Hugh G. Casey Jr., a longtime South Street resident and lawyer, died this morning. He had celebrated his 80th birthday Saturday.
Mr. Casey suffered a stroke at dinner Sunday evening and passed away early today. He had kidney problems and had been on dialysis for several years.
Mr. Casey was a well-known area lawyer, specializing in environmental law with the Charlotte firm Casey Bishop for about 30 years. He was awarded Fulbright Fellowships twice in the 1980s, which allowed him to teach American business law in China and France. He also had taught courses at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
He had undergraduate, master’s and law degrees from the University of Chicago.
For a time in the early 1980s, he and wife Bettie ran a French restaurant called La Toque Blanche on Depot Street.
In recent years, he was a member of WIMPS, for We Intend on Making Progress Slowly, a social group of mostly retired men in Davidson.
He was outspoken on political issues – whether international or local – and liked to be known as a “yellow-dog” Democrat. He also had organized protest marches against the Iraq war in recent years.
His activist streak had no limits. Just a few weeks before his death, he collected signatures from fellow WIMPS on a petition asking his wife Bettie to let him buy an adult tricycle, according to longtime friend and fellow WIMP Jerry Sloan.
“Hugh was a true ‘character’ in the very best sense of the word. He enjoyed being the resident curmudgeon,” Mr. Sloan said in an obituary of Hugh written today for the WIMPS newsletter.
Mr. Casey has donated his body for research at Wake Forest Medical School. The family plans a remembrance service in the next few days, though arrangements are incomplete. We’ll provide details, and a more complete obituary, when available. (Tuesday update: read Mr. Casey’s formal obituary.)
Dec. 18, 2007, formal obituary, “Hugh Grattan Casey: 1927-2007″
March 26, 2007, “WIMPS march for peace.”