Judge Shook. Thank you. Mr. Jacobs.
Mr. Jacobs. In memory of the late J. Grahame Walker I would like to call upon David C. Bastian, Esquire.
Mr. Bastian. May Your Honors please, Judge Anderson, relatives and friends: when Mr. Jacobs called on me I was deeply honored to speak about Grahame but soon found myself somewhat at a loss as to Grahame, to “sum him up,” as one might say, until I recalled a little poem the origin of which I do not recall. I had made a note of it in the past, and I would like to read it now:
It is the thoughtful men, the kindly men
The neighborly men like him,
Who make this world a happier place
By all they have done and been.
Angels who write in the Book of Life
In God’s “Who’s Who” have listed them;
The thoughtful men, the kindly men,
The neighborly men like him.
J. Grahame Walker was, to those who knew him, possessed of all of these attributes.
Sixty-eight years ago Grahame was born in Brookline, Massachusetts, and was a graduate of Amherst College and the Washington College of Law. In his biographical sketch you will find that he served for three years in the Maryland House of Delegates and was appointed in 1943 to the position of Assistant Enforcement Officer in the Office of Price Administration.
But if the Court pleases, these are statistics, and this is what gave me problems, for while statistics mark the achievements of a man, as a yardstick they fall far short of measuring the true worth of the individual himself.
Grahame’s achievements were many; but his life stands for so much more. He was a personification, if you please, of a husband, a father, a friend, a partner and an advocate, a judge and simply a man. This was what Grahame brought to the Bar.
As with most of the attorneys here I first met Grahame as an adversary. Soon thereafter we became associated in the practice of law. From the very beginning we were close friends. He possessed that rare quality of being a friend to all who met him. To meet him was to know him, for he was openly genuine and unaffected; to know him – know him – certainly was to love him.
He was a kind, gentle and understanding man, touched with that subtle New England humor, and a true disciple and a credit to the profession of the law. As a member of the local bar since 1935 and a judge of the People’s Court for Montgomery County, Maryland, in the years 1962 to ’63, he often demonstrated his fine, outstanding legal abilities.
He was honest and forthright in all that he undertook. Being quite a religious man he labored hard and faithfully for his church, serving as a vestryman for some period of time at Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Bethesda, Maryland, and also acting as its chancellor.
He was a true pillar of the community, giving himself in civic, political and charitable affairs. For instance, he served as chairman of the Montgomery County Heart Fund in 1962; and only recently, experiencing some ill health, he supported the Cerebral Palsy Association in this county. He was an ardent supporter and worker for the Democratic Party, as you all well know. Perhaps I as a Republican know how well he did work, and I say that not with humor but with respect.
Last but certainly not the least, Grahame was an extremely devoted family man. The former Marian Boss, who is here today, was his wife and his helpmate. Together they raised two lovely daughters who are now married; Sally Rasher, who is also here today, and Priscilla Baxter who could not be here. He is also survived by two grandsons, David and Michael Risher.
It struck me in reflecting upon Grahame’s life that perhaps rather than through sorrow at the loss of this member of our bar we might better show our respect for him through emulating those sterling characteristics which most endeared him to us.
Most certainly he brought to the bar not only legal talent, ability, prowess, honesty; but the human touch which all of us sometimes in the heat of battle seem to forget. Truly, he was a great credit to this Bar.
Mr. Jacobs. In further memory of the late J. Grahame Walker I should like to call upon John. M. McInerney, Esquire.
Mr. McInerney. Your Honors?
Judge Shook. Mr. McInerney.
Mr. McInerney. Your Honors, members of the Bar and family of J. Grahame Walker: these are sad occasions, and no one knows better than myself that the percentages are not always in favor of our being on this side of the border. But they are good occasions, too, because they give us an opportunity to get together and to forget our adversary roles and to speak of our departed brothers.
We are not here concentrating on the death of Grahame; we are here to eulogize his life, because death was inevitable but it was not inevitable that he be such a man as he was.
I just want to say to the family of Grahame that he was a fine man, he was an easy man to know, a pleasant man to know, and a man in the knowing of whom we are all better off.
Judge Shook. Responding for the Court, the Honorable Joseph M. Mathias.
Judge Mathias. Mr. Latham, Judge Anderson, members of the Bar and family of Grahame: I will supplement in my own small way the remarks that have been made in tribute to Grahame Walker’s memory.
The Bench shared with the Bar a deep respect for Grahame Walker and a high regard for his talents as an advocate. He was a skillful lawyer who carefully prepared his cases. His name is indelibly inscribed in legal history as the attorney for the appellant in the celebrated Schowgurow case, which is reported in 240 Md. At page 121. Few lawyers in a lifetime of practice are associated with such a history-making case. This was the case that invalidated Maryland’s constitutional requirement that prospective jurors demonstrate a belief in God as a qualification for service.
A religious man himself, he struggled with his own convictions but concluded that the constitutional right to be tried by a jury of one’s peers meant the right to be tried by those who do not as well as by those who do believe in a supreme being. The Court of Appeals of course agreed with him.
I knew Grahame over the years not only as a lawyer but in various fields of political endeavor. I knew him in 1954 when he was elected as councilman at large to the Montgomery County Council, an office to which I had aspired some four years earlier. Whereas Grahame ran first in a field of four I ran last in a field of four, which is not in the money.
I knew Grahame also as a Judge of the People’s Court, where he served with distinction. His only fault was really an excess of virtue. He was a very compassionate judge. It used to concern him greatly when he had to impose sentence on a transgressor, especially when that defendant happened to be a young person.
I have been honored by being called to perform the sad duty of paying a tribute to Grahame Walker’s memory. He was a distinguished member of our Bar; he served with distinction as a Judge of the People’s Court of this county; he was a sincere and effective public servant both as a member of our County Council and as a delegate to the General Assembly.