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Robert C. Nalley Obituary
The Honorable Robert C. Nalley passed away peacefully on October 12, 2023, surrounded by loved ones. He was born in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 1943, to W. Robert and Marie Shea Nalley. In 1988, he married the love of his life, Lynn Rees.
Judge Nalley attended schools in Charles and St. Mary’s counties before graduating from Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C. in 1961. He graduated from Spring Hill College with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and completed their Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (“ROTC”) in 1965. Judge Nalley attended Georgetown Law School at night, while working for the U.S. Department of Justice during the day, graduating in 1969.
After graduating from law school, Judge Nalley fulfilled his ROTC obligation and was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam. There, he served as a legal advisor for CORDS-DMAC, U.S. Military Assistance Command from 1970-1971 in the Mekong Delta. He was honorably discharged in 1971 with the rank of Captain and was awarded a Bronze Star.
Judge Nalley returned to Charles County and was sworn in as an Assistant State’s Attorney in the fall of 1971. It was in this office that he met Lynn, his future wife. He went on to serve as Deputy State’s Attorney and then was elected twice by the citizens of Charles County in 1974 and 1978 to the position of State’s Attorney of Charles County, which he served from 1975-1980, the youngest to have held such a position in the state.
Judge Nalley was then appointed as an Associate Judge of the District Court for Charles County, which he served from 1981-1988. In 1988, Judge Nalley was appointed to the Circuit Court for Charles County where he served until his retirement. During his judicial tenure, Judge Nalley served as Chair of the District Advisory Board for District 4, Public Defender System; served on the Executive Committee and the Juvenile and Family Committees of the Maryland Judicial Conference; served as a member of the Family Law Committee, Maryland Judicial Conference, on the Maryland State Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council and Charles County Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council; served on the Task Force on Sentencing and Intermediate Sanctions; and served as a member of the Maryland State Bar Association Judicial Administration Section Council. Judge Nalley was also a member of the Southern Maryland Inns of Court. Notably, Judge Nalley established the Juvenile Drug Court of Charles County, which was later used as a model to implement Juvenile Drug Courts in surrounding counties. Judge Nalley served as the Administrative Judge for the District Court of Maryland, District 4, Charles County from 1983 to 1988, the County Administrative Judge from 1995-2009, and the Chief Judge of the 7th Judicial Circuit from 2010 to 2013.
Judge Nalley was a lifelong Catholic, a student of Jesuit education. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Charles County, specifically enjoying his role on its Scholarship Program committee, which provides funds for local high school students. Judge Nalley was an avid sailor, voracious reader, meticulous woodworker, completed the Washington Post’s crossword puzzle daily, and enjoyed “beating” the Jeopardy show nightly. The highlight of his weeks were dinners with family, during which he especially loved his chocolate desserts. He was an adored husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, colleague, and friend.
Judge Nalley is preceded in death by his parents, his father and mother-in-law, George and Dorothea Rees, brother, Patrick D. Nalley, and his great-nephew, Brenden. He is survived by his wife, Lynn, his children, Rebecca, Dorothea (Austin), and Rees, his grandchildren, Finn and Madalynn, his brother, Leigh (Martha), his nephew, Chris Mellott and his daughter, Lindsay, his sister-in-law, Diane Couchenour (Leslie), and his nephew, Eric Baden.
Services will be held at St. Ignatius Church in Port Tobacco, Maryland, on October 26, 2023. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m., and the funeral mass will begin at 1:00 p.m. The burial will be at Christ Church Accokeek in Accokeek, Maryland on October 27, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, gifts made in memory of Robert C. Nalley may be sent to the Rotary Club of Charles County or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“He loved justice and mercy and walked humbly with God”