James L. Bundy, 85, served as city District Court judge


James L. Bundy, a retired Baltimore District Court judge who had been active in church and civic affairs, died of complications from prostate cancer Feb. 26 in Kernersville, N.C. The former Cherry Hill resident was 85.

A former assistant city solicitor and assistant attorney general, Judge Bundy was named to the court in 1974 by Gov. Marvin Mandel - an appointment that was celebrated in the black community and helped strengthen relations between the governor and Baltimore's black politicians.

Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert M. Bell, an African-American who was named to the city District Court a year later, praised Judge Bundy and other early black jurists yesterday, saying, "When I came along, these guys were the movers and shakers, the mentors I learned from."

Born and raised in Bluefield, W.Va., Judge Bundy was a 1942 graduate of Bluefield State College. After joining the Army Air Corps during World War II, stationed in Texas, he attended the University of Maryland School of Law under the GI Bill.

He went into practice with several other young black lawyers, among them John R. Hargrove Sr., who was the second black judge to serve on the federal bench in Maryland.

Throughout his career, Judge Bundy was active in the Monumental City Bar Association, founded by black lawyers then barred from other bar associations, and later with the National Bar Association.

"He was always available for whatever advice or assistance you needed," Judge Bell said. "He was very quiet, humble and within himself, but very confident in his own abilities. He was secure in his belief that his mission included something more than just doing what was best for himself and his family."

Judge Bell said Judge Bundy "was very willing to assist younger lawyers."

He also encouraged potential lawyers as a teacher at the University of Maryland law school and Morgan State University.

He and his wife of 48 years, the former Sarah J. Cannon, both served on the board of the Cherry Hill Coordinating Council and South Baltimore Community Health Center. Mrs. Bundy died in 1991.

Judge Bundy was a life member of both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, which he joined at Bluefield State in 1939. He was a former president and treasurer of the Baltimore chapter of the Bluefield State College Alumni Association.

He moved to North Carolina two years ago after being diagnosed with cancer.

He was a former trustee and attorney for Pennsylvania Avenue African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Baltimore, where funeral services were held Saturday.

Survivors include three daughters, Lona G. Bundy of Durham, N.C., Deborah S. Bundy-Lindsey of Kernersville and Jayme Bundy-Braxton of Baltimore; two sons, Raymond W. Bundy of Annapolis and Henry P. Bundy II of Arnold; a sister, Mary B. Johnson of Baltimore; a brother, Samuel Bundy of Bluefield; 13 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.


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