HAMRICK WINSTON-SALEM - Claude Meredith Hamrick of Winston-Salem passed away at his home on November 29, 2010 at the age of 84. He was born in Rutherford County on July 27, 1926 to Roland B. and Thelma R. Hamrick. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lena Lewis Hamrick, of Winston-Salem; son Kent L. Hamrick and wife, Gina M. Hamrick, of Winston-Salem; son R. Mont Hamrick and wife, Terry M. Hamrick, of Atlanta Georgia; grandsons Matt Hamrick of Washington, D.C. and David Hamrick of Chapel Hill, N.C.; granddaughters Meredith and Madeline Hamrick of Winston-Salem; and brother Jack R. Hamrick and wife, Betty Hamrick, of Tampa, Florida. He attended Rutherford County and Christiansburg, Virginia schools, then Pfeiffer College from 1943 - 1944 prior to being drafted into the Army in the fall of 1944. Upon his honorable discharge from service in 1946 he attended Wake Forest College and School of Law under the GI Bill of Rights, graduating in the spring of 1950 and passing the N.C. State Bar exam in the summer of that year. He received basic training at Fort Bragg, N.C. In the spring of 1945 he was transferred to the South Pacific theatre of operations in the Philippines and assigned to the Division Surgeons office in the 40th Infantry Division, then located on Panay Island. At the time the atom bombs were dropped his division was preparing for the planned invasion of Japan. Following Japan's surrender, his division was transferred to Korea for its occupation, replacing the Japanese who had occupied it for many years. He returned to the U.S. and was honorably discharged in November 1946. During his World War II service, he attained the highest enlisted rank of Master Sergeant. For his service, he received the Asiatic Pacific Medal with one Bronze Service Star; Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Service Star; Good Conduct Medal; World War Victory Medal; Occupation Ribbon and Army Commendation Ribbon. Following graduation from Law School in 1950, he voluntarily re-entered the Army, receiving a direct commission as First Lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General's Corps. For a time, he served at the Pentagon, reviewing court records until he was assigned to the Judge Advocate's Office of the VII Army Corps in Stuttgart, Germany. During his service in Europe, he tried cases in military courts in Stuttgart, Munich, Nurem-burg and other locations. He returned to the U.S. and was honorably discharged from active duty in 1952. He thereafter served for a time in the Army Reserve, and was promoted to the rank of Captain in the JAGC. He began the private general practice of law in Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1953. Later he concentrated his practice in Corporate Law. For many years he was in partnership with W. Dennie Spry and George Doughton in the firm of Spry, Hamrick and Doughton. In 1977 he was employed as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary to McLean Trucking Company, then the nation's 5th largest motor carrier and was in charge of its legal affairs throughout this country. He was admitted to the bars in all N.C. State Courts, Federal District Courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. He was a member of the Motor Carrier Lawyers Association and an original member of the N.C. Bar Association General Counsel Committee. In 1991 he returned to private practice for a time and retired in 1995. In 1961 he was appointed to the N.C. House of Representatives upon the death of Rep. Fleet Gobble and was elected to three additional terms ending in 1968. During the 1965 term he served as Chairman of the Committee on Corporations and in his last term as Chairman of the Committee on the Judiciary. As Chairman of the Corporations Committee he managed the House bill adopting the Uniform Commercial Code in N.C. by which most commercial transactions are governed. He was instrument-al in bringing the N.C. School of the Arts to Winston-Salem. He was appointed by Governor Sanford to the Board of Trustees of Forsyth Technical Institute and later by Governor Moore to the State Board of Mental Health. He was a longtime member of Knollwood Baptist Church. He was a member of Forsyth Country Club and an avid golfer for many years. He was blessed with many dear friends who will fondly remember his quick mind, fine character, good humor and gentle nature. The family will receive friends on December 1, 2010 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Voglers, Reynolda Road. The funeral service will be on December 2, 2010 at 11:30 a.m. at Knollwood Baptist Church with burial to follow at Forsyth Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to Knollwood Baptist Church or to an appropriate charity of one's choice.
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Published in Winston-Salem Journal on December 1, 2010