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Hansell Merrill Pasco
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Birth: Oct. 7, 1915
Thomasville
Fulton County
Georgia, USA
Death: Nov. 28, 2008
Richmond
Richmond City
Virginia, USA


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Virginia Lawyers Weekly
December 8, 2008

H. Merrill Pasco, the last surviving member of the World War II U.S. Army general staff and a former managing partner at Hunton & Williams, died at his home in Richmond on Nov. 28. He was 93.

A native of Thomasville, Ga., Mr. Pasco graduated from Virginia Military Institute, where he set Southern Conference records in the 100- and 220-yard dashes before reaching the finals of the 1936 Olympic trials. He is a member of the VMI Athletic Hall of Fame and a recipient of the college's Distinguished Service Award.

After graduating from the University of Virginia law school, he began his legal career in 1940 as the 14th lawyer at what was then Hunton, Williams, Anderson, Gay & Moore.

He was called to active duty the next year and served as assistant secretary and later secretary of the general staff of the War Department, where he worked for Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall.

Mr. Pasco returned to Hunton & Williams after the war and was the firm's managing partner for more than 10 years during the 1960s and 1970s. He was a corporate lawyer who served on the boards of several corporations and civic groups. He served for eight years on the State Council of Higher Education during the 1970s.

He took senior counsel status in 1980 but remained as counsel for Hot Springs Corp., Stratford Hall and Hollywood Cemetery. He retired in 2000.

Survivors include Carrington Lancaster Pasco, his wife of 67 years, a daughter, three sons, 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

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Richmond Times Dispatch
date

Hansell Merrill Pasco, who worked during World War II on the War Department General Staff at the Pentagon, never forgot his service under Gen. George C. Marshall, the Army chief of staff.

An attorney and Army reservist called to active duty in February 1941, Mr. Pasco served as assistant secretary and then secretary to the staff, associating regularly with Marshall, who had no officially designated aides. Staff secretaries performed aide duties for him.

"He sat there with those cold blue eyes, his arms folded, saying do this or do that," Mr. Pasco recalled in a 1976 Richmond Times-Dispatch interview.

"I was told one day to open the door, sit down, don't salute. . . . He thought that was lost motion. . . . Speak rapidly and clearly and get the hell out of there when you're through."

Mr. Pasco, who became an Army colonel at 29 and later served as a managing partner and senior counsel for the Richmond-based law firm now known as Hunton & Williams, died Friday at his Richmond home. He was 93.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 815 E. Grace St., where he had held numerous leadership roles since joining in 1946. A private burial will be in Hollywood Cemetery.

Born in Thomasville, Ga., he grew up in Florida, where he was catcher on a state championship high school baseball team.

He graduated in 1937 from Virginia Military Institute -- Marshall's alma mater -- where he earned the Society of Cincinnati Medal for "efficiency of service and excellence of character" and set a Southern Conference record in the 100-yard dash and a joint record in the 220-yard dash. His track prowess sped him to the finals of the 1936 Olympic trials.

VMI later inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame and honored him with a Distinguished Service Award after he served as chairman of the VMI Foundation, the school's endowment organization and was instrumental in establishing the school's George C. Marshall Library.

Armed with a law degree from the University of Virginia, he began his career in 1940 as the 14th lawyer with the Richmond firm of Hunton, Williams, Anderson, Gay & Moore, now Hunton & Williams, where he retired in 2000, said a son, Robert Lancaster Pasco of Strasburg. His service in the firm was interrupted only by his military service.

Mr. Pasco, who did much corporate work, served as managing partner for more than 10 years during the 1960s and 1970s. "He did a lot of hiring and recruiting in the period when the firm was really growing," his son said.

He took senior counsel status in 1980, remaining as counsel for Hot Springs Corp., Stratford Hall and Hollywood Cemetery. When he retired in 2000, the firm employed hundreds of lawyers.

Active in numerous civic groups, he served eight years on the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia during the 1970s, including a stint as chairman.

A Presbyterian who became a devoted Episcopal churchman after his marriage, Mr. Pasco also had served as a trustee and vice president of the Church Schools in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and a trustee of the Protestant Episcopal Seminary.

Mr. Pasco was former chairman of the board of governors at St. Catherine's School in Richmond and served on the board of Christchurch School.

From 1966 to 2007, he served as trustee of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia.

A man who loved the outdoors, he built a home in Bath County, where he canoed, fished and spent a lot of time with his family, his son said.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 67 years, Carrington Lancaster Pasco; two other sons, Hansell Merrill Pasco Jr. of Hilton Head, S.C., and Dabney Lancaster Pasco of Hot Springs; a daughter, Carrington Brown of Richmond; a brother, John Pasco Jr. of Richmond; and 13 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.


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Hunton & Williams LLP

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Burial:
Hollywood Cemetery
Richmond
Richmond City
Virginia, USA
 
Created by: vabloom
Record added: Jun 02, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 37847768
Hansell Merrill Pasco
Added by: vabloom
 
Hansell Merrill Pasco
Added by: John Shuck
 
Hansell Merrill Pasco
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Dean Wilson
 
 
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