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Dayton Docket


In Memoriam 2017: Law School Alumni

As we reflect on this past year, we want to remember those we lost from the law school family in 2017. If you know of any other law alumni who passed away this year but are not on the list, please email Jordan Burgess at

Tera G. Cozart Terry '06


Tera G. Cozart Terry, 39 years, of Clarks Summit, died Sunday, July 9, 2017 after a tragic automobile accident, southwest of Cromwell, Ind.

A 1996 graduate of Abington Heights High School, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in communications and an additional B.S. in theatre from the Ohio State University. She was awarded her Juris Doctorate from the University of Dayton. She had been employed by Tiffany Court at Kingston, where she worked as an office manager/HR director. She formerly was a public defender for Hazard County, Ky., where she was a member of the Hazard County Bar Association.

She was a member of the Clarks Summit United Methodist Church and was a former member of the Eastern Star while living in Kentucky.

Obituary from Jennings-Calvey Funeral and Cremation Services

Michelle R. Garrubbo (Zinser) '94


Michelle R. Garrubbo (nee Zinser), age 50, ​passed away suddenly ​on Saturday, February 11, 2017 at her home in New Vernon.

Michelle ​was a graduate of ​Notre Dame University and the University of Dayton Law School. ​She was an attorney before she put her career on hold to raise her three sons. She was a communicant of St. Vincent Martyr RC Church in Madison, where she formed the Special Needs Ministry and was very active in St. Vincent Martyr ​School. She was also very active in the Angelman Syndrome Foundation. Michelle enjoyed music. ​She performed as ​the lead singer in several rock bands since college and until recently. ​Michelle sang "Me and Bobby McGee" better than Janis Joplin! ​She loved Rock n' Roll.

Obituary from Madison Memorial Home

Lewis W. Kraus '80


Lewis Wendell Kraus, 70, passed away Friday, April 21, 2017 at Candler Hospital. 

He earned a BA degree from Miami University of Ohio, a JD from the University of Dayton and was a Captain in the United States Air Force.  Mr. Kraus served as the in-house attorney for Citizen’s Federal Bank before establishing Employee Compensation Planning in Dayton.  Until his death, he was president of Provnet Strategies in Dayton and Savannah.  He and Mrs. Kraus moved to Savannah in 2002, and were members of Bible Baptist Church, where he was active with the church orchestra.  He was a Rotarian, Paul Harris Fellow, and a member of the Savannah Stompers Jazz Band.

Obituary from Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors

John F. Shay, Jr. '81


John Francis Shay, Jr., Esq., 61, of Dunkirk, MD, passed away on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, after bravely battling cancer for three years.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Mount Saint Mary’s University in 1978, and his juris doctor from the University of Dayton School of Law in 1981. He served as Associate County Attorney for Prince George’s County, MD for two years before joining the law firm of Knight, Manzi, Brennan & Ostrom. John became a partner in that firm in 1989 and continued practicing there until August, 2011, when he joined Brennan, McKenna, Manzi & Shay.

He was the attorney for many municipalities, including North Beach for over 25 years, Laurel, Greenbelt and Berwyn Heights. He was extremely passionate about serving the community. He was very active in his church, The Covenant Community of Jesus the Good Shepherd, serving on many boards and committees over the years. He was also a long-time member and past president of the Upper Marlboro Chapter of Rotary International, where he headed the Young Americans Scholarship Program for over 20 years. He served on the Calvert County Hospice Board, including as president, and was an integral part of establishing the Burnett Calvert Hospice House in Prince Frederick, MD.

He enjoyed spending time with his family, entertaining everyone with his wicked sense of humor, and enthusiastically cheering for all his favorite sports teams.

Obituary from Lee Funeral Homes

Noel W. Vaughn '79


Noel W. Vaughn, age 79, passed away quietly on June 10, 2017, while in Hospice Care at Lincoln Park Manor in Kettering.

Noel earned a Bachelor’s degree in English from DePauw University and a Master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University. She taught at Wright State University and the Miami Valley School and worked as a Communications Specialist at the Kettering Foundation prior to attending The University of Dayton School of Law, where she earned her law degree in 1979.

Noel was admitted to practice law in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, and the Supreme Court of Ohio. In 1981, Noel was one of the founding partners of Henley, Vaughn, Becker and Wald, Dayton’s first woman-owned private law practice. Noel pursued a distinguished career as an advocate of women’s rights and equal opportunity. She lived that commitment with her extensive community service and her heartfelt legal representation of women and children. She routinely represented battered women and children free of charge so that those who are least able to pay received the legal representation they deserved. Noel worked extensively in Montgomery County Juvenile Court as an attorney and Guardian ad Litem. She was a founding board member and the first chair of the Dayton Bar Association’s Juvenile Law Committee.

Noel was one of the first employees of the Montgomery County Fair Housing Center, the predecessor organization to the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center. She served as the Coordinator of the Fair Housing Center from 1979 until 1981, and again from 1985 until 1989, when the Center was a program of other non-profit organizations. In 1993, Noel was one of the three founding board members of the Miami Valley Fair Housing Center, as it became an independent, full-service fair housing organization, and subsequently served on the board of the Center for two years. She was a board member of the Robert E. Kolze Housing Justice Fund for thirty years, and received a gubernatorial appointment to the Ohio FAIR Plan Underwriting Association from 1986 until 1992.

In addition, Noel had a long and distinguished history of volunteerism with local community organizations including: Artemis Center for Alternatives to Domestic Violence, Freedom of Choice Miami Valley, the AIDS Foundation of Dayton, the Dayton Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Muse Machine, the Human Race Theatre Company, the Dayton Playhouse, the Dayton Theatre Guild, and the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame. Noel had a passion for theatre and the movies. She enjoyed The Neon Movies, traveling, and was a regular at many of Dayton’s festivals including A World A’Fair, Greek Festival, Art in the Park, and the DAI’s Oktoberfest.

Obituary from Baker-Hazel & Snider Funeral Home and Crematory

Kimberly L. Vernekar (Bruce) '03


Kimberly Lynn Vernekar (Bruce), 39 of Huber Heights, passed away September 22, 2017.

Kim was a 1996 graduate of Wayne High School. She graduated from Miami University in 2000 and earned her law degree from the University of Dayton in 2003. She worked as a Montgomery County Public Defender from 2004 to 2017, until illness no longer allowed her to continue. She loved adventures and traveling all around the world. Most of all, she adored and loved her son.

Obituary from Newcomer Funeral Homes

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