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Bar News - July 17, 2009


In Memoriam


Hon. Wm. Johnson
Justice Johnson Remembered

At the funeral of former NH Supreme Court Justice William R. Johnson, Justice John T. Broderick, Jr., NH Supreme Court chief justice, delivered the eulogy. Johnson passed away recently at the age of 78.

"He was one of the most ethical people I ever knew . . . above all, he was fair," said Broderick "Ethics and fairness were central to what Bill Johnson believed in, really central."

Johnson was also remembered for his dedication to his family and had shared many stories with Broderick over the years. "Family was always at the top of his agenda; always . . . you could feel the pride," Broderick said. "He loved his daughters."

Born in Excelsior, Minn., Justice Johnson graduated from Excelsior High School before attending Dartmouth College where he was a history major and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduating from Dartmouth, Johnson attended Harvard Law School, during which time he accepted a commission in the US Army, where he served for two years. He earned his law degree in 1958 and joined the NH Bar that same year, thereafter joining the firm of Cotton, Tesreau & Stebbins in Lebanon.

In 1962, Johnson was elected to the NH Legislature and then to the NH Senate in 1964. He was chairman of the NH Republican Party from 1964 to 1966 and very active in state and national politics. He ran for the US Senate and worked for Gov. George Romneyís 1968 presidential campaign.

"After family, he loved politics and the people politics allowed him to meet Ė and to help," said Broderick.

In 1969, Johnson was appointed to the NH Superior Court and in 1985 to the NH Supreme Court, where he served until his retirement in 1999.

Justice Johnson is survived by his wife Nancy; daughters, Catherine and Sue; grandchildren, Sarah and Will; brother James; sister Patricia; and many nieces and nephews.

"All these years later, having been both his colleague and his friend, it is his depth that I will remember," Broderick said. "It was his depth that made the difference to his family, to his state, to all of us and for all those who benefited from his wisdom. He will be missed, admired and remembered with great affection."


Leslie R. Long

Leslie R. Long, a NH Bar member since 1972, passed away recently at the age of 72.

He was a graduate of Suffolk Law School and practiced privately in Danbury before moving to Connecticut, where he opened another practice.


Marie C. (Fleece) Devine

Marie C. Devine of Feather Sound, Florida, died recently at her home at the age of 61; she was a 24-year member of the NH Bar.

Born in Boston, Mass. and raised in Manchester, she graduated from Central High School before attending Wheelock College and Notre Dame College in Manchester, earning her Bachelorís degree in 1982. She later attended Franklin Pierce Law Center, earning her law degree in 1985.

Devine worked as Supervisor at the Womenís Crisis Service in Manchester. From 1983-84 she was a member of the Admissions Committee at Franklin Pierce and became a teaching assistant in 1985 for a course in Estates, Trusts, Wills, Gifts, and their Federal Taxation.

In 1985 she opened a private practice in Concord, practicing mainly real estate law and family law.

In 1987 she became a member of the Florida Bar and was a shareholder at Rubenstein & Devine in Ft. Myers.

She is survived by her husband, William H. Fleece; son, Christopher; stepsons, Jonathan and David; sister, Elizabeth; and brother, Kevin.


Roger B. Godwin

Roger B. Godwin died recently at Genesis Healthcare in Lebanon after a nine-month fight against cancer; he was 70.

Born in Centralia, Illinois, Godwin was raised in Calgary, Alberta. After graduating from high school, Godwin joined the US Army, serving during the Korean Conflict. Afterward, he attended Tulsa University, earning a Bachelorís degree in finance and accounting. He later earned his law degree from Stanford University School of Law where he was editor of the Stanford Law Review.

He served as a clerk for Judge Ben Duniway of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals before joining USAID in Washington, D.C. He later joined Triad International, Beirut and London.

In 1980, Goodwin moved to Andover with his wife and family and opened a small law practice. He served on the Andover Budget and Cable TV committees and was a selectman for 18 years.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda; 11 children, John, James, Lisa, Ian, Tegan, Brette, Laura, Wilkey, Zachary, Jedediah, and Caleb; 13 grandchildren; and his sister Joan.

On behalf of our colleagues Hon. Wm. Johnson, Roger B. Godwin, Leslie R. Long and Marie C. (Fleece) Devine, the NH Bar Associationís Board of Governorís has contributed to the NH Bar Foundation, 2 Pillsbury Street, Suite 300, Concord, NH 03301.

If you are in doubt about the status of any meeting, please call the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 before you head out.

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