BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Judge Bobby Ray Aderholt, a longtime Alabama circuit judge and father of Congressman Robert Aderholt, died Tuesday. He was 85 years old.
According to a statement sent out from Congressman Aderholt’s office, Judge Aderholt died from cancer at his home in Haleyville. Before his retirement in 2007, Aderholt had served as circuit judge of Alabama’s 25th Judicial Circuit for 31 years. He previously served as judge of the Court of Law and Equity in Winston County from 1962 to 1973 and was also a professor at Cumberland School of Law.
“He served the public for more than 50 years and presided over each case that came before him with integrity, and with impartiality,” Congressman Aderholt said in a statement. “He is someone who had a brilliant legal mind; but most importantly, he always had compassion for all individuals, regardless of their background, level of income or social standing.”
Judge Aderholt grew up in Winston County and graduated from Haleyville High School in 1954. After receiving his undergraduate degree from Birmingham-Southern College, he attended the Cumberland School of Law when it was formerly located in Lebanon, Tennessee, and obtained his law degree from the University of Alabama School of Law.
As a young attorney, Aderholt joined the Cumberland faculty at Samford University, where he co-authored the eighth edition of “History of a Lawsuit” with Professor Sam B. Gilreath.
For 47 years, Aderholt was pastor at Fairview Congregational Church in Hackleburg.
He was married to Mary Frances Brown, with whom he had a son, Robert Aderholt, and two grandchildren, Mary Elliott and Robert Hayes Aderholt.
John Wahl, chairman of the Alabama Republican Party, sent out the following message:
“This is a great loss, not only for the Republican Party but for the state of Alabama. Judge Aderholt was a man of character and integrity who was a pioneer for the Republican Party in North Alabama. Our thoughts and prayers are with Judge Aderholt’s family and the people of his community who he served with honor,” said Alabama Republican Party Chairman John Wahl.”