly introduced him to several persons and arranged for him to interview with several law firms. After introducing Judge Millican to Rheubin Taylor, we both arranged for him to meet District Attorney General Bill Cox and suggested he would be an asset to his office. General Cox accepted our recommendation and John began his job of helping countless defendants who would find their way in General Sessions Court. His efforts in trying to help those who found themselves on the other side of the law will never be forgotten. 

        Judge Millican was an active member of Overcoming Faith Christian Center in Athens, Tennessee. He often enjoyed speaking to younger persons regarding his life experiences and how to prepare themselves for the future.

        I am sure that his efforts and general caring for others led to his selection and ultimate appointment as Judge of Chattanooga City Court. While judge, he continued to help persons who appeared before him.

        As an Alpha man, I know that John held dear to the Fraternity’s motto of: “Servants of All; We Shall Transcend All.” 

        Judge Millican left behind to mourn his passing his loving wife, Malika; two children, Heather and Logan; and a host of other relatives and friends. He will be sadly missed but not forgotten.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that the Honorable John Millican’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 and as an expression of our very deep sympathy in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
Charles O. Ragan 
As prepared by The Honorable Russell Bean

        When I first attended these memorial services as a young lawyer I did not personally know the people that we were honoring and remembering. Now as we honor those who have left us, they were my friends and I share in their memory. I find that this service is not a time for grieving but for a time to remember the good deeds.

        Charles Oliver Ragan was born on a snowy day on December 23, 1935 in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was the first son to his parents, Charles O. Ragan and Janette Butler Ragan. Seven years later Charlie’s brother, Bud, was born. The Ragans were a happy, good natured family living in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Charlie always said that his maternal grandparents helped to raise him as his father had to work out of town a lot. His maternal grandparents were Roy and Allie Sue Butler. His grandfather Butler would take Charlie to many sporting events. At this young age Charlie obtained his love for athletics. He was always one of the University of Tennessee Volunteers biggest fans. Charlie gave the Butlers credit for being a big influence in his life.  Also his paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister. Through the combination of his parents and both sets of grandparents, Charlie obtained the traits of a hard working, good humored person who knew how to enjoy life.

        Fortunately for us when Charles was 10 years old the Ragan family moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee. There Charlie kept a close relationship with his younger brother Bud that lasted throughout their lives. During his youth Charlie attended the Brainerd Methodist Church and was active in scouting. Charlie attended Chattanooga City High School where he obtained many lifetime friendships and graduated in 1953. After graduation he returned to Knoxville to attend college at the University of Tennessee.  At this time he lived with his grandparents, the Butlers in Fountain City. Charlie graduated from UT with a B.S. degree in business administration and was enrolled in the University of Tennessee College of Law.  During Charlie’s college and law school years he would work at various jobs to help pay for  his education. Some of those jobs included driving a linen truck for Chattanooga Linen, driving a bread truck and also delivering mail for the U.S. Postal Service.

        Once while in Chattanooga, during a break from law school, Charlie met Polly Kimsey.  Polly was in the nursing school at Erlanger Hospital. They were introduced in the Hospital Cafeteria.  From then on it wasn’t Charlie, it was Charlie and Polly. The couple dated, fell in love, and on April 19, 1958, they were married.

        At this time Charlie left law school and the couple moved to Atlanta and then to Orlando for a few years with Charlie working in business. However, Charlie’s desire was to return to law school. The Ragans moved back to Knoxville and Polly worked as a nurse while Charlie attended school. Times were hard and the couple ran out of money. They returned to Chattanooga where both worked and saved up enough money for Charlie to complete law school. As you can tell I am mentioning Polly as much as Charlie.  That’s because they had become inseparable.

        Upon completing law school Charlie went to work for the Tennessee Highway Department obtaining land for highways.  After a few years he went into the general practice of law.  

        Fortunately for myself, he then obtained a position with my father, Crawford Bean’s law firm. Leroy Phillips was a partner and I came into the firm not long afterwards.  I found Charlie could be serious minded but always kept a sense of humor.  He was an excellent lawyer. His specialty developed into Bankruptcy. He moved his  offices to the Professional Building, then to the First Tennessee Bank Building, and finally to the Flatiron Building. He practiced law with many fine upstanding attorneys of the Chattanooga Bar. Charlie gained the reputation of being one of the best bankruptcy attorneys in Chattanooga.  His good naturedness made him one of the most popular members of the Chattanooga Bar. One attorney wrote of Charlie that he was always smiling, always friendly, and always a gentleman. To meet him on the street one would think that he had been waiting all day to see you. Another attorney stated that Charlie was always accommodating even in a legal adversary position.  Another wrote, I cannot think of a more kinder and gentler attorney, a remarkable man. Because of this popularity one year Charlie was selected as president of the Chattanooga Trial Lawyers. Also through the years he had a special relationship with the staff, attorneys, and judges of the Federal Bankruptcy Court. When Charlie announced his retirement from the practice of law because of health reasons there were hugs for him all through the Bankruptcy Court.  He was also extremely good to his secretaries and staff at his law offices. One secretary exclaimed, “although we worked hard it was a joy to work for Mr. Ragan”.  

        One of Charlie’s favorite times each year was when Charlie and a group of friends, lawyers, and judges would go on a fishing trip to Destin, Florida. The fishing group and many of Charlie’s close friends would call him Charlie O. To his clients he was called Mr. Ragan. To Polly he was called Charles. To his brother Bud he was called Chas. To the rest he was called Charlie.  What ever his name, we all knew that he was loyal to his clients, family, and friends. We all have different fond memories of Charlie Ragan. I personally will always remember his laugh. I recall once when we were in England on a legal seminar. Charlie, Polly, my wife and myself rented a car to tour England. As most of you know you drive on the opposite side of the road and the steering wheel is on the right side. I was driving and as we came over a hill there was a beautiful site. I yelled to my wife, slow down, slow down. She looked at me and answered I can’t you’re driving. Charlie laughed so hard that he fell in the back floor board.

        I got to hear that laugh a last time in Houston, Texas in September of 2004.  Charlie and my brother Martin were out there being treated for their illnesses. To show the compassion that Charlie had, my brother was having surgery and Charlie and Polly came up even in his weakened condition and waited with me all day through Martin’s surgery. We had a lot of good talks and laughs during that period of time. I know from discussions with Charlie that he was grateful to Lynda Hood and the Chattanooga Bar Association for their support of him during that crisis. He and Polly were also grateful to the Houston Bar Association who donated blood to Charlie while he was out there. He was extremely grateful to his loving brother, Bud, who donated stem cells for his treatment. He told me that he was so grateful to all those affiliated with the Bankruptcy Court who had been so nice to him and he was grateful to all of his friends for standing by him during this crisis. Most of all he was grateful to his loving wife Polly.  

        Unfortunately, on October 21, 2004, we lost Charlie in Houston, Texas and as always, his loving wife of 46 years, Polly was there. He leaves as an immediate family, his wife Polly and his brother Bud. When I left Charlie in September, I truly thought I would see him again. I still think I will.

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that Charles O. Ragan’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 and as an expression of our very deep sympathy in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President 

 

Memorial to 
The Honorable John Boone Taylor 
As prepared by Russell King

        John Boone Taylor was born in Chattanooga on March 26, 1925.  He was the son of Harry T. Taylor and Etta King Taylor and was the youngest of six children.  John attended East Chattanooga Elementary School, Hardy Junior High School and Central High School before joining the U.S. Army and serving in Europe during World War II.  He fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded the military’s third highest honor, the Bronze Star for Valor.

        After the war he returned home and as so many of our soldiers did after World War II, he used the benefits of the G.I. bill to attend college, later becoming the first person in his family to earn a college degree. John graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College but came away with more than a degree because during his time in Athens he  met and married Mary Reed Taylor and their marriage of 57 years was only ended by his death earlier this year.

        John and Mary moved to Florida where he attended Stetson Law School, but later they had to move back to Chattanooga and John enrolled at McKenzie Law School where he graduated.  After passing the Bar he practiced law with several prominent attorneys eventually becoming a partner in the law firm of Schoolfield and Taylor.

        After working as an attorney for over 25 years, John Taylor was appointed as City Judge in 1982, and subsequently he was reelected to two terms as City Judge where he faithfully served until his retirement in 1995. 

        Judge Taylor had a wide variety of interests including boating and golfing, but more than anything else he was devoted to his church and family. He served as a deacon at Chattanooga’s First Presbyterian Church where he attended for many years, before moving his membership to Hixson Presbyterian Church where he was a member until his death.

        John Taylor always had a dry and witty sense of humor.  One of the most difficult days in his law practice came with the infamous New Year’s Day fire at the Professional Building where his law office was located along with the offices of many other Chattanooga attorneys.  Surveying the scene with several other lawyers, John remarked “Does anybody know where I can get some good fire insurance?” 

        As a jurist Judge Taylor was stern but fair and was always consistent in his rulings.  During his years as City Judge he held Court in both the City Court Building on Lindsay Street behind City Hall as well as in the new Courts Building.  As most of you here would imagine the really good stories that we could tell on Judge Taylor came during the days on Lindsay Street. The 8:00 a.m. docket would begin with the arrests for public drunk from the night before.  New offenders were let off with a stern warning but for the repeat offenders, which was most of them, it was a $50.00 fine and 30 days in the workhouse.  One morning a particularly troublesome drunk was awarded the 30 days in the workhouse.  The gentleman was taken downstairs and promptly transferred to the workhouse at Silverdale.  Judge Taylor continued with his docket which went into the early afternoon.  On his way home driving down 11th Street someone stepped off the sidewalk directly into the path of his car and Judge Taylor had to take evasive action to keep from striking the pedestrian.  He stopped his car to check on the person and then realized it was the same man he put in jail a few hours before.  He promptly called the warden, Flop Fuller, and told him “I gave him 30 days, not 30 minutes!”   

        Another defendant who was convicted of public drunk received a suspended sentence. After he had been released from custody he came back up into the Courtroom and waited to see Judge Taylor. After Court, Judge Taylor saw the man in chambers who thanked him for suspending his sentence but asked the Judge if he would also suspend his son’s sentence.  The two lived in Rossville but regularly came up to the drinking establishments on the Tennessee side of Rossville Boulevard, but the son, in addition to being drunk, was also convicted of disorderly conduct and assault.  The Judge lectured the father on his drinking and for setting a bad example for his son who now had the additional problems, and Judge Taylor warned him that there was more heartache to come if he didn’t change his ways.  Judge Taylor went on to advise the man  that he and his son would be better served if they remained in Georgia and did their partying in Georgia and not to come back to Tennessee. The old gentleman looked puzzled and then said to Judge Taylor, “I guess you are going to have to take that sign down.”  Judge Taylor then in puzzlement replied “What sign?” And the gentleman said “You know, the one down there on the boulevard that says ‘Welcome to Tennessee’”. Judge Taylor laughed so hard he cried but he still didn’t suspend the son’s 30 day sentence.

        There were a lot of great times down on 11th and Lindsay; those were the days when two Judges shared one Courtroom with one docket starting at 8:00 a.m. and sometimes running through without a lunch break until the 3:00 p.m. docket.  Sometimes the Judge on the afternoon docket would  have to start trying cases in his office until the 8:00 a.m. docket was completed and then it was not unusual for the 3:00 p.m. docket  not to be completed until almost midnight.  Judge Taylor was faithful and performed his duties as a lawyer and a Judge humbly, honestly and in the highest traditions of our Jurisprudence.  

        In an editorial published in the Chattanooga Times-Free Press the day of John’s funeral, Lee Anderson wrote:

        “John Taylor was a man of even temperament who devoted himself to seeking real justice for everyone who came before him.

        He was a fine Christian gentleman who was devoted to his family and to the private practice of law and the administration of justice.

        Judge Taylor will be remembered with respect and appreciation.”

        Judge John Taylor will be greatly missed by his wife of 57 years, Mary, his children, Steve and Lee Anne, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild and a host of friends and neighbors.  

        THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED in a special Memorial Session on this 28th day of February, 2005, that The Honorable John Boone Taylor’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 and as an expression of our very deep sympathy in our mutual loss.

Chattanooga Bar Association 
(signed) Michael K. Alston, President