Retired Supreme Court Justice Frank F. Drowota, III, a member of the Nashville School of Law Board of Trust since 2006, died Sunday, April 15. He was 79 years old.
“Justice Drowota’s personal and professional qualities inspired us all and he will be greatly missed,” said Nashville School of Law Dean William C. Koch, Jr.
Drowota was a graduate of Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt Law School. He served on active duty in the United States Navy for two years and served in the United States Naval Reserve as a Judge Advocate General’s Corps officer.
Justice Drowota practiced law with Goodpasture, Carpenter, Woods & Sasser in Nashville until he was elected to Davidson County Chancery Court. He was appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals in 1974 and then elected to the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1980. He was re-elected to three eight-year terms and was the second-longest-serving justice in the state’s history. During his tenure on the Supreme Court, he was twice-elected by his peers to serve as chief justice.
The Tennessee Bar Association honored Justice Drowota by establishing The Justice Frank F. Drowota III Outstanding Judicial Service Award and naming him the first recipient. Justice Drowota later developed a code of conduct to govern judicial campaigns and personally contacted each judge and judicial candidate in Tennessee to encourage them to abide by the code.
Justice Drowota also served as a trustee of the Frist Foundation, Montgomery Bell Academy was chair of the YMCA of Middle Tennessee. He is survived by his wife, Claire Hooper, daughter Helen Drowota Close of Nashville, and Dr. Frank R. Drowota of Murfreesboro.
Services will be Saturday, April 21, at 3:00 pm, at Woodmont Christian, with visitation starting at 12:30 pm at the church. The church is located at 3601 Hillsboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37215.
Board of Trust members Thomas F. Cone, Sr., John T. Rochford, III, and the Honorable Frank F. Drowota, III with Dean William C. Koch, Jr. in May 2017.
Frank and Claire Drowota.