LANCASTER—Julian Wier Harman Jr., known as “Buff” all his life, passed away peacefully on April 12, 2018.
A retired lawyer, he was born in Richmond on June 18, 1942.
He is survived by the Rev. Torrence Harman, his wife of over 32 years; his two sons, Julian Wier Harman III (Barbara) and William Ernest Sterling (“Wes”) Harman; three children he grafted into his life when he married Torrence, Louise Hinnant Dickerson (Eric), Dr. Elizabeth Torrence (“Torre”) Hinnant (David), and George Logan Hinnant (Shannon). He delighted in the grandchildren he and Torrence shared, Adeline, Calvin, Stella and Ruby Harman; Dean, Walsh, William, Stephen, Providence and Victoria Hinnant; and Luke, Jude and Matthew Dickerson. He also is survived by two sisters, Dale Harman Singleton and Anne Harman.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Julian Weir Harman and Genevieve Stirling Harman; and his sister, Dana Harman Stinson.
Buff graduated from St. Christopher’s School in Richmond, attended the University of Miami and later graduated from the University of Richmond summa cum laude (B.S.) and T. C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond (J.D.) where he served on the school’s National Moot Court Team.
In his earlier career he owned and operated the Harman Oldsmobile Cadillac GMC dealership in Williamsburg for 15 years and served as an organizer and director of the Williamsburg National Bank.
Following his earliest vocational dream to be a lawyer he sold his automobile business and returned to Richmond to complete his education for law. Upon graduation from law school he was professor of Business Law and the original director of the Executive MBA Program at the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond. He later entered private practice in the Richmond area in both solo practice and as Harman and Harman, P.C. when he and Torrence practiced law together before she entered the ministry.
Upon their move to Lancaster County he became assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney for Lancaster County (2007-2012). He completed his legal career in private practice and retired in 2015.
Buff loved to tell the stories of what he considered the high points of his life: his growing up in Manakin-Sabot, helping manage the family’s stable there, his years at St. Christopher’s, the teenage antics of he and his friends (usually involving fast cars and road trips) and the highlight of those years, his working two summers on a dude ranch in Wyoming.
His later favorite memories included the horses and dogs who “peopled” his life, his children, his Wyoming days, family travels, sailing, scuba diving and typical of many lawyers his advocacy in the courtroom.
He loved family, church, music, Western movies on TV and just sitting in the river room at his home overlooking the Rappahannock River watching boats, ospreys, eagles, herons, sunsets and the river currents flowing towards the Chesapeake Bay.
A celebration of his life with music and memories will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, April 27, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 5987 Richmond Road, Warsaw, followed by a “Rivah casual” country buffet in the parish hall.
A funeral service with interment and reception to follow will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 28, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 12291 River Road, Richmond. In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be made to the church of your choice.