Samford & Denson, LLP remembers its longtime senior partner and friend, Yetta G, Samford, Jr., who passed away on December 28, 2013. Yetta practiced law with the firm for over 60 years. He was widely recognized for his high standards of professionalism and ethics in the practice of law, and for his service to his community and country. Yetta will always be remembered for his humility, generosity, wit and kindness to all. He served his country in World War II in the United States Army Air Force and was a B-17 bomber pilot stationed in England in 1945. Yetta was educated in the public schools of Opelika and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1947 from Auburn University (API). The Auburn University landmark of Samford Hall is named for his great-grandfather, William J. Samford, who served as a governor of Alabama.
Yetta graduated from the University of Alabama Law School in 1949, then moved back to Opelika to practice in the firm established in 1912 by his grandfather, Judge N.D. Denson, Sr. He joined his uncle, N.D. Denson, Jr., in Denson & Samford. Yetta was elected to the Alabama Senate and served from 1958-1962 representing Lee and Russell counties. He was elected to the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and served for 21 years, 1972-1993, including a three-year term as president pro tem.
Yetta continued his support for higher education in Alabama by serving as one of the founding trustees of Mobile College (now the University of Mobile) and served as trustee for over 50 years. His devotion to his hometown of Opelika includes serving on the Board of Education for the City of Opelika for 15 years. He served on the Board of Deacons for First Baptist Church of Opelika for 60 years and taught a Sunday school class for 30 years. He was a member of Opelika Kiwanis Club for over 50 years. The Opelika Sportsplex Center was built on land donated to the City of Opelika by Yetta and his wife, Mary. Yetta endowed numerous scholarships for graduates of Opelika High School and students attending the University of Alabama, the University of the South at Sewanee and the University of Mobile.
Yetta served on numerous boards for various corporations and state institutions including Liberty National Life Insurance Company, Torchmark Corporation and West Point-Pepperell Inc., and as chair of the Farmers National Bank of Opelika. He also served on the Board of Corrections for the State of Alabama and the Advisory Board for the State Docks. He served on the state Chamber of Commerce and on the Business Council of Alabama. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Alabama Law Institute Council and the Alabama Academy of Honor.