Update: Memorial Service for Russell Gunter Scheduled for Wednesday

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013 11:10 am  

Russell Gunter

A memorial service celebrating the life of Little Rock attorney Russell Gunter is scheuled for 5 p.m Wednesday at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Little Rock.

At the request of Gunter, who died of cancer on Saturday, the service will be followed by a party. "Business attire will be appreciated but casual attire is encouraged," according to a statement from his law firm, Cross Gunter Witherspoon & Galchus.

Gunter, 62, practiced labor and employment law and was the firm's managing partner for 16 years.

"Blessed with everything but a long life, he was a loyal friend, patient mentor and trusted advisor whose integrity earned him not only the respect of clients but also that of opposing counsel," the law firm said in a statement. "Despite his diagnosis of cancer in 2008, he continued to work virtually uninterrupted until early 2013.

"His quiet demeanor, analytical skill, positive attitude and strong work ethic were hallmarks of his personality, both within the legal profession and among friends."

Rick Roderick, CGWG's managing director, called Gunter's legacy "immeasurable." 

"His gentle presence touched the lives of those he worked with daily. His compassionate nature cultivated a feeling of family at our firm and his forward-thinking ideas regarding workplace practices earned CGWG local and national praise for family-friendliness and flexibility, something Russell was extremely proud of," Roderick said. "It was an honor to work with him and to call him a friend. Our goal now is to continue his legacy of compassion and commitment in a way that honors his life’s work."

Gunter was member of the Arkansas, Texas and and American bar associations, was chair of the Arkansas Bar Association's Labor Section and was director of Government Affairs for the Arkansas Society for Human Resources Management.

As a member of the Society for Human Resources Management, he was chair of the National Legislative Affairs Committee, testified before U.S. Congress and appeared on NBC's "The Today Show" on behalf of the society’s legislative positions. He was also president and a board member of the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association, and he served on the board of directors of the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

The Arkansas Society for Human Resources Management named him Outstanding Human Resources Professional in 2001 and awarded him its Legislative Advocacy Award in 2005 and 2006. He received the Central Arkansas Human Resources Association Outstanding Member Award three times.

Gunter was named Best Lawyers’ 2012 Little Rock Lawyer of the Year for the category of Employment Law – Management. Other honors include being named to Best Lawyers of America for more than 25 years, Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006 and Chambers USA for the past nine years.

Russell was born on Feb. 21, 1950, in Amarillo, Texas, to the late John Allen "Buster" Gunter and Shirley Ann Russell Gunter. His mother died on his seventh birthday, and his father later married Beulah Gay Harden.

A graudate of Southern Arkansas University, Gunter earned a juris doctorate at Texas Tech University. After that, he returned to Arkansas and adopted it as his home state.

Among his survivors are four daughters, Kimzey Gunter of Taos, N.M.; Sarah Gunter Newman of Austin, Texas; Laura Gunter of California; and Rachel Gunter of Little Rock. He also is survived by his grandchildren: Isaac, Tea and Cedar Hardaway of Taos, and his sisters, Barbara Burton of North Carolina and Shellie Sims and Diane Brown, both of Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family requests that any memorial donations be made to the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.



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