Longtime court watcher Murry White made honorary member of the bar
SALEM – Longtime court watcher Murry White of Salem was made an honorary member of the Salem-Roanoke County Bar Association this morning, May 22, in recognition of his years of watching court proceedings and giving advice to attorneys when they asked.
The presentation in Salem General District Court by bar association president Matt Pollard in Judge Vincent Lilley’s courtroom came as a complete surprise to White, the recipient said. Pollard is Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Salem.
“I didn’t know this was going to happen,” said an obviously pleased White, who is 97, and has been sitting in courtrooms from Salem to Roanoke and Bedford County since Lilley was a young lawyer.
Judge Lilley, with Retired General District Court Judge George W. Harris, accepted the bar’s proclamation members passed on May 14.
White and his late wife, Susie, sat together observing court cases for years until her death in 2005.
Lilley said when started in Roanoke County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office his father had recently died, and he especially appreciated Mr. and Mrs. White’s presence and friendship.
“People would see me talking with them and used to ask if they were my parents,” Lilley told the courtroom full of attorneys, court employees and Salem Police Officers and Salem Sheriff’s Deputies.
White grew up in Salem next to the former Virginia Baptist Children’s Home, where his father oversaw the farm. He graduated from old Salem High School before Andrew Lewis High School opened. For most of their married life, he and his wife lived on West Riverside Drive in the Glenvar community.
Now he lives independently in Richfield Retirement Community – and still drives.
For more details, see this week’s May 24 printed version of the Salem Times-Register.