Gartin Building Courtroom with the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi

Memorial service held for deceased Mississippi Bar members

October 15, 2002

The Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Supreme Court on Tuesday honored 63 members of the bar who died during the past year.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman said the dead were "people who have contributed throughout their lifetimes to the profession and to the sanctity of the law."

Mississippi Bar President Donald Dornan of Biloxi, who delivered the eulogy, noted that some of the deceased had served the legal profession more than 60 years. And, he said, "We know some whose lives were cut short before they were able to realize their full potential."

The dead included two former bar presidents, former legislators, former judges and an array of community leaders.

Dornan said, "We remember not only the renowned, but the rank and file, mainstream lawyers."

Supreme Court Justice George C. Carlson, in the response on behalf of the court, said, "Of those names read, I heard the names of a law school classmate, a first cousin, a former trial judge, public servants, and those who went quietly about their way on a daily basis in their respective communities, practicing law, helping people, doing good, and seeking no recognition for their efforts. It has been said, it is one thing to do our job well when everyone is watching us, but it is altogether different and commendable when we do our job well, even when no one is looking or paying even the slightest attention to us."

Carlson said, "With these lawyers whom we honor and remember today, civility, ethics, and professionalism were important to them. These were not simply buzz-words to them, but words which had life and meaning and significance, and most importantly, these words described a way of life for these lawyers and represented a road map to the way they practiced law on a daily basis. "

"They were Godly people who went out into the world on a daily basis and witnessed in a positive way for their fellow human beings," Carlson said.

Carlson cited Micah 6:8: "And what does the Lord require of you but to act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly before your God."

Carlson said, "Those lawyers whom we remember today followed this Old Testament precept, and should we not also?"

Mississippi Bar Memorial Committee Chairman John Crawford of Jackson slowly read the 63 names as two other bar members lit white tapers, one for each of the deceased.

Crawford read a proclamation memorializing the deceased.

"One the one hand, we grieve with their families and friends, yet, on the other, we joyfully remember them for their many contributions to the profession, to the community, and to their families," Crawford said.

More than 120 family and friends packed the Supreme Court Chambers at the Gartin Justice Building in Jackson for the ceremony.

A list of the deceased follows on page two.