In Memoriam

You can now view your classmates' news and accomplishments online! Click your graduation year below to see class notes, with the most recent entries appearing first. If you have anything that you would like to include as a Class Note, you may submit a class note online or contact Becky Shepherd.

Mitch Rubin ('87) passed away on March 6, 2022 after an extended battle with cancer. He served as the CEO of the Florida Beer Wholesalers Association. Posted 5.20.22

Brian Berkowitz ('83) passed away on March 28, 2022 due to complications from multiple myeloma. He was a lifelong resident of Tallahassee. Posted 4.18.22

Emil Pratesi ('72) passed away on March 26, 2022 at Palm Harbor, Florida. He was retired from the law practice. Posted 4.18.22

Roberta M. Truman ('86) passed away on January 16, 2022. While at FSU Law, Truman received the Book Award for Federal Jurisdiction in the Spring of 1985. She joined the Florida Bar in October 1986 and retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons in 2012 with 22 years of government service. Posted 2.7.22

Peter "Pete" B. Heebner ('74) passed away in December of 2020 after a courageous battle with cancer. Posted 12.14.21

Dorothy (Dottie) Louise Miller ('90), age 82, passed away on October 14, 2019. After she earned a law degree from Florida State University in 1990, Dottie founded a regional newspaper, Georgia South, in Boston, Georgia, and continued to own and operate Bush Baby – a Junk, Art, and Antique Store in Monticello, FL – for a total of 28 years. In 2011, Dottie co-authored a book with the builder of her unique artsy home entitled, “Peckerwood – A Writers’ Colony and a State of Being.” Posted 11.30.21

Mark Elliott Holcomb ('85) passed away in September 2021. In his 36 years of practicing law, he worked with several different Tallahassee law firms, most recently Dean Mead & Dunbar. He specialized in state and local tax law and was a very active member, speaker, and writer in professional tax organizations at both the state and federal level. Posted 9.29.21

Jon Hernan ('03) passed away unexpectedly in June. Hernan enjoyed a career as a trial lawyer defending major corporations including automakers, amusement parks, chemical companies and other manufacturers. He began his legal career as an associate at Cabaniss Smith Toole & Wiggins, followed by Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, and almost 10 years with Seipp Flick & Hosley. In February 2016, Hernan and his partners joined the national firm of Bowman and Brooke, where he was named the managing partner of Orlando (Lake Mary), Florida office in February 2021. Posted 7.6.21

Jeffrey Feulner ('98), founder and managing attorney of the Men’s Divorce Law Firm, passed away unexpectedly in May 2021. Posted 6.15.21

Edward "Ed" Harvey ('74) passed away on May 9, 2021 after a courageous battle with lung cancer. Harvey dedicated his life to service, working as an assistant public defender for more than 30 years. He was a recipient of the Gene Taylor Memorial Award, which recognizes individuals for their fairness, courtesy, sense of humor, and heartfelt commitment to justice for all. Posted 6.15.21

Steve Kelley ('88) passed away on March 15, 2021. He practiced law in South Georgia and North Florida for over 30 years. He often went out of his way to help individuals who did not have resources to seek legal assistance for themselves. Posted 3.23.20

Sergio Vega ('88) passed away from coronavirus on February 23, 2021. He leaves behind his wife, Laura Pruna (’89), and two children. Posted 3.15.21

John R. Dowd, Sr. ('69) passed away on November 8, 2020. He served as county attorney for Okaloosa County for over forty years, and assisted the County Commission in negotiating countless contracts to improve the quality of life of the citizens of Okaloosa County. Posted 12.17.20

Brandon Ray Smoot ('14) passed away on October 30, 2020. Posted 11.12.20

Jacquelyn A. Mereness ('12) passed away on October 3, 2020 after a valiant battle with cancer. Posted 10.9.20

Clinton E. McLeod ('88) passed away on July 7, 2020. McLeod spent time at the Public Defender's Offices in Fort Myers, FL and in in Tallahassee before opening his own firm, The Law Office of Clinton E. McLeod. Posted 9.24.20

Lynwood F. Arnold, Jr. ('73) passed away on August 19, 2020 from unexpected complications related to his recent cancer diagnosis. During his life, he practiced real estate and probate litigation in Tampa and Tallahassee. He helped form the Bay Area Real Estate Council and was its first president. In addition to the Leon and Hillsborough County Bar Associations, Lynwood dedicated significant time to The Florida Bar's Real Property Probation and Trust Law section and served on its Executive Council. Arnold was also an esteemed member of the Legal Aid Foundation of Tallahassee’s Board of Directors. His devotion to pro bono work was just as steadfast as his devotion to mentoring young lawyers. Posted 8.31.20

Joyce M. Davis ('76) passed away of metastatic cancer on July 4, 2020. From her time in the Peace Corps in Turkey to her avid support for Habitat for Humanity, her professional and personal life was directed to the betterment of others. The 2021 Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity Women Build House will be named for and dedicated to her memory. Posted 8.17.20

Shane Spencer ('16) passed away from a fatal car accident that occurred on June 1, 2020. Spencer was an associate of Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A.’s Tampa office. Posted on 6.3.20

Layon Robinson, II ('73) recently passed away. Robinson was a long time member of the Manatee County Bar Association and friend to so many in the community. Posted 5.12.20

Terri Sherraye Alexander ('08) passed away unexpectedly on March 6, 2020. She was the managing partner of Shay Alexander, LLC and the pastor of Judah Christian Church. Posted 3.13.20

Lyman T. Fletcher ('69) passed away on February 11, 2020. Fletcher was an Atlantic Beach commissioner from 1991 to 1994 and mayor from 1994 to 1997. Posted 2.20.20

The Honorable Mark H. Gibbons ('77) passed away on January 3, 2020 after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Posted 1.8.20

The Honorable Vincent G. Torpy, Jr. ('84) passed away on December 30, 2019. He served as a judge on the Fifth District Court of Appeals for 15 years before retiring to the mountains of North Carolina in 2018. Posted 1.8.20

Thomas E. Lewis, Jr. ('08) passed away on December 28, 2019 after a long, courageous battle with cancer. Lewis was a military veteran and worked as an architect, a senior executive with the Walt Disney Co., and as assistant secretary of administration and special assistant to the chief Information officer at the Department of Children and Families. He was also a Florida supreme court certified civil circuit mediator and Florida supreme court qualified arbitrator. Posted 1.8.20

Peter Harris ('90) passed away on December 17, 2019. Harris owned and managed ADG Business and Governmental Consultants for close to 25 years and was one of the four originating members of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists. Posted 1.8.20

Eleanor M. Hunter ('76) passed away on November 16, 2019. She was a former executive director of the Florida Board of Bar Examiners and retired as an administrative law judge at the FL Department of Administrative Hearings in 2011. Posted 11.22.19

Jennie Hall Jerome (’79) passed away on November 8, 2019. While living in St. Johns, FL, she helped numerous St. Johnians with their legal issues on a pro bono basis. She also assisted the federal team that outlined the coastline for the protection and expansion of national park waters, and she was instrumental in forming the organization, “Friends of the Park.” Posted 11.22.19

William R. Waters ('95) passed away on September 4, 2019. He practiced at Waters & Associates in Tallahassee. Posted 9.17.19

Wayne Sutton "Spider" Webb, Jr. ('73) passed away on September 7, 2019 after a long and courageous battle with kidney cancer. He led Office Systems Consultants in Tallahassee for 26 years, and continued to manage commercial and residential real estate after he sold the company in 2009. Posted 9.17.19

Charles Curry ('79) passed away on August 23, 2019. He was elected a circuit judge for the Tenth Judicial Circuit of Florida in 1988 and continued to serve on the bench until his retirement in 2014. Posted 9.17.19

Austin L. Jackson ('69) passed away on December 27, 2018. He practiced in Orlando for more than 30 years and taught Government at Valencia Community College. Posted 9.5.19

Vera Winter Lee ('70) passed away on May 22, 2019. She lived in San Francisco. Posted 6.25.19

Lauren Brothers ('14) passed away on May 1, 2019. She served as a staff attorney for the Division of Aquaculture, Office of Agricultural Water Policy and the Florida Forest Service at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Posted 5.9.19

Catherine B. Chapman ('98) passed away on May 3, 2019. She was an equity shareholder at Guilday, Simpson, West, Hatch, Lowe & Roan, P.A. in Tallahassee and practiced in a variety of civil law areas, including administrative and regulatory, appellate, business, litigation, employment, healthcare, insurance coverage and defense, nursing home defense, and professional liability. Chapman also served as the Tallahassee Women Lawyers CLE director and past-president. Posted 5.9.19

Heather Bridwell ('99) passed away on March 8, 2019. She was active in the legal community, having served two terms as president of the Martin County Chapter of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She also volunteered her time in education, where she served as a judge at the annual FLRE Florida High School Mock Trial State Finals Competition and presented to students in Palm Beach County regarding trial practice. She was a shareholder at Peterson Bernard in Stuart, where she practiced in the area of insurance defense. Posted 3.18.19

George H. Sheldon ('79) passed away on August 23, 2018. He was chief executive officer of Our Kids of Miami-Dade/Monroe, a children's services agency for children in South Florida. Sheldon was a leading advocate for the welfare of children. He had a long career in public service, which included serving in the Florida House of Representatives, as secretary of the Florida Department of Children and Families, as acting assistant secretary at the Administration for Children and Families within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and as director of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Posted 9.5.18

Mark C. Reid ('00) passed away on August 16, 2018, after battling cancer for several years. He was the mortgage senior vice president lead counsel at MB Financial Bank in Ann Arbor, MI. Posted 8.30.18

Steven W. Johnson ('79) passed away on August 10, 2018. He held various roles including assistant state attorney, senior attorney for the Florida Real Estate Commission and lead appraisal attorney for the Florida Real Estate Appraisal Board. Posted 8.27.18

Kristine "Kris" E. Knab ('78) passed away on July 19, 2018, after a two and a half year fight with pancreatic cancer. She is the recipient of the Exemplary Public Service Career Award for her decades of service at Legal Services of North Florida, Inc. (LSNF), where she worked from 1978 until retiring in 2016. Posted 7.31.18

Albert C. Penson ('81) passed away on March 21, 2018, after a courageous battle with cancer. He was an attorney in Tallahassee for more than 30 years. Posted 4.5.18

Thomas A. Beenck ('74) passed away on March 24, 2018. He worked as an attorney in various departments for the state of Florida. Posted 4.3.18

Kelly M. Klein ('04) passed away on December 21, 2017, after a brave battle against cancer. She practiced at Luks, Santaniello, Petrillo & Jones in Tampa. Posted 1.11.18

Brian A. Higgins ('95) passed away on December 6, 2017. He was a trailblazer as a criminal defense attorney at the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel for the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee. Posted 12.13.17

Guy E. Burnette, Jr. ('77) passed away on November 8, 2017, after a five-year battle with Corticobasil Degeneration. He worked as an attorney for more than 38 years, with a practice primarily dedicated to civil litigation, forensic fire consulting, and fire service/law enforcement training. Posted 11.21.17

Judith S. Kahn ('90) passed away on August 4, 2017. She had her own practice, the Law Office of Judith S. Kahn in Saint Petersburg. Kahn worked closely with Professor Chuck Ehrhardt. Posted 8.14.17

The Honorable Kim C. Hammond ('72) passed away on July 16, 2017, after battling illness for many years. He served more than 30 years as circuit judge in Flagler County. Posted 7.20.17

Robert J. Tirelli ('77) passed away on March 5, 2017. He taught at Taylor County High School in Perry, where he had been named Teacher of the Year. Posted 6.12.17

The Honorable John D. Southwood ('69) passed away on May 12, 2017. He served on the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court for 12 years, from 1984-1996, until his retirement. Posted 6.8.17

Shaun P. Carres ('12) passed away on April 25, 2017. He was a beloved member of Cornerstone Learning Community in Tallahassee, where he worked with students in middle school social science classes and the chess club. Posted 5.1.17

Cynthia L. Hain ('95) passed away on April 28, 2017, after a year-long battle against pancreatic cancer. She served as assistant general counsel at the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Posted 5.1.17

Joseph C. D'Annunzio ('99) passed away on March 21, 2017. He favored employment law, and worked both in companies and as a sole practitioner before retiring at 87. Posted 4.7.17

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