Pannell, Robert


Douglas "Bob"

Robert "Bob" Douglas Pannell passed away in Ajijic, Mexico on April 17, 2024.

Bob is survived by his wife, Joyce (Grimwood Whatley) Pannell; his daughters, Lyle Harvey (Sam) and Sarah Pannell; his four grandchildren, Alma- Rose Harvey, Elias Harvey, Virginia (Vivi) Pannell and Evelyn Grace Pannell; his sisters, Ruth Cole and Catherine Williamson; and many beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.

Bob was born on June 27, 1942 in McDuffie County, Georgia, to Richard Allen and Adele (Kellum) Pannell. He graduated from Thomson High School in 1960. He earned an AA degree from Oxford College at Emory University in 1962 and a BBA from Emory University in 1964. He graduated from the University of Virginia Law School with an LL.B. in 1968. He began his legal career in Atlanta at the law firm then named Smith, Cohen, Ringel, Kohler, Martin & Lowe. He practiced at other prominent Atlanta firms over the years specializing in corporate, securities, and merger and acquisition law and was managing partner at Nelson Mullins Riley and Scarbourgh. Two of his proudest career accomplishments were being general counsel for the Atlanta International Pop Festival in 1969, which preceded Woodstock, and being lead counsel for Home Depot's initial public stock offering (IPO) in 1981. Later in his career, he pursued his great passion for teaching and mentoring by becoming a well-loved adjunct law professor at Emory University.

Bob had two daughters from a former marriage, Lyle and Sarah; and four grandchildren, one of whom affectionately named him "Baba." He loved being "Baba" to his grandchildren and had only wished for more time to watch them grow up. He will be remembered for his intelligence, integrity, wit and charm. Bob was a skilled wordsmith and was the proud owner of all 20 volumes of the Oxford English Dictionary. He was a beloved mentor to many young lawyers who remember him for his ability to make complex legal concepts understandable. He enjoyed traveling and was most at peace when he was beside the water, which was a major factor in his decision to retire in the "eternal spring" climate of Lake Chapala in Mexico.

The funeral is scheduled for Friday, May 17, 2024 at 11 AM in the Mikell Chapel at The Cathedral of St. Philip with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Bob's life. If you cannot join in-person but wish to watch, please email Sarah at for a link to view the service. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Cathedral of St. Philip's Taize Fund.

Sign the guestbook at

View the obituary on