Phoebe Poulterer Hall

December 4, 1941January 4, 2019

Phoebe Poulterer Hall, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, distinguished Virginia attorney, and Rector of Virginia Commonwealth University, died on January 4, 2019.

Phoebe was born in Watertown, New York, to Betty and William T. Poulterer II. She was the wife of the late Franklin P. Hall, former leader of the Virginia General Assembly. She was the mother of Kimberly Hall Johnson (Dan) of Cary, North Carolina, and Franklin P. Hall, Jr. (Melanie) of Helena, Montana, and the grandmother of Savannah and Lilly Johnson and Mary Grace Hall. Other surviving family members include brothers William T. Poulterer III (Jane) of Lewes, Delaware and R. Jeffrey Poulterer (Maudene) of Exmore, Virginia, and brother-in-law James L. Hall (Ann) of Alcoa, Tennessee and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her love of family, friends and adventure, Phoebe prided herself on her work ethic and numerous contributions to her community. A graduate of the University of Delaware in 1963 and Georgetown Law School in 1969, Phoebe was a pioneer in her profession. She was among only a handful of women lawyers in Richmond in 1969 when she and Frank co-founded Hall & Hall, PLC where she served as CEO and senior partner for 50 years. An expert in family and elder law, her legal career also included service as a judge in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court and judge pro tempore in the Circuit Court, becoming one of the first women in Richmond appointed to the judiciary. In 2015, Phoebe was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe to VCU’s Board of Visitors and re-appointed to a second four-year term in June 2018 by Governor Ralph Northam. She was elected by her fellow board members to serve as Rector from 2017-18 and re-elected for 2018-19. Her service on the Board of Visitors became her greatest professional joy and she truly valued the relationships she made with her fellow Board members, the Administration and VCU students. Phoebe was inducted into the inaugural class of the Virginia Lawyers Weekly Hall of Fame in 2018. A co-founder of the Metropolitan Richmond Women’s Bar Association, she was recognized with the Association’s Annual Women of Achievement Award in 2006. She was an elected fellow of the Virginia Law Foundation and she actively supported a host of charitable causes, including the Alzheimer’s Association, the VCU Massey Cancer Center, and Wills for Seniors. She served as a member of the Boards of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Alzheimer’s Association of Greater Richmond, and Family and Children’s Services and was honored with the Urban League Guild’s Outstanding Citizenship Award.

While she enjoyed all of her professional and civic accomplishments, nothing was more important to Phoebe than her family. She was proud that her daughter Kim inherited her tenacity and love of fancy things and that her son Franklin inherited her temperament and love of theoretical discourse. She always prioritized spending quality time with her children and granddaughters and took all of them on fabulous adventures. Her spirit of adventure will be dearly missed by all who knew her. VCU will be hosting a ceremony honoring Phoebe’s life at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Details will be posted at There will be a private burial in Amelia County.

In lieu of flowers, the family encourages friends to make contributions to the Phoebe P. Hall Endowed Leaders Scholarship established at Virginia Commonwealth University.

HOW TO DONATE: Under the "Donations" section below, you can click the link. Then the Make a Gift tab pops up. Select the Search tab. Fill in Search Fund line with Phoebe. The Phoebe Hall Fund will populate the field. Select the fund and follow the prompts on the page.


  • Memorial Service Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Phoebe Poulterer Hall

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