KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Retired Court of Appeals Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr, who was the longest-serving appellate judge in Tennessee at the time of his retirement, died at the age of 86 last week. Services will be held next week in Knoxville to honor the late judge.
On Friday Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said flags will be lowered next week in order to honor Judge Susano’s “significant contributions to Tennessee, sterling legal career and pursuit of justice.”
Susano was born in 1936 in Knoxville and was an alumnus of Knoxville Catholic High School, where he was captain of the basketball team that won the Sixth District Championship in 1954. He attended the University of Notre Dame and graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame’s College of Commerce with a major in accounting in 1958. He was then drafted into the U.S. Army in 1958 and honorably discharged in 1960. He moved back to Knoxville and enrolled at the University of Tennessee College of Law where he was a member of the Law Review and graduated Order of the Coif in 1963.
Then, Susano served in the inaugural group of law clerks to the Tennessee Supreme Court, where he clerked for Chief Justice Hamilton S. Burnett. His judiciary career spanned more than three decades; he served on the Court of Appeals for more than 25 years – taking the bench in 1994 and retiring in April 2020. Susano authored more than 1,000 opinions and served as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from 2013 to 2015. Susano was also the recipient of the Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award in 2017; he received the Knoxville Bar Association’s Courage in the Face of Adversity Award in 2004; and the American Board of Trial Advocates, Tennessee Chapter Appellate Judge of the Year in 2003.
The family will receive friends in Knoxville on Monday, May 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at the Cathedral Hall at Sacred Heart and the funeral mass will be on Tuesday, May 17 at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Those attending the mass should park on the south side of the Cathedral. Arrangements by Rose Funeral & Cremation
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Endowment at the University of Tennessee College of Law, Attn: Ellen Cole, Director of Advancement at UT College of Law:
1505 Cumberland Ave.
Knoxville, TN 37996
Donations may also be made to the disABILITY Resource Center, Attn: Brook Rogers
9111 Cross Park Dr.
Suite E 135
Knoxville, TN 37923
A full legal biography regarding Charles D. Susano Jr. and his achievements can be viewed on the Tennessee State Courts website.