Judge Robert Baird Cabell

Published 3:09 pm Monday, July 23, 2012

FRANKLIN—Judge Robert Baird Cabell, 89, passed away July 21, 2012.

Born in Norfolk on Jan. 4, 1923, Baird graduated salutatorian from Franklin High in 1940, then attended VPI, where he was in Sr. ROTC, three honorary fraternities and was managing editor of the VPI newspaper.

Late in his junior year, he entered active duty with the U.S. Army. Later he moved to Air Corps and was awarded Bombardier and Navigator wings.

In 1946 Baird married Jeanne Quebodeaux, then entered University of Virginia Law School. He helped provide for his wife by doing janitorial service on the side.

In 1948 he graduated and opened his first law practice in Franklin. He developed a propensity to give free advice on the post office steps and to accept payment in collard greens.

Baird became a part-time municipal judge in 1952.

Following Jeanne’s death, he married Norma Ann Holloway in 1953.

He retired as a Major from the Air Force Reserve in 1963.

He became a full-time juvenile and domestic relations district court judge in 1973, retiring in 1982. In 2005, following Norma’s death, Baird married Goldzsie M. Duncan, a loving companion until his death.

Baird cherished his faith and walked himself to church from a young age. He was a charter member and the first Clerk of Session for Franklin Presbyterian Church, which he helped build.

He was a local and state Lions Club president, a staunch advocate of eye donorship and a recipient of the prized Melvin Jones Fellow Award.

Baird was active in numerous professional associations and a member of the Old Dominion Council of Boy Scouts of America. He was very proud that his sons all earned their Eagle Scout awards, as had he.

Baird was known for his quick wit and stubborn commitment to the unvarnished truth.

He was an avid gardener and shared his roses far and wide.

Baird was preceded in death by parents, Powhatan Algernon Cabell and Gertrude Elizabeth Meyerhoffer Cabell, and five half siblings.

He is survived by his wife, Goldzsie M. Cabell of Franklin; children, Robert “Bob” Baird Cabell Jr. (Cathy) of Omaha, Frank Holloway Cabell (Ann) of Portsmouth, Elizabeth “Betsy” Cabell Wiley (Charles) of Louisville and William “Bill” Sheridan Cabell of Norfolk; sister, Mary Cabell Bridges of Franklin; niece, Mary Hu Bridges (Ranae) of Goldsboro; nephew, Warren Cabell Bridges (Nancy) of Franklin; and 12 grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be Tuesday, July 24, from 6-8 p.m. at Wright Funeral Home. A service of witness to the resurrection will be held 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 25¸ 2012, at Franklin Presbyterian Church followed by Color Guard with full honors.

Interment will follow at Poplar Spring Cemetery.

Baird requested that any memorial donations go to Franklin Presbyterian Church, 405 Lee St., Franklin, Va., 23851. www.wrightfuneralhome.org.