Honorable Hewitt Lawrence “Sonny” Conwill

Published 10:48 am Friday, March 15, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Honorable Hewitt Lawrence “Sonny” Conwill, 80, passed away peacefully at his home in Vincent, Alabama, on March 11, 2024, after a battle with cancer. He was born August 30, 1943, in Vincent, Alabama, to Louise Ledbetter and Albert Lawrence Conwill.

Sonny is survived by his wife of 55 years, Diane Donahoo Conwill, his daughter Leslie Conwill Corts (Chris), grandsons Conwill Hewitt Corts and Thomas Edward Corts II, brother-in-law Stan Elliott, nieces Lisa Waldrop Shattuck (Cooper) and Beth Elliott Dean (Matt), nephews Grey McCranie (Kim), Jay Elliott (Melissa), and Lane Waldrop (Carrie), along with two great nieces and two great nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, older brother Willis Housten Conwill, much loved sister, Geraldine Conwill Waldrop, brothers-in-law, Harold “Bud” McCranie and Jerry Waldrop, and sisters-in-law, Patsy Donahoo McCranie and Sherry Donahoo Elliott.

A devoted husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend, Sonny was a deacon and lifelong member of First Baptist Church Vincent, Alabama, and served his church and God in countless ways. As a true servant, Sonny possessed wisdom and humor. His generosity and unconditional kindness were born of his faith, and he lived his life committed to God and those he loved.

A graduate of Vincent High School in 1961, Sonny attended Howard College (Samford University), and graduated in 1965 with a degree in history. His lasting love for The University of Alabama began when he attended law school, graduating in 1968. His career in public service started as an assistant district attorney in Talladega, Alabama, where he served from 1968 to 1969, and then continued service as an assistant district attorney in Shelby County from 1970 until 1973. He then began practicing law in Columbiana, Alabama, with Karl Harrison and was joined by Bill Justice in 1979.  Their partnership lasted until 1991.

Following 32 years of private practice, Sonny was appointed Circuit Judge of the 18th Judicial Circuit (Shelby County) in 2005 and Presiding Judge in 2011. He retired in 2019 but continued to serve as a supernumerary thereafter. As a judge, he was patient and fair and treated people respectfully. Upon his retirement, Sonny was presented with a plaque that read, “a gentleman of strength, faith, and devotion, a lawyer of fortitude and zeal, a jurist of honor, integrity, wisdom, and compassion, whom we are both proud and humbled to call friend.”

Sonny Conwill’s personal and professional impact is impossible to define, and his legacy is one of achievement, kindness, and love.

A celebration of Hewitt Lawrence “Sonny” Conwill’s life will be held at First Baptist Church Vincent (15 Waite Street) at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 17, 2024, followed by an interment at Vincent City Cemetery. The family will receive guests from 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. at the church.

Officiants will be Dr. Karen Joines, R. Cooper Shattuck, Rev. Robert Weems, and Dr. Darryl Wood. Pallbearers will be Matt Dean, Jay Elliott, Stan Elliott, Don Grey, Tim Lowe, Grey McCranie, Kevin Oakes, Lane Waldrop, and Mark Wingfield. Honorary pallbearers include Billy Church, the Honorable J. Michael Joiner, William R. Justice, John McGraw, the Honorable Corey Moore, Roy Johnson, the Honorable George Simpson, Joel Watson, Joseph Welford, and the Deacons of First Baptist Church Vincent. Bolton Funeral Home is directing.

The Conwill family extends sincere gratitude to Sonny’s faithful co-workers and friends, Eva Mooney, Bonita Davidson, and Jill Sanders and will be forever thankful for the loving care he received from Marva Bailey and the team at Pathlight Senior Care Services. Donations in Sonny’s memory may be made to First Baptist Church Vincent.