Our friend and colleague Dee Wampler died on October 8, 2021. He earned his Juris Doctor in 1965, giving up an opportunity to join the FBI to become an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Greene County. He became the youngest elected Prosecuting Attorney in the county’s history at the age of 29. In 1973, he began in private practice, eventually founding Wampler & Passanise Law Office with his law partner Joseph S. Passanise.
Wampler helped create and was a lifetime board member of the Messiah Project; was President of the Civil War Roundtable of the Ozarks; and on the Board of Directors of the Boy Scouts, Hammons Center for the Performing Arts, Ozarks Crime Prevention Council, and the Springfield Symphony. His firm was also a major sponsor of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks.
He was recognized in Who’s Who in American Politics, Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers and U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers. He had been selected as a Top Ten Lawyer in the State of Missouri, published more than 200 articles for law enforcement journals and blogs (deewampler.com) and authored six books including The Trial of Christ – A Criminal Attorney Defends Jesus, The Myth of Separation of Church and State, One Nation Under God, Standing on the Front Line and five books on Missouri criminal law.
As we move forward, he can rest assured that the example he set will continue to inspire us. For one of the true legends in criminal defense in this region, court stands adjourned.
In business, they say everyone is replaceable. However, we have learned the hard way that’s simply not true. It is with the heaviest of hearts that we say goodbye to our friend, colleague and the glue that held us together, Shawna Kipp, our Senior Paralegal and Office Manager. She left this life tragically on January 27, 2021 and leaves behind a grieving family, colleagues, and a host of friends for whom life will not be the same without her.
Shawna had been with us for more than a decade. She was the epitome of hard work and dedication, respected from this office all the way to the courthouse and throughout the community at-large. We will miss her easy and infectious smile, her calm in the midst of chaos and her enduring friendship. Blessed are we for the opportunity to have known her and to have her as our friend. To know her was to love her.
As a champion of children of all ages and a highly devoted grandmother, Shawna would be thrilled that we are requesting donations be made in her name to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org). Rest in peace our beautiful, irreplaceable friend.
Homer D. Wampler, Jr. attended Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri, and Ozark Western College in Carthage. After working as an engineer for Proctor & Gamble, he earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1938.
Homer served as Assistant Greene County Prosecutor from 1941-43, and started the Neale, Newman and Wampler law firm following that. In 1975, he established Wampler, Wampler and Catt with his son, Dee Wampler, concentrating in wills, trusts and corporate law, while his son, the late Dee Wampler, focused on criminal defense. The firm became Wampler & Passanise when now Managing Partner Joseph S. Passanise joined the firm in the late 90s.
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