Lawrence Rabb, attorney


Lawrence W. Rabb

MERIDIAN -- Lawrence Wynn Rabb, 87, a retired attorney, died March 30, 2008.

A memorial service  was held April 3 at Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church.

Mr. Rabb was an active member of the Meridian community for the past 56 years.

Mr. Rabb grew up in Lexington where he graduated from Lexington High School. He earned a B.A. degree from Millsaps College in 1942, and then joined the U.S. Navy, where he served as captain of an LST supply ship in the Pacific.

After the war, he graduated from the University of Chicago law school in 1948. He served as a Navy judge advocate general (JAG officer) stateside during the Korean Conflict. He continued his Navy service in the reserves, retiring as a captain in 1978. He moved to Meridian in 1952, where he practiced law until 2005.

He served as chairman of the Mississippi Board of Bar admissions and president of the Lauderdale County Bar Association.

Throughout his life, Mr. Rabb was involved in civic matters at the state and local level, including a 1970s effort to change Meridian's form of government from city manager to a strong-mayor form.

He was a member of the 1986 Mississippi Constitution Revision Commission, and was involved in the Committee of Conscience in the 1960s, a move to help rebuild several African-American churches that had been burned. Also in the 1960s, Mr. Rabb was one of the lead attorneys in a landmark federal lawsuit that forced Lauderdale County, and subsequently all Mississippi counties, to re-draw county supervisor election districts to more equitably represent urban as well as rural voters.

It was considered a classic case of fulfilling the "one-man, one-vote" doctrine established a few years earlier by the U.S. Supreme Court.

 He also was a long-time member of the Democratic Party and was involved at local, state and national levels.

Mr. Rabb was a member of the Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church, having served on the Board of Trustees and the Board of Stewards, and as Sunday school teacher for adults. He also served as attorney for the Mississippi Conference for 35 years.

Mr. Rabb was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence Wynn Rabb Sr., and Willie Bradford McCaleb Rabb.

Survivors include: his wife, Clo Ann Shull Rabb of Meridian; sons, Michael of Boulder,

Colo., and William Rabb of Pensacola; daughter, Lauren Wells, of Clarksville, Tenn.; sister, Bettye VanderVeen, of Lynchburg, Va.; and six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

The family requests that memorial gifts be made to Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church.