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Remembering Donald P. McPherson III

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) is saddened to learn of the passing of Don McPherson, former board president and member of our advisory board. 

Don and his wife, Ann, were among the earliest supporters of MVLS. Don served on the MVLS board of directors from 1991 to 2010 and led the board from 2002 to 2003 as president. He later joined the advisory board, where he served up until his passing. 

There was no one who, for me, exemplified what it meant to be a servant leader more than Don McPherson,” shared Bob Brennen, who served on the MVLS board alongside Don for 19 years. “Don was kind, calm, steady and generous in his leadership. And constant. A lot of people often contribute their time and energy to causes in torrents and big waves when time opens up in their busy lives. Don’s leadership and commitment were always like the gentle waves of an ocean against a shore; unrelenting and never failing. And always with wit, grace, and a lovely bow tie. He is and will be missed.” 

Other members of the MVLS advisory board – former board presidents and members – shared a similar respect and appreciation for Don’s leadership and service, noting his wise counsel, his kindness, his humor, his steadfastness, and his dedication to providing free legal services to people who would otherwise not be able to afford them.  

His passing is a great loss and we will miss him,” shared fellow advisory board member Larry Coppel. Each person who shared their sentiments with us noted how much they would personally miss Don. 

Larry Coppel, Don McPherson, Natalie McSherry, and Bob Brennen pictured together at an MVLS event.

An accomplished attorney, among many other things, Don’s promotion of pro bono service through MVLS was a beacon for others to donate their time and resources to provide free legal help to people who would otherwise be left to navigate the legal system on their own. Don’s commitment to MVLS was inspired by his father’s lifelong pro bono practice, something that Don never forgot. 

In our more than forty year history, it is hard to think of someone that contributed more than Don” said Susan Francis, MVLS’ Executive Director. “Without his constant guidance and support, MVLS would not be the impactful organization it is today. Don offered all that he could to help ensure that individuals wouldn’t be left alone to navigate the judicial system. He was also kind, unassuming and a pleasure to spend time with. The MVLS board, advisory board and staff are grateful for all that Don gave to MVLS and will miss him deeply.” 

Don’s legacy will live on through the incredible impact he made on us at MVLS.  

MVLS extends our sincerest condolences to Don’s wife, Ann Teaff, and to his family, colleagues, and friends.