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Willard J. Moody

Member From: 1956 - 1967

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  • Birth Date: June 16, 1924 Birth Place:Franklin, VA
  • Death Date: March 27, 2019
  • Gender: Male Race: Caucasian
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  • Education: Lelia Warren High School The College of William & Mary, Norfolk Division T.C. Williams Law School, University of Richmond, (LL.B.)
  • Military Service: World War II
  • Occupation/Profession: Attorney
  • Memberships/Affiliations: Baptist Church American Bar Association Virginia Bar Association Portsmouth-Norfolk County Bar Association (former president) Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association American Trial Lawyers Association Virginia Trial Lawyers Association Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce (board of directors) Portsmouth Cosmopolitan Club (former president) Portsmouth Junior Chamber of Commerce Virginia State Bar
  • Bio:
    Obituary for Senator Willard J. Moody, Sr.
    PORTSMOUTH – Willard James Moody, Sr., 94, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 27, 2019. He was born on June 16, 1924 in Franklin, Virginia to the late Willie and Mary Moody; and was a proud U.S. Army veteran having served in Europe during WWII.

    After his service he attended the Norfolk Division of the College of William & Mary (now Old Dominion University). After graduation he attended the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond and began practicing law in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1952. He continued to practice and lead the law firm that is now known as The Moody Law Firm until the time of his death. He served with distinction in his profession as a lawyer and a legislator. He was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates and served there from 1956 to 1967 and the Virginia Senate from 1968 until 1984. He never lost an election. After leaving the legislature, he continued his career of trying railroad cases on behalf of injured railroad workers. He was named as Designated Legal Counsel by nearly every rail union in America and spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of railroad workers. He served as the Commissioner in Chancery and Commissioner of Accounts for the Circuit Court for the City of Portsmouth and was member of the Portsmouth and Norfolk Bar Associations. He was a member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association (President in 1973), the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, the Inner Circle of Advocates and the Academy of Railway Labor attorneys. He is the only Virginia attorney to have been inducted into the National Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame; being inducted in April 2014. He is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in American Politics and Who’s Who in the South and Southwest.

    In addition to his family the other great passion in his life was his creation of the Railroad Museum of Virginia located in Portsmouth, Virginia. He was a member and Sunday School teacher at the former Park View Baptist Church.

    In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by five brothers and 5 sisters.

    He is survived by his loving wife of 71 years, Betty Covert Moody; a daughter, Sharon Edwards and her husband Stephen; two sons, Willard “Will” Moody, Jr. and his wife Courtney and Paul Moody and his wife Sarah; three sisters, Bertha Foster, Sue Bell and Mary Ellen Romanczyk; six grandchildren; six great grandchildren; and a host of extended family and friends.

    Visitation will be held on Sunday from 3:00 – 5:30 p.m. at Sturtevant Funeral Home, Portsmouth Boulevard Chapel. A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Monday, April 1, 2019 at Green Acres Presbyterian Church by Reverend Elizabeth Hilkerbaumer. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Gardens. Following the burial, a reception will take place at the home of Will and Courtney Moody located at 4201 Manchester Road, Portsmouth, Virginia.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Railroad Museum of Portsmouth.
  • Other Notable Service and/or Elected Offices: Senate of Virginia (1968ó)
Session District District Number Party Leadership Committees
1956 City of Portsmouth Democrat Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Currency and Commerce
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1958-1959 City of Portsmouth Democrat Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Currency and Commerce
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1959 City of Portsmouth Democrat Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Currency and Commerce
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1960 City of Portsmouth Democrat Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Currency and Commerce
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1962-1963 City of Portsmouth 55 Democrat Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Currency and Commerce
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1963 City of Portsmouth 55 Democrat Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Currency and Commerce
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1964-1965 City of Portsmouth 54 Democrat Currency and Commerce (Chair)
Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1965 City of Portsmouth 54 Democrat Currency and Commerce (Chair)
Claims
Counties Cities and Towns
Enrolled Bills
Labor
1966 City of Portsmouth 53 Democrat Currency and Commerce (Chair)
Counties Cities and Towns
Insurance and Banking
Labor

*The information within this interactive and searchable application has been researched extensively by the House Clerk’s Office. As with any historical records of this age and breadth, there may be discrepancies and/or inconsistencies within records obtained from a variety of credible sources. Any feedback is encouraged at history@house.virginia.gov.

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