2004 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Horhn, Frazier, Butler, Dawkins, Harden, Jackson (11th), Jackson (32nd), Jordan, Little, Simmons, Thomas, Turner

Senate Resolution 54

(As Adopted by Senate)


     WHEREAS, respected attorney Frank Stimley of Jackson, Mississippi, who supported many local charities, has passed away; and

     WHEREAS, Frank Durand Stimley, Esquire, was born February 17, 1948 in Chicago, Illinois.  He was the third child born to  Charles Edmond Stimley (deceased) and Bernice Allen Stimley.  Charles and Bernice Stimley were native Mississippians who had moved to Chicago in the mid-1930's, after finishing Alcorn College.  In 1950, when Frank was two years old, his parents decided to go against the tide of migration to the North.  They left Chicago, returned to their native Mississippi, and opened a business with Bernice Stimley's brother, Sherman Lloyd Allen ("S.L.").  They located the business in the Georgetown area of Jackson, on the corner of Carver Street and Mobile Avenue; and

     WHEREAS, growing up in the store, Frank was a promising businessman by the early age of ten.  Frank would always credit much of his career success to his parents (Charles and Bernice Stimley) and the valuable academic preparation he received at Lanier High School in Jackson, Mississippi.  Frank was Valedictorian of his 1965 Lanier High School Class and he was elected Mr. Lanier.  A standout football and baseball player, he turned down an opportunity to play professional baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals, to attend Columbia University in New York City; and

     WHEREAS, in 1969, Frank received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, with honors.  He was an outstanding star baseball player on the Columbia University team.  In the fall of 1969, Frank decided to move from his college major of electrical engineering into business by entering Harvard Business School's MBA program.  Still seeking excellence, Frank wasn't satisfied to obtain one degree from Harvard University.  One year later, he applied for and was admitted into Harvard's joint degree program in law and business.  Frank joined his sister Pernila at Harvard University Law School in 1970.  A year later, Sherman Stimley joined them at Harvard Law School.  This remarkable  academic feat made the Stimley's first family to ever have three siblings at Harvard Law School at the same time; and

     WHEREAS, Frank was graduated in 1973, from both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, receiving a Juris Doctorate Degree (J.D.) and a Masters in Business Administration (M.B.A.), both with honors.  He remains one of a select few African Americans in the country to have accomplished this distinction.  Immediately after graduation, Frank married Cynthia Bagwell, of Boston, Massachusetts.  They were married in the historic Charles Street A.M.E. Church.  To this union of thirty-one years, two children were born, Kahrna and Vincent; and

     WHEREAS, still a trailblazer, Frank decided to turn down job offers in Massachusetts and New York and return to Mississippi after his graduation, where he became the first African American lawyer hired by a major law firm in the State of Mississippi, Wise Carter Child Steen & Caraway.  He also became the first African American lawyer to become a partner with that firm.  His association with the Wise Carter law firm afforded him the opportunity to work for most of the major investment banks and lending institutions in the state; and

     WHEREAS, on March 1, 1982, Attorney Stimley made another significant career decision.  Deciding he could better help his community and his family by opening his own law firm, he founded the Law Office of Frank D. Stimley that same year.  Frank was always known as a "man with a plan" and his firm quickly developed the reputation for providing top quality legal service.  Simply put, Frank's reputation was one of legal excellence; and

     WHEREAS, operating a general civil practice, but also concentrating in Real Estate, Public Finance and Corporate transactions, Frank became one of the first African American lawyers in Mississippi to earn the coveted distinction of being listed in the "Red Book".  This recognition is given to lawyers who have handled financial transactions which exceed $1 Billion Dollars.  His brother Sherman Stimley was the first African American attorney in the State of Texas to gain this same recognition; and

     WHEREAS, he served as a Deacon at Morningstar Baptist Church for 18 years under Dr. M.K. Nelson, and after his death, also served as a Deacon with Progressive Morning Star Baptist Church under Bishop Charles W. Garrett; and

     WHEREAS, Frank used his legal talents to assist many charitable causes.  He was intimately involved in helping secure the financing for numerous churches, Head Start programs, medical clinics and non-profit organizations.  He provided services for Jackson Redevelopment Authority and other economic development entities for over two decades; and

     WHEREAS, Frank's involvement in providing legal assistance to numerous charitable organizations including Friends of Children, Stewpot, Catholic Charities and the United Way was recognized on numerous occasions and he received countless awards and certificates.  He was personally very proud of his legal contributions to the Farish Street Redevelopment Program; and

     WHEREAS, Frank's contribution and legacy to his family, church, legal and general community will live on through the many lives he has positively affected; and

     WHEREAS, he leaves numerous friends and family to mourn him and it is with great sadness that we note the passing of this individual whose well documented contributions to his community and state serve as an example to all Mississippians:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby commend the life and legacy of charitable and public service of the Honorable Frank Durand Stimley of Jackson, Mississippi, and express to his surviving family the sympathy of the Senate on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to his mother, Mrs. Bernice Allen Stimley and his wife, Mrs. Cynthia Bagwell Stimley and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.