Major Benefactor John M. Law Passes Away

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

A major West Virginia Wesleyan College benefactor and distinguished alumnus has passed away. John M. Law of Atlanta, GA, died September 10, 2013 at the age of 95. Born in Wheeling, WV, he was the son of Maude Lininger Law and Clyde Otis Law. Law was a 1940 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and earned an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. He was the first West Virginia graduate of the Harvard Business School. Law was the lead donor for the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts, naming the building after his first wife Virginia Thomas Law. He received an Alumni Service and Achievement Award in 2007.

He served five years in the U.S. Navy including service during the World War II and was discharged as Lieutenant Commander. John went to Atlanta in 1953 as the General Agent for Northwestern Mutual and established their office in Atlanta serving the Southeast. He continued to build its reach and presence until his retirement in 1978. John served as President of the Atlanta Life Underwriters Association; the Atlanta chapter of Chartered Life Underwriters; the Atlanta General Agents and Managers Association; the Northwestern Mutual Life Association of Agents; and was a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table. As a member of Northside United Methodist Church, John served as the Chairman of the Administrative Board and the Board of Trustees and was a member of the Finance Committee. He was a charter member of the Commerce Club and a Life member of the Atlanta Athletic Club.

His first wife, Virginia Thomas Law, preceded him in death. Survivors include: his wife, Lillian Balentine Law; daughters Barbara Leonard of Atlanta, Ruth Ball (David) of Mobile, Alabama, and Nancy Stewart (Sam) of Atlanta; son, John Thomas Law of Marietta; grandchildren Jessica Perkins (Jeff) of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, Christopher Ball (Niki) of Golden, Colorado, Jeff Leonard, Jr. (Robin) of Perry, Georgia, Kelly Leonard of Hilton Head, South Carolina, Mackenzie Williams (Justin) of Atlanta, and Morgan Stewart of Atlanta; great-grandchildren Talley Perkins, Maisie Perkins, Tate Perkins, Reeves Ball, Azilee Ball, Wilt Leonard, Law Leonard, and Ruthie Williams; niece Nancy Jo Pepper ’59 of Selbyville, Delaware; nephew James Funk of York, PA; stepsons Robert M. Balentine (Betty) and F. Alexander Balentine (Nancy) of Atlanta; and step-grandchildren Elizabeth Gurley, Emily Barbour, Mac Balentine, Julie Balentine and Chandler Balentine.

A memorial service will be held at Northside United Methodist Church on September 13, 2013 at 11:00 AM. The family will receive guests after the service in the Fellowship Hall. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Good Samaritan Health Center, 1015 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, Atlanta, Georgia 30318