Thomas McElrath Debevoise 2d, who was elected Attorney General in Vermont in 1960 and later was dean of the Vermont Law School, died on Feb. 1 1995 at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, N.H. He was 65 and lived in Woodstock, Vt. He worked at Lakes in the 1940’s.

The cause was complications from surgery for lung cancer, said a son, Thomas Debevoise 3d of South Woodstock, Vt.

After graduating from Columbia Law School in 1954, Mr. Debevoise worked as an assistant United States Attorney in Manhattan for two years before moving to Woodstock. While in Manhattan, he assisted James Donovan, the court-appointed lawyer in the defense of the Soviet spy Col. Rudolph Abel. Years later, Mr. Donovan arranged a prisoner swap in which Francis Gary Powers, the captured U-2 pilot, was returned to the United States in exchange for the release of Colonel Abel.

In 1958, Mr. Debevoise was appointed Vermont’s assistant attorney general and two years later, he was elected Attorney General for one term.

He founded the law firm of Debevoise & Liberman, with offices in New York and Washington, in 1965. In 1974, he was appointed dean of the Vermont Law School in South Royalton, serving for eight years before returning to private practice in Woodstock.

In addition to his son Thomas 3d, he is survived by his wife, Ann Taylor Debevoise; a daughter, Anne Debevoise Ostby of Dagmar, Mont.; two other sons, Whitney, of Bethesda, Md., and Clay, of Manhattan; a sister, Elizabeth Debevoise Healy of Manhattan, and eight grandchidren.

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