ROUNTREE--Asa, age 83, died on Thursday, February 11, 2010. He was born in Birmingham, AL. He attended the public schools there, in Tuscaloosa, and in Montgomery. He was graduated from the Capitol Page School in Washington, DC, where he was a page at the United States Supreme Court. He was graduated in 1949 from the University of Alabama, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Scabbard and Blade honorary societies and Phi Delta Theta social fraternity. In 1954, he was graduated magna cum laude from the Harvard Law School where he was a member of the Lincoln's Inn Society and the Choate Club. From 1954 until 1962, he practiced law in Birmingham, where he became a partner of the firm of Cabaniss & Johnston. He also served as president of the Birmingham Junior Bar Association, as vice president of the Family Counseling Association, and as a member of the Budget Committee of the Community Chest. In 1962, he moved to New York City, where he became a partner of the firm Debevoise & Plimpton. He was a corporate litigator with that firm, and for many years served as its chief financial officer. When he retired from that firm in 1991, he returned to Birmingham and became a shareholder in the firm of Maynard, Cooper & Gale, P.C., from which he retired in 2000. He wrote and published The Roman Republic: An Historical Parallel?; Human Nature, Morality, and the State; and Words: Essays and Other Words, as well as many unpublished writings. He was, he liked to say, a consummate collector of rejection slips. In the Second World War he served in the Army, first in the Ordnance Corps and then as a military policeman. In the Korean War, he served as an infantry officer in combat, first as a rifle platoon leader and then as assistant battalion operations officer. He was active in the American Bar Association and was one of the founders of its Litigation Section, serving as chairman of the section during 1980 through 1981. He was admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama and the Southern District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Fifth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. He was a member of the Alabama Bar Association, New York State Bar Association, Birmingham Bar Association, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Alabama Law School Foundation, American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Law Institute, American Bar Foundation. He was a member of The River Club in New York and the Mountain Brook Club in Birmingham. He is survived by his wife, Helen Hill Rountree, who is known professionally as Helen Hill Updike, by his two sons, Robert B. Rountree and John A. Rountree (Cheryl); and by a grandson, Ben, and a granddaughter, Sarah Rose. A memorial service will be held the Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama on February 24, 2010 at 4pm. The family will receive friends after the service in Clingmon Commons. A memorial service will be held in New York at All Souls Unitarian Church on Tuesday, March 23rd, at 11:00am. Immediately afterward, the family will join with friends in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, unrestricted contributions may be made to the Weill Cornell Medical Center, 425 East 68th Street, Box 123, 10065 in honor of Joseph Ruggiero, MD, and his staff. The family is grateful to eleven complete strangers who gave the blood that gave us seven more months with Asa, and hopes that those who also loved and admired him will consider giving in future blood drives.
Published in New York Times on Feb. 14, 2010.