Thomas Reavley, oldest active federal decide, dies at 99

Thomas M. Reavley, the oldest lively federal decide who served for 41 several years on the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has died. He was 99.

Reavley died on Tuesday in Houston, the Texas Supreme Courtroom declared. His health and fitness experienced been in drop for the duration of the past 12 months, claimed Bryan A. Garner, just one of Reavley’s previous legislation clerks.

He had served nine yrs on the Texas Supreme Court docket, the state’s major civil court docket, just before staying appointed to the appeals court docket by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

Reavley took senior status in 1990 but preserved a typically entire caseload until eventually 2019. His lawful career spanned additional than six decades.

“He was a towering determine in Texas and a true winner of justice for the condition and the nation,” explained Texas Supreme Court docket Main Justice Nathan L. Hecht.

Garner, an attorney and law professor, explained Reavley typified the extremely ideal traits of “our federal judiciary: finish integrity, a determination to fairness, incisive intellect and human kindness.”

A lay Methodist minister and Sunday faculty instructor, Reavley’s nickname was “Pope of the Fifth Circuit.”

Reavley is survived by his spouse, Carolyn Dineen King, who is also a judge on the 5th Circuit, and four children.

He experienced been married to his 1st wife, Florence Wilson Reavley, for 60 a long time. She died in 2003. He married King in 2004 and the pair had claimed that prior to Florence Reavley died, she advised them to get remarried.

Reavley grew up in Nacogdoches, graduated from the University of Texas in Austin in 1942 and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was a lieutenant who drove President Franklin Roosevelt to Roosevelt’s assembly with Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin at Yalta, the place the publish-Planet War II fate of Germany was reviewed.

He attained his regulation degree from Harvard in 1948 and served as a prosecutor, community judge and condition governing administration formal right before serving on the Texas Supreme Court and 5th Circuit.

Funeral providers in Houston are pending.