2006 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Ross, Albritton, Frazier, Jackson (11th), Kirby, White, Williamson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 604

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, former United States Magistrate Judge John R. Countiss III died February 22, 2006, at the age of 78; and

     WHEREAS, Judge Countiss was born on August 26, 1927, to John R. Countiss, Jr., and Lyneille Butler Countiss, and was a life-long resident of Jackson and a member of St. Andrew's Episcopal Cathedral; and

     WHEREAS, after graduating from Central High School in the Class of 1945, he joined the United States Navy in 1946; and

     WHEREAS, a 1950 graduate of Millsaps College, Countiss earned his law degree from the then-Jackson School of Law, graduating Cum Laude in 1956; he was admitted to The Mississippi Bar the same year, and served as an instructor at the law school from 1956-1957; and

     WHEREAS, before his appointment to the bench as a "Commissioner," the judicial precursor to federal magistrate, he practiced law for nine years, first with the law firm of Lee, Moore and Countiss and then with the Nichols, Gore and Countiss firm; and

     WHEREAS, he married Matelyn "Mimi" Floyd Hines on December 6, 1962; and

     WHEREAS, he was the longest serving United States Magistrate, having been first designated a United States Commissioner for the Southern District of Mississippi in 1963, then sworn in as a part-time Magistrate Judge in 1974, and appointed full-time Magistrate Judge in 1976, in which capacity he continued until his retirement on September 30, 1993; and

     WHEREAS, Judge Countiss reentered private practice following his retirement from the bench with the law firm of Upshaw, Williams, Biggers, Beckham and Riddick; and

     WHEREAS, he was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mimi, and their son, Sean Butler Countiss; and is survived by his daughter, Lyneille Countiss Williams; son-in-law, George Williams, Jr.; his son, John R. Countiss IV; daughter-in-law, Amy Burns Countiss; and six grandchildren:  Kaleigh Ann Countiss, Sean Matelyn Williams, George Williams III, John R. Countiss V, Rivers Matelyn Countiss and Henry Harrison Countiss; and

     WHEREAS, Judge Countiss was known, loved and respected for his humor and scholarly appreciation of the law; and

     WHEREAS, his passing leaves a void for his family and many, many friends and colleagues; and

     WHEREAS, it is with sadness that we note the passing of this outstanding jurist who contributed so much to his profession and community:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby commend the life and service of Judge John R. Countiss III, of Jackson, Mississippi, and express to his family the sympathy of the Legislature on his passing.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to Judge Countiss' family and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.