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Longtime attorney Alfred Good dies

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Longtime attorney Alfred F. Good of Charleston died Tuesday, a week before his 97th birthday.

Good practiced law for 70 years and was one of the last practicing members of the West Virginia University College of Law Class of 1939. He retired in 2009.

He was a well-respected and admired attorney who lost his vision in two separate childhood accidents.

His secretary of 26 years, Rhonda Henson of Sissonville, said that didn't keep Good from being an effective lawyer and a very independent person.

"I learned a lot more with him than I would have with any other attorney," Henson said. "Because I would go with him to the courthouse, the state law library, to courthouses out of the county.

"I would read research to him,'" she said. "But he was very independent. He took notes in Braille. He went through law school blind and he was near the top of his class."

Good was a graduate of Charleston High School, where he was also top of the class. He briefly attended a school for the blind in Philadelphia, but asked his parents to come home after a few months.

In an interview in December 2009, Good said he never considered his blindness to be a deterrent.

"If they thought it was going to be an obstacle, they didn't tell me," he said of his decision to go to WVU and study law.

His Capitol Street firm, Bibby and Good, was formed with childhood friend James Bibby. Bibby died in 2003.

In 1997, both partners were honored by the governor as Distinguished West Virginians.

"He had a great mind," Henson said of her former boss. "People were really impressed with his recall powers. He was very intelligent and he could just rattle off sections of the code."

Kanawha Circuit Judge Tod Kaufman said Good will be greatly missed. He said he values the inspiration Good provided him.

Kaufman said, "He was such an astute lawyer. I'm really sad to know he has passed away.

"When I first came in as a judge, he was one of those lawyers of a generation way before mine," Kaufman said. "His friendships and contacts in the bar were invaluable as a support and source of information to me as a judge.

"He was a lawyer's lawyer," he said. "His insight and perceptivity was greater than anyone I've seen in practice."

A memorial service will be held at 7 p.m. Friday at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, where Good and his deceased wife, Martha, were longtime members.

Good donated his body to the West Virginia University School of Medicine.


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