William Tarver Rountree, Jr.

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2005

William Tarver Rountree Jr., 79, died April 8, 2005, in Pensacola, Florida, after a brief illness. Graveside services will be at Valley Creek Church Cemetery at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 13.

The family will receive friends at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday April 12 at Lawrence Brown Service Funeral Home.

Rountree was born in Selma on May 4, 1925 to William Tarver and Doris Lott Rountree. After high school graduation he served in the Army Signal Corps as a cryptographer during World War II in the China, Burma and India Theatre.

Upon his discharge from the Army in 1946 he entered the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society and served as President of the Alabama Mu chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon national fraternity. He completed his AB degree in 33 months, graduating from the university in 1949.

He then attended Harvard Law School and received his Juris Doctorate in 1952.

Returning to Selma upon his graduation from law school he entered the practice of law. In 1960 he married Sara Stewart of Macon, Georgia in a ceremony at Vineville Methodist Church in Macon.

In 1963 he left the practice of law and entered the teaching profession, accepting a faculty position at Memphis State Law School (now the University of Memphis).

In 1967 he was named to the faculty at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta where he taught Constitutional law, urban government and legislation until 1992.

After retiring from Emory he was recruited to join the faculty of Regent University Law School in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he taught from 1993 to 1998, and where he was instrumental in helping the school achieve its accreditation in 1999.

Professor Rountree is survived by his wife, Sara, with whom he would have celebrated his 45th anniversary on April 23; three sons, William Tarver Rountree III and his wife Robin of Old Lyme, Connecticut; Ben Stewart Rountree and his wife Florencia of Atlanta; and Elisha Lott Rountree and his wife Nancy of Ashburn, VA.

Eight grandchildren: Morgan, Margaret, Lilly, Kyle, Sterling, Alston, Will and Sara; his sister, Lucy Rountree Sommers, and

four nieces also survive him