This obituary for my step-father, Jim Apple, was published in The Washington Post on Jan. 27, 2019. While I learned a lot about him during the 28 years he and my mother were married, he was so self-effacing and humble that I didn’t realize until reading this the breadth of his professional accomplishments. What I do know is that Jim was unfailingly kind and generous to me, and I will miss him.
APPLE James G. Apple Of Louisville, Kentucky age 81, passed away peacefully on January 22, 2019 with his children by his side after a courageous battle with heart disease.
He was born in Huntington, West Virginia on September 20, 1937 to Bernice Stewart and David French Apple Sr. Jim was a dedicated father and grandfather, an extraordinarily compassionate lawyer, author, speaker, adventurer, fervent reader and traveler. A true gentleman to the end, he was known for his keen intelligence and humor, love of education, research and knowledge, and a kind and caring nature.
He grew up in Fort Thomas, Kentucky, attending Highlands High School. He graduated from the University of Virginia with Honors, was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, the Raven Society, The Z Society, Omicron Delta Kappa, and the Editor-In-Chief of The Cavalier Daily. After college, he attended the University of Virginia School of Law, serving as managing editor of the Virginia Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif.
Following graduation, Mr. Apple was a 1st Lieutenant, special intelligence, with the U.S. Army Reserves at both Fort Knox and Fort Meade. After military service he moved to Paducah, Kentucky to practice law. Moving to Frankfort in 1967, he was a member of Governor Louie B. Nunn’s “Kiddie Corps,” serving as administrative assistant for transportation affairs and in 1969 was named Executive Assistant to the Kentucky Highway Commission.
After his tenure with state government, he moved his family to Louisville where he had a successful law career with Stites & Harbison, arguing approximately 97 cases. After twenty years with the firm, he attended the University of Edinburgh, earning a Master of Laws (L.L.M.) degree in international and comparative law. He then joined the Federal Judicial Center in Washington, DC, the education, training, research and development arm of the federal court system in the U.S., as Special Assistant and Counsel to the Director.
After a decade with the FJC, he helped found and was president of the International Judicial Academy, until his semi-retirement in 2017. He counseled and mentored hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of lawyers and judges throughout his career.
Having served on the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) Board for nine years, chairman from 1981 to 1985, he established the Toonerville Trolley in Louisville. He was a 1984 graduate of Leadership Louisville, former member of the Pendennis Club, and member of the Cosmos Club and National Press Club (both in Washington, DC), and the Kentucky, Louisville, Virginia and American Bar Associations, having founded the Young Lawyers Section with the ABA. He was an elder at Second Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY, and affiliated with the Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Alexandria, VA. He received many awards and accolades throughout his 50-year career.
He was an avid reader, enjoying his membership with the “Serious Book” Club, amateur photographer, traveler, traveling to 58 countries in his lifetime, and former tennis player and mini-marathoner. A prolific writer, he authored numerous award winning articles, founded an internationally recognized legal blog, the International Judicial Monitor, and co-authored three children’s books with his daughter, “Henry the Doggie Detective.” He enjoyed spending summers with his children and grandchildren in Kiawah Island, South Carolina.
Jim is survived by his brother, David French Apple, Jr., M.D. (Jane), of Atlanta, Georgia, his daughter, Meredith Lambe (Thomas) and son, Miles Apple (Sandy), his grandchildren, Philip, Marshall and Malcolm Gault, and Stewart, Eloise and Iris Apple, all of Louisville, three nieces, a nephew, extended family, his wife, Elizabeth Jones, of Alexandria, Virginia, and stepchildren, Megan Fitzpatrick and Ian Jones.
Visitation will be at Pearson’s, 149 Breckinridge Lane (Louisville, KY) on Monday, January 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. A Memorial service will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday, January 29 at Second Presbyterian Church, 3701 Old Brownsboro Road (Louisville). There will be a private graveside service for family at Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, KY. Memorial and dedication services will be held at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, Virginia this spring.
He was preceded in death by his parents. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the Ft. Thomas Education Foundation, P.O. Box 75090, 28 N. Ft. Thomas Ave., Ft. Thomas, KY 41075; Louisville Bar Foundation, 600 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202; University of Virginia School of Law, 580 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903-1738, or charity of choice.