Buhrman, Richard W.

U.S. Army Veteran Was Longtime Chattanooga Lawyer

Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Richard W. Buhrman
Richard W. Buhrman

Attorney Richard W. Buhrman, 80, passed away on August 9, 2021, surrounded by his family after a brief illness. 

He was born in Chattanooga and attended Chattanooga public schools and the University of Chattanooga, graduating in 1963 with an Honors Degree in English and a second major in mathematics.  As a Battalion Commander in Army ROTC, and a Distinguished Military Graduate, he received a Regular Army commission in Armor upon graduation.  His active duty was deferred while he attended Duke Law School on a scholarship, and then served three years active duty as a Captain during the Vietnam War.  After his tour with the Army, he attended George Washington University and received a graduate law degree, Masters of Law in Taxation, following which he returned to Chattanooga to begin a 50 plus year legal career.  Richard was actively practicing law at the Buhrman Law Firm with his son John, the firm he founded in 1974, up until his death. 

He was a member of the Duke University Estate Planning Council for 33 years and served as its Chairman for 14 years.  Upon his retirement as Chairman, the Council created a scholarship at Duke Law School in his honor.  He was a member of St. Jude Catholic Church where he served as Chairman of the Parish Council several times, and as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister.  He was Scoutmaster of Troop 172, BSA, sponsored by St. Jude Church, and went to Philmont several times.  He took the Troop on several different treks, 14 days each backpacking in the mountains, and took a course called “Walking Wood Badge,” which combined the traditional Wood Badge course with a Philmont trek.  He received several scouting awards including the Silver Beaver, the St. George Religious Award and the Vigil Order of the Arrow.  He was a past President of the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, a member and past President of the Serra Club of Chattanooga, as well as the Knights of Columbus Council 8576 and Assembly 1084.  He served on the Board of Directors of St. Mary’s Legacy Foundation of East Tennessee and Catholic Charities of East Tennessee. He received the Ralph H. Kelley Humanitarian Award from the Chattanooga Bar Association in 2010.

He was active in the University of Chattanooga and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Alumni Association, and received the 2020 Outstanding Service Award for exemplary service to the community of Chattanooga from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.  The award was established to recognize an alumnus of UTC who have displayed exemplary service to the community by civic, professional and other activities directed toward improvement and preservation of the lives, property and dignity of its citizens. 

Richard was married for 56 years to his high school sweetheart, the former Judy Ullenberg, whom he met at City High where they were both students. They had three children, Tom Audrey, and John.

He enjoyed hunting and shooting and reloading his own ammunition.  His favorite activity, however, was fly fishing with Judy at several favorite fishing locations around the southeast.  He also enjoyed the fishpond which he constructed in the garden of their home, and the various birds which visit the birdfeeders, bird nests and bird houses in their backyard garden. 

Richard, along with his wife, Judy, also enjoyed attending both the football and basketball games of the UTC Mocs and also the Tennessee Titans, always attending the Southern Conference basketball tournaments in Asheville, North Carolina. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ward and Margaret Buhrman, and his brother Lawrence. 

He is survived by his wife, Judith A. Buhrman, and three children, Tom (Vivian) Buhrman of Durham, North Carolina; Audrey (Craig) Davis of Hillsborough, North Carolina; and John (Julie) Buhrman of Chattanooga, Tennessee; five grandchildren, Graham Buhrman, Rosemary Buhrman, Cameron Buhrman, Sadie Buhrman and Ryan Davis.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the family will have a private service. Memorial donations can be made to the Margaret Whiteside Buhrman Scholarship at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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