James Puckett

Distinguished Alumnus Judge James C. Puckett, Class of 1950

Jim Puckett was born on December 30, 1931, in Richmond, Indiana, the son of Howard K. and Gladys Mae Noss Puckett.  He died on May 10, 2004, in Richmond.

The oldest of four children,  he played football in high school and also while at Earlham College where he graduated in 1954 with a BA.  He graduated from the University of Chicago School of Law with a JD in 1957.

That same year he was admitted to the Indiana State Bar Association. He was admitted into the United States Supreme Court Bar in 1971.

Puckett served in the Indiana National Guard from 1957 to 1963.  He became the Indiana Deputy Attorney General from 1957 to 1958 and then returned to Richmond joining the law office of   William C. Dennis from 1959 to 1964.  He was elected judge of Richmond City Court in 1964 and was Wayne County Circuit Court judge in 1967.

He married his wife Wanda Holmes, whom he met while at Earlham. Together they are the parents of three daughters: Susan, Jennifer, and Julie.  For a time Jim also sold insurance.

He often served on special cases for the state court as special judge.  He was president of the Indiana Judges’ Association from 1981 to 1982 and was a member of the State Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission from 1981 to 1994.

After stepping down from the bench in 1994, he again went into private practice with Reller, Reller, Mendenhall, Kleinknecht, Puckett, Mendenhall, and Cross.

Besides serving eight years as judge and spending twenty-four years in private practice, Jim Puckett was active and innovative in the Richmond community.  One of his accomplishments was to expand the local Boys and Girls Club.

Puckett was extensively involved in the probation department and rehabilitation efforts for children.  He worked with students from Earlham and local adults to develop a volunteer mentoring program for young people in detention. This lay program helped during a time of shortage of probation officers.  It coordinated resources at the Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, YWCA, and Earlham College in the 1960s.

He also championed mental health efforts for children and adults, serving on the Wayne County Mental Health Association Board.  James C. Puckett was selected a Distinguished Alumnus in 2008.























  380 Hub Etchison Parkway, Richmond, IN 47374

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