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William Vance Custer, Jr.

William Vance Custer, Jr., 1961-1962


WILLIAM VANCE CUSTER, JR., served on the Georgia Court of Appeals, October 9,1961, to January 31,1962 (three months and 22 days). He was born in Mobile, Alabama, on July 20,1903, and died January 31, 1962.

After graduating from Bainbridge public schools, he attended Oglethorpe University for one year, thereafter studying law in his father's law office, and was admitted to practice on July 20,1922, on his nineteenth birthday.

He married Victoria Hunter Clayton of Eufaula, Alabama, on June 4, 1929. They had two sons, William Vance III and Henry Clayton. For family names and details, see the memorial dated October 15,1962, in 106 Georgia Appeals Reports, pages XXVII-XLV.

He served as president of the Decatur County, Albany Circuit, and Georgia Bar Associations; served on the Board of Governors of the Georgia Bar Association and on the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. He was president of the local Chamber of Commerce; representative from Decatur County in the Georgia General Assembly; president of the Bainbridge Rotary Club; member of the Bainbridge Board of Education; deacon and superintendent of Sunday school of the Presbyterian Church.

Other lawyers said about him: "Ably representing his clients - dedicated, with all his strength, his mind and his soul, to their interest, conscientious in his preparation, never careless or slothful, respectful to, and at all times fair with his fellow lawyers and the courts, fulfilling not only the letter, but also the spirit of the canons of ethics." They said, "He loved his profession, he loved everything about it going back to the Inns of Court in medieval England and the writings of Lords Campbell and Coke." Thackeray's "good humor is one of the best articles of dress one can wear in society" was reflected in his life. Milton's words "servant of God, well done, well hast thou fought the better fight" are appropriate. He believed right and justice do not go out of style: "Where is our pilgrim sense of solid right? Where is our old time keeping of the law? Where is our sturdy sanity and strength?' (poem by Judge Florence Allen).