H.M. Patterson & Son-Spring Hill Chapel
1020 Spring Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30309
(404) 876-1022
For more information about
More Obituaries for Randolph THROWER
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Randolph W. THROWER

Obituary Condolences

THROWER, Randolph W. 1913-2014 Randolph Thrower died peacefully at home on March 8, having recently celebrated his 100th birthday. He was a leader in virtually every endeavor of his long and active life, which included a remarkable legal career and a dedication to public service. Randolph was a devoted family man with a gentle sense of humor, a deep reverence for the natural world and a joyous and generative approach to life. Together with his adored wife, Margaret, he loved to be in the mountains, at the beach and in the woods, especially at Sunnyside Farm in Gadsden County, Florida. He was a tree planter, a fisherman, a fossil hunter, a student of religion and history and an explorer of ancient ruins around the world. Randolph instilled a love of nature in his children and grandchildren, and he always had a twinkle in his eye and a light touch. Randolph was born on September 5, 1913, the son of Benjamin Key Thrower Jr. and Ora Hammond of Tampa, Florida. After the untimely death of his father when Randolph was an infant, he was raised by his grandparents, the Reverend Benjamin Key Thrower and Laura Mitchell Thrower, and his uncles and aunts. As a young boy, he attended Georgia Military Academy in Atlanta (now Woodward Academy), where he won many awards, including "Best Drilled Cadet." He went on to Emory College, class of 1934, and Emory Law School, class of 1936. The campus yearbook recognized Randolph as a leader "respected for his sober judgment, admired for his versatility, and liked by all for his genuine friendliness." At Emory he met the men who were his closest lifelong friends: Boisfeuillet Jones, Bruce Logue, Albert Reichert, and Jimmy Ferman. While at Emory, Randolph also met Margaret Logan Munroe from Quincy, Florida. They were married on Groundhog's Day in 1939 and lived their romance for the next 70 years. Throughout her life Margaret was an integral and beautiful partner in all of Randolph's endeavors. They hated to be separated, and Margaret went with him whenever and wherever she could. They moved to upstate New York in 1942 when Randolph joined the FBI, and to California in 1943, prior to his deployment to the Philippines and Okinawa as a captain in the Marine Corps. When the war was over and Randolph came home, they bought a little house in Atlanta, which they promptly filled with children. Randolph joined the law firm of Sutherland, Tuttle & Brennan in 1936 and he was proud to be a partner at Sutherland until his death. He achieved a high level of professional success, representing corporations and individuals, primarily in tax litigation. Randolph was an untiring advocate for his clients, renowned for his thorough preparation of legal arguments, his mastery of the facts and his persistence. When dealing with the government or opposing counsel, Randolph believed that if he could make them understand his position they would agree; if they didn't agree, he must not have explained it well enough, and he would patiently explain it again, and again. For Randolph, being a lawyer meant much more than just serving paying clients. From the outset of his career he was committed to providing legal services for those unable to pay, and he worked to improve the profession at every level. From his days as a young lawyer handling a death penalty appeal, to his active participation in the elder law program at Atlanta Legal Aid Society when he was in his nineties, Randolph participated personally in pro bono cases. He was president of Atlanta Legal Aid Society in 1953, and in 1983 led its groundbreaking and successful appeal for funds from Atlanta lawyers and law firms. He was a founding member of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights under Law, which honored him with its 1997 Segal-Tweed Founders Award. Randolph was a leader in the American Bar Association, serving as chairman of the ABA Section of Taxation and for 17 years as a member of its House of Delegates. He was also president of the American Bar Foundation and a member of ABA's initial Commission on the Status of Women in the Profession. In 1993 the ABA awarded him the American Bar Association Medal, its highest honor, for exceptionally distinguished service by a lawyer to the cause of American jurisprudence, saying: He "set a standard to which all lawyers can aspire. His unique combination of advocacy, conscience and leadership provide a powerful moral force for all who know him. [He] has worked tirelessly as an advocate for the poor, for women, for minorities, and for our system of government that serves us all." Randolph also played key leadership roles in church and community activities. He was a founding member of Northside United Methodist Church, where he taught adult Sunday school for decades. He served for years as a trustee of Emory University and was chairman of the board of Wesleyan College. In his seventies, after most people would have thought they had done enough, Randolph led the Georgia Wilderness Institute as its first chair, as it built facilities to provide alternatives to incarceration for delinquent youth. In the early 1950s he became active in the fledgling Georgia Republican Party. He believed in the importance of a two-party system and was eager to fight the entrenched arch-segregationists and the unfair county unit system. In 1956 he ran for Congress as a Republican and, to everyone's surprise (especially his, and Margaret's, who was then six months pregnant), he almost won. In 1969 he was appointed commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service by President Richard Nixon. He served for two years, working through many high profile and contentious issues, including refusing tax-exempt status for private schools that discriminated on the basis of race. But the most difficult issues were not visible to the public. The Nixon White House sought to use the IRS for improper purposes, such as audits of its "enemies list." Randolph steadfastly refused to allow misuse of the IRS, and as a result, was directed by the President to resign. Randolph quietly returned to his law practice. Only after the Watergate hearings did he understand what he had been dealing with and speak publicly of his experience. From 1980 to 1992 Randolph served as chair of the City of Atlanta's Board of Ethics and was co-chair of an investigation into allegations of cheating on police promotion exams. Randolph's integrity, courage and fairness in these and other matters has been widely recognized and applauded. Randolph received many accolades, including honorary degrees from Emory University and Wesleyan College, the American Inns of Court Professionalism Award for the Eleventh Circuit, the Leadership Award of the Atlanta Bar Association, the Founders Award of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, recognition as one of Georgia's "Heroes, Saints and Legends" by Wesley Woods, the Ben F. Johnson Public Service Award from Georgia State University College of Law, the John Wesley Award from Reinhardt College, the Lifetime Anti-Defamation League Achievement Award, a special tribute from the Atlanta Legal Aid Society on its 75th anniversary, and the Coverdell Good Government Award, to name just a few. His memoir, Randolph Thrower: The Early Years, published by his family for his 95th birthday, is both wise and funny. At the end of his life, he delighted in the flowers in his garden and the hummingbirds that frequented his feeders. He demonstrated kindness daily and retained his dry wit and appreciation for a good story. Randolph was predeceased by his beloved Margaret, who died in 2009. He is survived by his five children-Margaret MacCary of New York City, Patricia Barmeyer of Atlanta, Laura Harris (David) of New York City, Randy Thrower (Carolyn) of Decatur, and Mary Wickham (George) of Richmond; his eleven grandchildren- 1, 1 William Thomas MacCary (Karla), Margaret MacCary (Arne Jokela), Wilson Barmeyer (Sarah), Mary Logan Bikoff (David), Benjamin Thrower (Meli), Randolph Thrower III (Amanda), Albert Thrower, Taylor Harris, Patricia Harris, Clayton Wickham and Will Wickham; and nine great-grandchildren-Kate MacCary, Julia MacCary, Alice Jokela, Billy Jokela, Tinsley Barmeyer, Cora Thrower, Ada Thrower, Davis Randolph Thrower, and Tula Thrower. The family expresses profound appreciation to his loving caregivers Jean Blythe, Audrey Kornegy, Doreene Blair, and Rose Marie Ricketts, and his secretary, Hazel Williams. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Atlanta Legal Aid Society or the . The family will receive friends Friday, March 14th from 5:00pm - 7:00pm at H. M. Patterson & Son, Spring Hill Chapel. Services will be held at Northside United Methodist Church on Saturday, March 15 at 11 a.m.


Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Mar. 10, 2014
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.
Planning Guide
Free funeral planning guide compliments of H.M. Patterson & Son-Spring Hill Chapel