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Raymond Louis Sales

Obituary
  • "The pleasure of knowing Ray came when he joined Veritas at..."
    - Patricia W Oliver
  • "John - My condolences at your loss."
    - John Pustell
  • "I couldn't agree more -- a 'beautifully written obituary..."
  • "My best wishes for strength and peace go out to the Sales..."
    - Martin Kasdan Jr
  • "Louisville's own Atticus Finch. Rest in Peace Mr. Sales."

SALES , RAYMOND LOUIS, born May 13, 1922, died on January 28, 2014.

He leaves to cherish his memory his wife of 71 years, Elise Lapp Sales; his sister, Dorothy Rouben (Alvin) of San Diego, CA; three sons, Walter (Susan) and Kenneth (Karen ) of Louisville, and John (Susan) of Tulsa, OK, five grandchildren, Emily Sales (Brandon Taylor) of Louisville, Stephanie Smith (Craig) of Atlanta, GA, Savannah Sales of Louisville, Ethan Sales of Boston, MA, and Emma Sales of Tulsa; five great-grandchildren, Kenidee, Jack, Aaron, Benjamin and Nora; and nieces, nephews, and friends.

Raymond was predeceased by his parents Oscar and Florence Sales and his sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Edwin Cohen.

Raymond attended and graduated from Male High School, where he won the Bingham Medal. He also attended the University of Louisville and Princeton University. He received his BA and JD degrees from the University of Louisville after serving in the United States Army for three years during World War II, including tours of duty in the Philippine Islands and New Guinea. Following his honorable discharge in 1946 Raymond completed his education and began the private practice of law in 1947 with Laurence S. Grauman.

After Grauman was elected as a Circuit Court in Judge in 1956 Raymond and Charles Isenberg formed the law firm of Cohen, Isenberg, and Sales. In 1962 Raymond and Charles merged their practices with Herbert Segal to form Segal, Isenberg and Sales which became in the 1970s and 1980s one of the largest law firms in the United States dedicated to representing labor unions and their members. Raymond maintained an active trial practice for many years with that firm as it grew and evolved. He tried and won cases against some of the great lawyers of his generation, including Melvin Belli and John Y. Brown, Sr. Belli griped after losing that he was homered, to which Raymond responded that it was the first time a Jewish lawyer from Louisville was the beneficiary of home cooking in this Eastern Kentucky courtroom. During the week long trial against Brown in West Liberty, KY, Raymond and Brown had dinner together one evening when Brown complained that he had established a law office in Louisville for his son, John Y. Brown Jr. who seemed disinterested in law practice and was "messing around with some chicken farmer." He took great pride in the trust placed with him by so many successful people who would not normally be expected to want legal representation by a labor lawyer. The trust and friendship placed in him in particular by Stanley and Edna Yarmuth, and their children, Rep. John Yarmuth, and Robert, William, and Fran Yarmuth, was a source of great pride and satisfaction. Raymond was much more than just an outstanding trial lawyer and trusted advisor. His greatest contribution as a lawyer was mentoring younger lawyers, who trusted him with confidences and looked to him for guidance and assistance as he helped their careers develop.

As a young man Raymond loved acting in amateur productions; including leading roles twice as Kreton in "Visit to a Small Planet" and as Jonas Astorg in "The Reclining Figure." His most enjoyable acting activities were not his leads. His small role in "The Miracle Worker" starring the incomparable Jane Welch as Anne Sullivan and the prodigy, Marcia Tarbis, as Helen Keller was more personally rewarding. Watching his seven year-old son, Kenneth, perform in "The Seven Year Itch" gave him the most pride.

Raymond was an avid gardener and fisherman who, with his dear friend, Leonard Abraham, shared a trailer on Nolin Lake that could generously be described as rustic. Those who knew Raymond and Leonard best were convinced that they kept the trailer that way deliberately to deter their wives and other unwanted guests from joining them.

Raymond's interest in history and politics, about which he read voraciously, served him well after he retired from law practice. He taught and took courses at Veritas, a school for seniors on the campus of Bellarmine University. He proudly served as president of Veritas for a year. Even more than the teaching and the learning, Raymond enjoyed the relationships of his new friends at Veritas.

Raymond took great pride and love in the doll houses that he built first for his granddaughters, then for friends, and even people he barely knew just because he was happy to make them happy.

In addition to the many lawyers with whom he practiced and mentored and his family, Raymond had many friendships which he treasured for many years until either their deaths and/or his dementia robbed him of their company - Leonard, Stanley, Joe, Marty, Bob, Norman, Henry, Norton, Jerry, Armand, Sonny, Jack, David, D.A., Sam, Bert, Charles, Leroy, George, Eddie and Bud.

The family thanks all of the doctors, nurses and caregivers at Jefferson Place, especially Dr. Jane Cornett and her wonderful nurse practitioner, Angie Ethridge. Additionally, the family thanks Judy Skeen and Raymond's nephew, Dr. David Rouben, for their patience and help with Raymond over the last years of his life.

Raymond, a proud member of the "Greatest Generation," lived and loved greatly until dementia isolated him from those he had loved, with the exception of his family.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, January 31, 2014 at The Temple in the Waller Chapel. Visitation will begin after 10 a.m. Donations should be made to the Temple.

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Published in The Courier-Journal on Jan. 30, 2014
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