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Richard E. Railey

Courtland lawyer Richard E. Railey died July 31 at his summer residence in Nags Head, N.C. He was 82.

A native of Northhampton County, N.C., he earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

After college, he served in the U.S. Navy as a lieutenant in the South Pacific. Returning home, he attended the University of Virginia School of Law. He started practicing law in 1948 and was active until his death.

He helped to found the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and served as the group’s president from 1972-1973.

Two years later, he and his son, Richard E. Railey Jr., formed the law partnership of Railey and Railey in Courtland.

His many civic activities included service to Hillcrest Nursing Home in Suffolk, the Red Cross, Boy Scouts, the Ruritan Club and the Methodist Children’s Home.

Mr. Railey attended Courtland United Methodist Church while in Courtland. But he also attended St. Andrew’s By the Sea Episcopal Church when in Nags Head, where he was active in the recent fund drive for the hand-bell choir.

In his obituary, his family noted that “[i]n addition to being a full-time Methodist, part-time Episcopalian, full-time lawyer, and competitive body surfer, he was, without qualification, a Democrat from the courthouse to the White House.”

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Hazel Bradshaw Railey; two daughters, Joan Bradshaw Railey of Nags Head, N.C., and Pamela Railey Merritt of Bluefield, W.Va.; two sons, John Bradshaw Railey of High Point, N.C., and Richard E. Railey Jr. of Courtland; and six grandchildren.

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