Retired Chancellor Edward G. Cortright Jr. died August 11

August 13, 2021

Retired Chancery Judge Edward G. Cortright Jr. died Aug. 11. He was 94.

A graveside service is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 21, at 10 a.m. at Glenwood Cemetery in Yazoo City. Stricklin-King Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Judge Cortright grew up in Yazoo City and lived there until 2006, when he moved to St. Catherine’s Village in Madison.

He was appointed twice by the Governor to serve as a special chancellor of the 11th Chancery District, in 1966 and again in 1969. He was elected to the 11th Chancery bench in 1970 and took office Jan. 1, 1971. The district includes Yazoo, Holmes, Leake and Madison counties. He retired in 1997. He continued to hear cases as a senior status judge for a number of years. He also sat by appointment as a special justice of the Supreme Court in 2005.

Retired Chancellor William Lutz of Ridgeland remembered Judge Cortright as a learned chancellor and a wonderful mentor. Judge Lutz practiced law before Judge Cortright, then worked alongside him as a chancellor.

“He taught a lot of young lawyers,” Judge Lutz said. “He knew the law. He was practical. He was mild-mannered but demanding. He never lost his temper. He never raised his voice.”

Edward G. Cortright Jr. was born Dec. 20, 1926, in Yazoo City. He attended Virginia Military Institute, then served in the United States Army Air Corp. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Mississippi in 1949 and a law degree at the University of Virginia in 1952. He was admitted to the Mississippi Bar in 1952. He engaged in the general practice of law in Yazoo City for 18 years. He served as a Yazoo City alderman from 1957 to 1961.

Judge Cortright served as chairman of the Conference of Chancery Judges and was a member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Rules for 14 years, 1983-1997. He was a Bencher in the Charles Clark Inn of Court. After retirement, he was active in Red Cross relief efforts and served as chairman of the Disaster Committee.

Judge Cortright was married to Mary Ann Holmes Cortright for 68 years. They have three children: Elsie Hendrickson of Madison, Mary Nell Prichard of Jackson, and Ed Cortright of Asheville, NC. He is also survived by four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, two step grandchildren and four step great grandchildren.