Welcome to the memorial page for

Charles W. "Buz" Dooley

February 1, 1935 ~ December 2, 2017 (age 82)


Charles W. “Buz” Dooley died peacefully on Saturday, December 2, 2017. Family members were able to be by his side as he left to be with the Lord.


Buz was predeceased by his parents, Gladys M. Dooley and Joseph T. Dooley and his sister, Margaret Jo Grisham.


Buz was born in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. At the age of 6, he was selected to be a drummer in the high school marching band. He graduated from Columbia Military Academy in 1952. He served as a Captain in the United States Army Reserve. He graduated from Vanderbilt University where he was in the Phi Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Following his graduation from Vanderbilt, he worked for ten years in sales for Janzen Sports Apparel. While working for Janzen, he went to law school at Cumberland School of Law at Samford University, where he obtained his Doctorate of Juris Prudence in 1969.


Buz moved his family from Birmingham, Alabama, to Signal Mountain, Tennessee, later in 1969, so that he could begin practicing law in a firm now known as Leitner, Williams, Dooley & Napolitan, PLLC. Buz worked hard and trained the firm’s young attorneys for 48 years.


During his career, Buz worked extensively with Legal Aid of East Tennessee to help better the lives of those in need. During this phase of his law practice, he was recognized for his contributions by receiving the Bruce C. Bailey Volunteer Award, the Harris Gilbert Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award, Albert L. Hodge Volunteer Award, among others, and was inducted into the Legal Aid of East Tennessee Pro Bono Attorneys Hall of Fame.


Buz was an active member and board member in many organizations, including being past President of the Chattanooga Bar Association, former Junior and Senior Warden at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, Fellow of the Chattanooga Bar Association, and Signal Mountain Lions Club Member of the Year. Buz also served as President of the Tornado Athletic Club of McCallie School in 1979, was a board member and attorney for the Moccasin Bend Girl Scout Council and was a Sunday School teacher.


His professional memberships included Chattanooga Bar Association, Tennessee Bar Association, American Bar Association, Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association, International Association of Defense Counsel, DRI – Voice of the Defense Bar, and ALFA International.


Buz is survived by his wife, Annette Drake Dooley, his children, C. Douglas Dooley and Anne Elizabeth McGowin. He has four grandchildren, McLain and Shelby Dooley, and Drake and Margaret McGowin.


The family wishes to thank with blessings of gratitude caregivers, Dawn Reynolds, Dana Brinkman, Jane Baker, the team at Alexian Home Health Care, Alexian 8th Floor West Staff, and the care team at Thrive at Brow Wood.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or a charity of one’s choice.

The funeral service will be conducted at 3 PM on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with the Reverend Brad Whitaker officiating, and assisted by the Reverend Joe Woodfin. A reception and celebration of the life of Charles W. “Buz” Dooley will be held following the service in the Key Andrews Hall of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.


Arrangements are by Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Rd.


 Service Information

Memorial Service
December 6, 2017

3:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
305 W. 7th Street
Chattanooga, TN

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