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Kermit Racey

Posted 2017-05-18

    Kermit Lee Racey, a former Shenandoah County Commonwealth’s Attorney, died Saturday at Winchester Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 93.

    Mr. Racey practiced law in Woodstock for 61 years, retiring in October 2012 at age 89. 

    He was commonwealth’s attorney 1964-68 and served as judge of the local general district court for 10 years until 1980.

    He had been a member of the Woodstock Rotary Club and once served as president of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce.

    Mr. Racey, the youngest of seven children, was orphaned at age 13 when his mother was killed in an automobile accident. His father died when he was seven.

    Woodstock barber Roy Trimble and his wife, Carrie, took him into their home. He shined shoes at the barbershop and earned letters in football and basketball at Woodstock High School before entering the U.S. Army at age 16.  

    Though he enlisted in the infantry, he soon volunteered for parachute training. During World War II, he served with the 17th and 82nd Airborne Divisions and was awarded the bronze star for single-handedly taking out a German tank, exposing himself to enemy fire. 

    He also saw combat in the Battle of the Bulge and the Ruhr Valley campaign and served as part of the Berlin occupation forces. At the war’s end, he marched with the 82nd Airborne Division in the Victory Day parade in New York City.

    After the war, he attended Washington & Lee University, graduating cum laude. While at law school, he married Madge Eloise Trimble. 

    He later served as an officer of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps before returning home to open a private law practice. He was commanding officer of the Air Force Reserve unit in Shenandoah County for years.

    In the late 1970s, he mentored his son, Kermit Lee Racey II in reading the law. The two practiced together for 33 years.

    Kermit Lee Racey was born Aug. 16, 1923 in Woodstock, son of Jesse Racey and Lillian Cook Racey. 

    Surviving are two sons, Kermit Lee Racey II and Lance Racey; daughters Marlene Bush and Robyn Harrison; a sister, Olivia Irwin; six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    He was a member of Woodstock Christian Church.