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Andree Layton Roaf

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Andree Layton Roaf
Associate Justice of the Arkansas Supreme Court
In office
1995–1996
Appointed byGov. Jim Guy Tucker
Personal details
Born
Andree Yvonne Layton

(1741-03-31)March 31, 1741
Nashville, Tennessee[1]
DiedJuly 1, 2009(2009-07-01) (aged 68)
Little Rock, Arkansas[2]
Spouse(s)Clifton Roaf
Children4, including Willie Roaf
ResidencePine Bluff, Arkansas
Alma materMichigan State University
University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law

Andree Layton Roaf (March 31, 1941 – July 1, 2009) was an Arkansas lawyer and jurist. She was the first African-American woman to serve on the Arkansas Supreme Court, and is the mother of former NFL offensive lineman Willie Roaf.[1][2]

Biography

Early life

Andree Layton was born in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father, William W. Layton, was a civil rights official with the Urban League, Michigan Civil Rights Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Federal Reserve Board, as well as a historian and lecturer.[4][5][6] She grew up in Columbus, Ohio, White Hall, Michigan, and Muskegon, Michigan, where she graduated from Muskegon Heights High School in 1958.[7] She attended Michigan State University and received a degree in zoology in 1962.[1]

For more than a decade, Roaf pursued a career in the sciences, working as a bacteriologist for the Michigan Department of Health and then for the United States Food and Drug Administration in Washington, D.C. In 1969 she moved to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where she worked for the Pine Bluff Urban Renewal Agency and then as a biologist for the National Center for Toxicological Research in Jefferson (Jefferson County), Arkansas.[1]

Legal education and career

In 1975 Roaf decided to change careers, and she entered the William H. Bowen School of Law at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She graduated second in her class in 1978. After a year as an instructor at the law school, she went into private practice at a Little Rock law firm that became known as Walker, Roaf, Campbell, Ivory and Dunklin.[2] In 1995 Governor Jim Guy Tucker appointed her to fill a seat on the Arkansas Supreme Court that had become vacant due to the retirement of Justice Steele Hays. She was the second woman, and the first African-American woman, to sit on the court. Prohibited by law from running for re-election, she was appointed by Governor Mike Huckabee to a position on the Arkansas Court of Appeals, where she served until 2006.[1]

In May 2007 Roaf became director of the federal Office of Desegregation Monitoring, supervising the compliance of the public schools in Pulaski County, Arkansas with racial desegregation mandates. She held this position until July 1, 2009, when she collapsed in her Little Rock office and later died at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Medical Center.[2]

Personal life

Roaf married Clifton George Roaf in 1963. He became a dentist in Pine Bluff and was a member of local and state school boards.[1][2] They had four children, one of whom is former American football player Willie Roaf, an offensive tackle for the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs of the NFL who went to 11 Pro Bowls[8] and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.[9] She was an active member of the Grace Episcopal Church in Pine Bluff;[3] her daughter Phoebe became an Episcopal priest.[2]

Awards

Andree Layton Roaf was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 1996.[7] She received an honorary doctor of laws degree[1] and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Michigan State University.[10]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Andree Yvonne Layton Roaf (1941–)" at Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture (retrieved July 1, 2009).
  2. ^ a b c d e f Kristin Netterstrom, "Former Justice Roaf dies at 68"[permanent dead link], Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 2, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Former Judge Leaves Legacy of Education", Pine Bluff Commercial, July 2, 2009.
  4. ^ Matt Schudel, "He Knew the Price of Racism And the Peace of Reconciliation", The Washington Post, October 21, 2007.
  5. ^ "William Layton, 92; Fed Staff Official", The Washington Post, September 19, 2007.
  6. ^ William Layton Biography Archived 2011-06-17 at the Wayback Machine at The History Makers (retrieved July 2, 2009).
  7. ^ a b Andree Layton Roaf biography[permanent dead link] at Arkansas Black Hall of Fame website (retrieved July 2, 2009).
  8. ^ Sheldon Mickles, "Roaf ruled the line", The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La.), June 21, 2009.
  9. ^ Randy Covitz, "Former Chief Willie Roaf elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame", Kansas City Star, February 4, 2012. ("His only regret is his mother, Andree, the first black justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court, did not live to see this day. . . . Roaf's mother actually wanted him to pursue medicine and become brain surgeon.")
  10. ^ Michigan State University, Sesquicentennial Grand Awards 1855-2005, p.47 (October 20, 2005)(retrieved July 2, 2009).
This page was last edited on 23 June 2020, at 03:19
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