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Obituary: Barrow, 84, was Texas Supreme Court justice, dean at Baylor

Obituary: Barrow, 84, was Texas Supreme Court justice, dean at Baylor

Web Posted: 06/27/2006 12:00 AM CDT

Ron Wilson
San Antonio Express-News

Charles Wallace "Charlie" Barrow was a legal giant in Texas, serving as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court, chief justice of the 4th Court of Appeals and dean of the law school at Baylor University, his alma mater.

Barrow died Sunday in San Antonio. He was 84.

Barrow was born in Poteet and graduated from Jourdanton High School.

A devout Methodist, he decided to attend Baylor when the Baptist university's president, Pat Neff, offered him a job at 30 cents an hour if he enrolled, son John Barrow said.

He served as a line officer in the Navy in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters during World War II and was awarded seven battle stars. He was recalled to active duty during the Korean War.

After that war, Barrow practiced law in San Antonio until 1959, when he was appointed judge of the 45th District Court.

When his parents died in a car accident, he was elected to replace his father, Hunter Barrow, as associate justice of the 4th Court of Appeals. In 1966, he was elected the court's chief justice, a post he held until he was appointed to the Texas Supreme Court in 1977.

In 1984, Barrow returned to Waco to become dean of Baylor's law school, where he increased its endowment and attracted more qualified teachers to enhance its reputation.

Another son, James Barrow, said his father joked that he helped create a school that he couldn't have gotten into himself. The son said his father took the job not to hobnob with trustees, but to have firsthand contact with students.

Barrow retired in 1991 and returned to private life on his ranch south of San Antonio.

Barrow earned many honors during his career, including his selection by Gov. John Connally as a charter member of the judicial qualifications committee to oversee judges' conduct.

James Barrow said his father will be remembered for his humility and dry sense of humor, as well as his "success, recognition and reputation in all fields of important endeavor - his faith, his work, his family and his friends."

Fittingly, John Barrow said, an excerpt from one of his father's speeches best describes the jurist.

"There is a God and his rules are simple. Do no evil. Do good. Love thy neighbor. Give to the needy. I have tried to live my life accordingly."

Barrow was preceded in death by another son, Charles Wallace Barrow Jr.

Survivors include his wife, Sugie; sons John Douglas Barrow of Corpus Christi, David Williams Barrow and his wife, Irene, of Flagstaff, Ariz., and James Hunter Barrow and wife, Alison, of San Antonio; sister Bea Little; brother-in-law Sidney J. Williams III; and numerous grandchildren.

Services will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to a favorite charity.