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Law School Mourns Passing of Melvin Mooty (’51)

JUNE 11, 2012—Melvin R. Mooty (’51), a named partner at Gray, Plant, Moody, Mooty & Bennett, passed away on May 30, 2012, at age 84 at a Minnetonka, Minn., care facility of complications from Parkinson's disease. He is "widely recognized as one of the best real estate lawyers in Minnesota," says a tribute on the firm's site.

Mooty specialized in real estate and finance law and worked on several of the firm's high-profile projects. Among them were the nation's first enclosed suburban shopping mall, Southdale in Edina, Minn., and prominent buildings and developments in downtown Minneapolis.

After serving in World War II with the U.S. Army in Germany, Mooty entered the Law School, where he worked on the Minnesota Law Review (vol. 33-35). He graduated in 1951 and the same year joined his older brother, John (’44), in practice at what was then known as the Kingman firm. The Mootys along with Franklin Gray, Frank Plant, and Russell Bennett enriched and developed the firm into one of the largest in Minnesota. In 1977 its name became Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty & Bennett PA.

Giving to the community was fundamental to Mooty. The Courage Center, a nonprofit rehabilitation center in Minneapolis, was one recipient of his time and generosity. He served as president of its board of directors and was director of the Courage Foundation, and in 1987 he and his wife, Sally, created the Mooty Scholarship for People with Disabilities at the Courage Center.

The Law School was also a recipient of the Mooty generosity. With initial gifts from Melvin and Sally, their children, John Mooty, and the firm of Gray Plant Mooty, the Melvin R. Mooty Scholarship Fund was established in 2011. It provides financial assistance to students with academic promise, demonstrated leadership skills, and a passion for community service.

Mooty enjoyed a respected 53-year career with Gray Plant Mooty before retiring in 2004. "He absolutely loved the practice of law and had such joy in everything he did at work," said his son, Paul (’85), in a Star Tribune article of June 7, 2012. Family was another source of joy, Paul continued. "There was nothing more precious to him than family."

Mooty is survived by Sally, his wife of 56 years; son Paul and daughter Mary Mooty Kileen, brother John, and five grandchildren.


Melvin Mooty

Melvin Mooty (’51)