Family, friends, and members of the Chattanooga Bar Association gathered together on March 7 to honor the members of the bench and bar who passed away last year. The ceremony in the County Commission Room of the Hamilton County Courthouse was at times solemn, at times humorous, and always respectful of those who had committed their lives to the pursuit of the law.
Judge W. Neil Thomas, III, the presiding judge, called upon Bar President Timothy Mickel to provide opening remarks. Mickel said the men being memorialized had truly made a difference in the Bar and in their community, and thanked their family members for being at the ceremony.
“The purpose of this ceremony is not only to honor these great lawyers but also to thank you and to honor you for your own sacrifice and commitment to this bar. We’re not always the easiest people to love. Like the beautiful and exotic orchids we all think ourselves to be, we do require constant care.”
Judge Thomas then began calling those who would be presenting the resolutions for filing in the archives of the bar and enrolling in the Memorial Resolution Book of the Circuit and Chancery Courts of Chattanooga.
The Honorable Edward “Butch” Snyder
Died June 1, 2013
Resolution prepared and presented by the Honorable Richard Gordon
Quote: “Judge Edward ‘Butch’ Snyder was one of the finest human beings I’ve ever met. He was humble and unpretentious. He was a person of rock hard integrity, keen intelligence, abundant compassion, and devotion to family and county. We are all impoverished by his loss.”
Ralph Russell Armstrong
Died June 8, 2013
Resolution prepared and presented by Eric Armstrong
Quote: “Ralph Russell Armstrong was a gentleman and a 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 members, he was a mentor who served as an influence for good. ... He was a tireless worker and a generous man who gave much of his time to others. He is greatly missed by those who knew him.”
Died June 17, 2013
Resolution prepared by R. Wayne Peters and Sam Elliott and presented by Elliott
Quote: “Charlie served his clients with zeal and integrity, his partners and associates with faithfulness and kindness, and profession with perception and wisdom, and his fellow man with humility and intellect. ... There’s no way words and a resolution can properly reflect the outstanding qualities of our departed partner and friend, nor can they portray his bright intelligence, his keen wit, and his rare spirit.”
Died October 20, 2013
Resolution prepared and presented by Clerk & Master Lee Akers
Quote: “I did not use the term ‘Renaissance man’ is this memorial because it’s too trite to describe Allan Geschwind. Those of us lucky enough to have known Allan found him to be a unique individual with a brilliant mind, excellent legal skills, and honor in his heart. ... Allan was a gifted person; Allan was a problem solver; Allan was a caring person; Allan enjoyed a 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, Allan loved music.”
John Lee, III
Died October 20, 2013
Resolution prepared and presented by Ben Boyer
Quote: “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 referred to John as ‘the red-headed devil.’ ... John’s journey was a testament to love, to the joy of living, and to courage and dignity in the face of death. We are left inspired by and in awe of his life.”
Died October 24, 2013
Resolution prepared and presented by Susan E. Rich and the Honorable William M. “Muecke” Barker
Quote: “One of the things Ben 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 many lives, 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.” (Rich)
J. Guy Beatty, Jr.
Died November 12, 2013
Resolution prepared and presented by James M. Haley, IV
Quote: “As Miller & Martin recounts its long 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. ... Whatever prominence and success we as a firm have enjoyed are directly attributable to his 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.”