Robert Otis Binkley

Friday, September 14, 2012

Robert Otis Binkley passed through this life unexpectedly and went home to Jesus on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012, at his home. He had enjoyed a wonderful previous Saturday with his wife Carolyn and his daughter Beth and son-in-law Terry Campbell and dinner with his son David that evening. The previous weekend he had a great visit with his son Rob and his family in Jackson, Tenn. He loved his Lord, his wife, and his family, and cared deeply for the people of Lewisburg.

Bob is survived by Carolyn, his wife of 56 years, and three children, 12 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren: Robert O. Binkley Jr. (Lynn) and children Rachel Tilly (Nathan), Aubrey, Tansil, Travis, Hayes, and Robert III; Elizabeth Lynn Campbell (Terry) and children Frank and Bobby; and David Martin Binkley (Angie) and children Dee (Amanda) and Maddox, Drew (Amanda) and Jacob and Kaylee, Devin, and Dakota (Amanda) and Eli. The Binkley family expresses great gratitude to Mr. Binkley's long-time legal assistant and friend, Carole Ann Lambert.

Mr. Binkley was born on May 27, 1932, in Nashville. He was the son of Otis E. Binkley and Susan H. Binkley. After graduating from Central High School in 1951, he enrolled in Vanderbilt University. He attended Vanderbilt on a Navy ROTC scholarship and had midshipman service on the USS Missouri. While at Vanderbilt, he met Carolyn. After graduating from Vanderbilt in 1955, he and Carolyn married a couple of months later and he almost immediately reported for duty as an ensign on the USS Mississippi. He later served as a watch officer on the USS Valley Forge. After completing his active duty requirement in 1958, the Binkleys returned to Nashville. Mr. Binkley worked for Kimbrough-Phillips Mortgage Company from 1958 to1960 and the State of Tennessee Department of Finance Administration from 1960 to 1965. During this time he also attended the YMCA (Nashville) Law School.

After passing the bar examination, Mr. Binkley practiced for a short time in Nashville. Through his employment by Kimbrough-Phillips Mortgage Company, he became familiar with names associated with real estate in Marshall County, such as the late Forrest Gates, attorney, and the late Hill Walker, Register of Deeds. In 1965, one Saturday morning, he made the journey down I-65 and his first stop was to visit Hill Walker, Register of Deeds. At that time, the courthouse offices closed on Thursday afternoons and were open on Saturday mornings; likewise, most attorneys followed suit. After a brief visit with Hill, he ventured over to pay a visit to Knox Bigham, an established and respected practicing attorney, whose partner, Forrest Gates, had recently passed away.

Upon entering the office, Bob encountered Knox attempting to change the ribbon on a typewriter. With Bob's assistance, the task was completed, and a partnership was formed - Bigham & Binkley, Attorneys at Law. The partnership later changed to Bigham, Binkley, and Jones. In 1973, Bob began his practice as a sole practitioner. He continued his private practice until his death. Mr. Binkley acquired vast knowledge of municipal law during his tenures as attorney for the City of Lewisburg from 1978 until 1999 and his times as City Attorney for the Town of Chapel Hill and Town of Cornersville. He also served on two occasions as counsel of the Marshall County Industrial Development Board. He was licensed to practice in Tennessee, all Tennessee federal district courts, the sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Court. He was a present or past member of the Marshall County Bar Association and Tennessee Bar Association.

Mr. Binkley was president of the Lewisburg Rotary Club and Marshall County Chamber of Commerce in 1968-1969 and 1971, respectively. Governor Ray Blanton appointed Mr. Binkley to serve as Marshall County General Sessions/Juvenile Judge and he served as judge from 1976 to 1978. Mr. Binkley served as Cubmaster of Pack 173 and Scoutmaster of Troop 307. He received the Boy Scout's Long Rifle award in 1971 in recognition of his outstanding contributions to Scouting. He was a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow and served and provided legal services for numerous local non-profit organizations. Bob was a member of First Presbyterian Church from the late 1960s and served as a teacher, deacon, elder, trustee, and member of various committees over the years.

Funeral services were conducted Thursday, Sept. 13, from the chapel of London Funeral Home, followed by burial in Lone Oak Cemetery.

London Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.