Stewart “Stew” E. Conner, former Managing Partner of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, LLP and Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee, has died.
He was born and raised in Louisville and served in the Army during the Vietnam War. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Louisville and his law degree from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. Stew began his 50-year association with Wyatt in 1966, practicing in the areas of general corporate, corporate finance, securities and banking. He was a key player in the growth of the Firm, serving as Managing Partner during the 1990s and also as Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee.
“He was a friend, partner and mentor to many across the firm. While he loved the firm dearly, he also took tremendous pride in the legal profession and constantly worked to improve his skills, habitually reading the Kentucky corporate statutes during his vacations. Stew worked hard and he expected the same from others. In his prime, he reached the top echelon of corporate, banking and M&A attorneys in the area. His presence anchored the 28th floor in Louisville for decades. Despite a demanding schedule, Stew made time to work with younger lawyers and his legacy lives on in the work of Cindy Young, Pat Mattingly, Caryn Price, Bob Heath, myself and many others,” said Franklin Jelsma, Managing Partner.
Greg Haynes, Senior Counsel to the Firm, said, “He was a loyal friend for 40 years and the consummate lawyer, a ‘lawyer’s lawyer.’”
Stew was dedicated to the community, having served as director of DNP Select Income Fund, Louisville Water Company, the Council on Higher Education, Lincoln Heritage Council of Boy Scouts of America, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and Greater Louisville, Inc. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky, editor of the Kentucky Business Practice Handbook and the Kentucky Legal Forms and contributed to the University of Kentucky Law Review. He was a member of the American Bar Association, Kentucky Bar Association, Louisville Bar Association, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Louisville Lawyers Club and Harmony Landing Country Club.
His work in the legal profession has been recognized by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, Chambers USA, Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers®. Clients interviewed by Chambers USA described him as “a very good lawyer and a role model for younger lawyers,” “a dean of the corporate/M&A Bar in Kentucky” and “fantastic and well respected in the community.”
Stew is survived by his wife of 28 years, Joan Elizabeth Fish “Jef” Conner, and six children: Shannon Lynn Smock (Clint), George Hunt Rounsavall, Jr. (Kelly), Erin Eileen Wales (Chris), Gibbs Hanson Rounsavall (Sara), Christine Rounsavall Mueller (Aaron) and Margaret Conner Faurest (Michael), and 14 grandchildren.