Judiciary Mourns Loss of Retired Judge Fred Axley

November 10, 2020

Waymon Frederic “Fred” Axley, who served as a criminal court judge in the 30th judicial district for 25 years, entered his eternal home on Friday, November 6, 2020 at his home. A memorial service will be held at Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett, Tennessee on Wednesday, November 11th, at 11 a.m. followed by a reception to share memories with family and treasured friends. Judge Axley retired from the bench in 2007.

Judge Axley was born on May 20, 1937 in North Little Rock, Arkansas to Coleman and Billie Axley. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Lawrette Bright Axley and two children, Cynthia “Cindy” Oliver (Mike), and Gregg Axley (Karen);  grandchildren Christopher (Kandis) Oliver, Kimberly (Daniel) Simkin; and great-grandchildren Cohen, Jonah and Jude Oliver. He is also survived by brother-in-law Tom Bright (Jean) and his son Evan; brother-in-law Bill Weirich (Carolyn) and their children Brent E. Weirich (Megan) and Brittany Goodwin (TJ);mother-in-law Annette Bright, and his faithful caregiver of the past 1.5 years, Sheryl Walsh.

All who shared time with him will never forget his big heart, quirky sense of humor and gregarious personality in sharing stories. “D-Daddy”, “Uncle Fred” and “The Judge” as he is known influenced many.

A graduate of Marion Military Institute, The University of Southern Mississippi and Southern Law University at Memphis prepared Judge Axley for a life of service in criminal justice. He served in the U.S. Army (1956-1962). His achievements and recognitions from the community are innumerable. He was a member of the Tennessee Bar Association, fellow of the Memphis Bar Association and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Memphis Adult Chapter, where he helped establish a team called Spirit Express. He has supported ministries in the inner-city, Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and Neighborhood Watch.

Judge Axley and Lawrette have been members of Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett, TN for 24 years. He participated in Faith Walk, mission activities with The World Changers and supported local outreach through the many church ministries.

Judge Axley worked briefly in corporate law before joining the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office as a felony prosecutor in 1972. Ten years later, he was sworn in on September 1, 1982 as Criminal Court Judge, Division VI. He was elected to four eight-year terms before retiring in 2007.

The family requests those wishing to honor Fred’s legacy and continue his life of service to consider contributions to their choice of, The Honorable W. Fred Axley, Criminal Court Judge, Retired Scholarship for a deserving student at the University Of Memphis CCH School Of Law, Attn: Archie Shelton, 1 N. Front St. # 270, Memphis, TN. 38103 or Faith Baptist Church, 3755 N Germantown Pkwy, Bartlett, TN 38133, Benevolence or Preschool Ministry.

Former Judge Axley