J. Kelley Quillian, 1966-1984
Chief Judge: 1981-1982
JOHN KELLEY QUILLIAN served on the Court of Appeals from 1966-1984. He was born on February 7, 1930, in Winder, Barrow County, Georgia, and died May 6, 1986.
He attended Barrow County public schools; graduated from Piedmont College with an A.B. Degree in 1949; University of Georgia Law School, LL.B. in 1954; practiced law in Winder and Atlanta until ascending the Bench.
He was married on June 10, 1954, to Xara DeBeaugrine Terrell in Warren County, Georgia. Two children were born of this union, Xara Terrell and Sally Caroline, an attorney. For names of family and history, see the tribute dated September 28, 1984, in 173 Georgia Appeals Reports, pages XXI- XLIX. His father, Joseph Dillard Quillian, served on the Court of Appeals and on the Supreme Court of Georgia.
He was a Methodist; U. S. Air Force, sergeant in Korean War and captain in the Georgia National Guard; Phi Alpha Delta; Sigma Chi; Gridiron; Rotary Club. He served as Judge, Associate Judge, Presiding Judge, and Chief Judge on the Court of Appeals. He was Sergeant-at-Arms for the Georgia Senate; Assistant Attorney General; Attorney for Georgia Highway and Defense Departments; Board of Trustees of the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education; member of the Judicial Council and Committee on Judiciary in the Georgia and American Bar Associations; author of An Attorneys Guide for Workers'Compensation Claims (The Harrison Company 1985).
He adopted and practiced his father's quintessential judicial philosophy: (1) Don't bend the law or legislate; (2) state the facts clearly and correctly; (3) clarity and conciseness are better than sesquipedalian words; (4) avoid flippancy; and (5) practice stare decisis.
He was "true in words, honest in thought and impartial in his acts." David Lloyd George's words, "Justice is not an explosion which spends its force in a single outburst and then vanishes into thin air. Justice is the steadfast will to see right done in this world," are said to apply to Kelley Quillian as he had "a steadfast desire to see right done in the world." He was "always an alert and astute administrator and articulator; an accomplisher and achiever; active, able, and amicably assertive."