Bar Memorials: 2005
The following is a copy of the court transcript of the 2006 Bar Memorials remembering those members of the Bar Association of Lehigh County who passed away during the year 2005.
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF LEHIGH COUNTY
JAMES LANSHE, SENIOR
HONORABLE WILLIAM H. PLATT, P.J.
HONORABLE CAROL K. MCGINLEY, J
HONORABLE EDWARD D. REIBMAN, J.
HONORABLE WILLIAM E. FORD, J.
HONORABLE LAWRENCE J. BRENNER, J.
HONORABLE ROBERT L. STEINBERG, J.
HONORABLE ALAN M. BLACK, J.
HONORABLE J. BRIAN JOHNSON, J.
HONORABLE KELLY L. BANACH J.
FEBRUARY 6, 2006
COURTROOM NO 2A
LEHIGH COUNTY COURTHOUSE
ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA 18101
THE COURT: Good morning. On behalf of my colleagues on the Court of Common Pleas and, personally, I welcome you to this annual Lehigh County Bar Association Memorial Ceremony. This is a special session of Court convened to honor those members of the Bar Association who passed away during the previous year.
The Court recognizes Susan Wild, Esquire, President of the Lehigh County Bar Association.
MS. WILD: Thank you, Your Honor.
May it please the Court, President Judge Platt, the Honorable Judges of the Common Pleas of Lehigh County, colleagues, family and friends.
On behalf of the Bar Association of Lehigh County, I welcome each of you, especially on this cold, blustery day in February, I am particularly happy to see such a large turnout.
We gather today to honor and to pay tribute and to celebrate the lives of the members of the Bar Association who passed away this past year.
This annual Memorial Service is one of the finest traditions of our Bar Association, in my view. Before we begin, I would like to thank the Court for its continued commitment to this tradition. I would also like to thank Attorney John Baker, who is a member of our Bar Association and who, over the past number of years, has diligently and full‑heartedly organized this event. Thank you, John.
It is my great honor and privilege to share this morning with you as we take time to celebrate and reflect on the lives of individuals who leave behind a legacy of a commitment to the law and rich memories for those of us who follow them.
Each of them has touched our lives. They were our colleagues and they were our friends. For many of us, they were our mentors. They were our role models and what we aspired to be. They were a credit to our profession and they are greatly missed.
Today we gather to honor the memory of:
Edward Nagel. And I will read into the record remarks prepared by his son, Michael Nagel.
John Demarines, who will be remembered by Robert Donatelli.
Carl Hessinger, and remarks will be made on behalf of Carl by Laura Fox.
Thomas Calnan, who WILL be remembered by Richard Orloski.
And James Lanshe, Senior, who will be remembered by James Lanshe, Junior.
If I may, Your Honor, I would like to start by reading into the record the remarks of Michael Nagel, on behalf of his father, Robert Nagel.
THE COURT: You may.
MS. WILD: Thank you.
Following a stint in the United States Navy, Edward Nagel attended Harvard University and then the University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduating in 1952. He was very proud of his association with both schools, although, I think he occasionally felt badly for Harvard Law because they passed on the opportunity to have him as a student.
After a brief association with the New York City firm of Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, he became a staff attorney with the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company in Allentown. Legal departments are a now common and significant part of most major corporations, but I gather that in the gay 1950’s, they were a fairly unique concept.
Dad served PP&L in a number of roles during the decade, growing with the company and had a considerable hand, I am told, in the success of the company.
He retired in 1991 as Vice President of Federal Policy and Secretary to the Board. I know he was very proud of his association with PP&L and the people who worked there.
My dad gave generously of himself to family and to our community. He devoted countless hours to the Boy Scouts of America, an organization that he loved and served in virtually every possible capacity, from pack leader to council board member.
He was an active member of the church and he also served as president of the Civic Little Theater for a time, which tends to surprise people for some reason.
When my dad became a part of something, it was not in any passive way. His was a genuine commitment and he was bound to leave his mark on any endeavor that he became a part of.
Of course, my dad and my mom are the leading influences in my life. In a time when marriages seem to run their course, I learned from my parents that it really is a life‑time deal and one that will return the effort and attention required to nurture and sustain it, as my parents did for nearly fifty‑five years.
I know my dad would not approve of my commenting about him, if I did not also mention my mother and the wonderful life they built for themselves and for their children. What a powerful example for all of us.
It is natural at this time to look back and to think about all that my father accomplished professionally and personally. He was proud to be an attorney, and even though he smiled along at the occasional lawyer joke, inside I think they grated on him.
He embodied the best of this often maligned profession, and the many people who counted on his counsel, whether in the business world at PP&L, in the community, or simply in a private conversation, ARE TESTIMONY to his expertise.
On retirement he seemed to flounder a bit. Even though he made increased time for golf and travel, eventually, I thought, embracing retirement with a vengeance, he still worked actively as an attorney.
I think that after a lifetime in the profession the routine of reading, analyzing, planning and communicating were so much a part of him and something that he so enjoyed, that putting them aside was nothing he could conceive of.
Despite his accomplishments, I never got the sense from him that he thought that he had finally learned it all. He continued to read, take classes and interact with other lawyers until shortly before he became ill and passed away.
I often marveled at my father, and I know that his never‑ ending quest for knowledge had a profound affect on me. Of the lessons I learned from him, this lesson to never stop learning is the one I reflect on the most.
Another is the expectation of competence. That is, if you choose to hold yourself out as having a particular expertise, then you better be an expert.
My dad was far from flashy. He was rather very low key and very confident, for good reason. Some people found this off‑putting, thinking that he was either over‑ competent to the point of being conceded, or simply unapproachable.
My older brother once noted that Dad could scare people by just trying to be nice to them.
The truth, from those who knew him, were that he had a heart that matched his brain and that he would go to any length to help someone in need. Above all, his willingness to help is yet another legacy he left to me and the rest of the family. It was that important to him.
My dad was very proud of his association with the Lehigh County Bar Association, and the plaque presented to him when he reached his fiftieth year as a member is still prominently displayed at home.
On behalf of my mother, my brothers and sisters, I thank the Honorable members of this Court and his colleagues for remembering him in such a special way today.
And I believe Mr. Donatelli is ready.
MR. DONATELLI: Judge Platt, members of the bench, ladies and gentlemen, members of the Bar Association, Doris.
For many of us, it was extremely a privilege to be asked to memorialize individuals in these Bar memorials. And for me, it is a privilege to memorialize and remember John Demarines, with whom I practiced for many years.
It’s unfortunate, many of the current members of the Bar Association did not have the opportunity to know John, because John was a throw‑back to another generation of lawyers in Lehigh County. That generation of lawyers who saw their practice as not only a profession committed to serving their client, but also their community.
John was a man committed to his family, his faith, his heritage, his profession, and his community, and lived his life in furtherance of those ideals.
John was born on October 30th, 1917 in Marquette, Michigan to an emigrant father from Italy, and a mother of Italian heritage who had been born in Lattimore Mines, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
His father was a coal miner and a laborer. His mother was a homemaker, taking care of the family of four girls and a boy.
The family moved to Hazleton, Pennsylvania when John was five‑years old. John graduated from Hazleton High School in 1935. Graduating at the height of the Great Depression was not an easy time in the anthrAcite coal area of Pennsylvania.
After graduation, John worked in strip mines and as a milk man and a dairy worker. John had developed an interest in music, and he became an accomplished electric guitar player, which lead him to jobs in music schools and as an instructor of guitars. Later in his life, he became a published music composer.
Like many of his peers of that day, World War II changed his life. His family had moved to Allentown in 1940. John was the first Lehigh County volunteer under the new Selective Service Act, the draft.
Pearl Harbor caused what was supposed to be a one‑year commitment to be continued. In 1942 he was commissioned to first lieutenant and he served in the Pacific in combat units and as an intelligence officer and a harbor master.
His one‑year commitment extended to 1946. He was discharged then.
Upon his return to Allentown, he took advantage of the GI bill and enrolled in Muhlenberg College and later Dickinson School of Law, graduating in 1953.
John put himself through college and then law school through the GI bill and working at such diverse jobs as a food clerk at Dorney Park, a laborer for D. And C. Spinosa, and a clerk in a clothing store.
His law clerkship was with GENE GORMAN and Carl Hessinger. Upon his admission into the bar in 1954, he became an associate in the firm of Scoblionko and frank, doing primarily civil trial work.
In 1958 he left the firm to open up his own general practice engaged primarily in trial work. As many lawyers of that day did, John built that practice by being involved in all manner of community, church and political activities.
He was active in his church, Saint Thomas More, the Knights of Columbus, the American Business Club, the American Legion, the VFW, the Allentown Council of Italian American Organization, the Lehigh County Democratic Club.
He was a founder of the Lehigh County Meals on Wheels. He was active in the March of Dimes. And he was the director of this Bar Association. John spent many hours as a motivational speaker.
I met John in the early sixties when I was in law school and he became my preceptor. Upon my graduation from law school, he and I formed the fIrm of Demarines and Donatelli. We practiced together for ten years.
During that time, John instilled in me many of the principles that I still try to carry on today, forty years later. Never deceive the Court, always be on time for court matters, even though it’s not nine thirty until the judge says it’s nine thirty, and your word is your bond to your fellow member of the bar.
During the term of our association together, John was very active in Lehigh County politics. He ran for district attorney in 1967 against the then incumbent George Joseph, not successfully.
John suffered from health‑ related problems in the seventies, WHICH caused him to limit his practice, and his later years were limited to estate planning and business matters.
During that period of time, he shared office space with Tom Calnan and Rick Orloski, and later became of counsel to the firm of Kasick and Madey.
John retired in 1995 and he spent his later years in Florida and here in Lehigh County.
John was married to Doris Russo in 1955. He had three children. His son John, who now resides in Texas, and his daughter Diane, and his son David.
One of the sorrows of John and Doris’s life together was that their son David, and Diane, their daughter, each died tragic early deaths; one from illness and one from an accident.
John died October 22, 2005 survived by his wife Doris, his son John and sisters Florence and Rose who live in Florida, and sister Carmel here in Allentown.
John’s life was a true reflection of his background and experiences and believed in the value of family and heritage, and the powers of faith and the American dream that anyone can achieve their goals from hard work.
Thank you, very much.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Donatelli.
MS. FOX: Good morning. May it please the Court.
This is a privilege and a particular honor for me, since I am no longer a member of the Lehigh County Bar, but because I began my career in Allentown working for Carl, many of my fondest memories live here.
And before I get to the details of Carl’s remarkable life from grocer’s son to Trexler Trustee, let me share an example of the good and generous nature of Carl, or Mr. Hessinger, as I always called him, and explain how I got to the Bar.
After graduating from McGill University and finishing a year of law school at Dickinson, I was miserable. I hated law school and I was determined to leave, to my parents’ dismay.
I was very good friends with Carl’s daughter, Trisha, whom I had met in school and spent most of my weekends that first year in law school driving from Carlisle to Allentown to visit Trisha, who was living with her parents.
Mr. Hessinger always listened quietly as I would rant and rave ‑‑ and for those who know me, my ranting and raving is not insignificant ‑‑ about how awful law school was, and although he never tried to convince me of the merits of this profession, one day when we were discussing my life, which, of course, I was always happy to do at any meal, he asked me if I knew what I was going to do that next year. And, of course, I had no idea.
He offered me a job working in his office to see if maybe I would like the practice of law better than learning it in the books. Well, I accepted that job, and, although, true to other parts of his character, I was paid almost nothing for that privilege.
I did learn to search titles, the fundamentals of real estate and probate practice, and appreciation for the practice of law and the value of hard work.
So I went back to law school, graduated, and then when I graduated, I worked for him for several years and went on to become State Counsel for Lawyers Title in Pennsylvania.
None of that would have happened if this kind and gentle man had not recognized a person floundering around in life. I doubt he ever spoke of it, nor even acknowledged his contribution because he was genuinely not interested in bringing attention to himself.
Carl was born August 13th, 1915. He grew up here in Allentown, the son of the late John J. And Mary B. Hessinger.
He was a 1933 graduate of Allentown High School, and 1937 Magna Cum Laude graduate from Muhlenberg College, where he received the Kline Math Award and was class president.
Carl was the oldest son of six children, and the only one to graduate from college. His Aunt Margaret and Uncle Bill, who were childless and helped raise him, recognized his exceptional academic ability and encouraged Carl to apply to law school, which they generously financed. He never forgot their kindness and supported them throughout the remainder of their life.
In 1940 he received his L.L.B. from the University of Pennsylvania, where he also received several awards.
After graduating, he was the first paid associate of the law firm of State Senator George Rupp, of Butz, Stechel and Rupp.
In 1942 he became a member of the Lehigh County and Pennsylvania and the American Bar Associations, where he remained throughout his life.
In 1948 he established his oWN private practice in Allentown concentrating mostly in real estate, probate and business matters.
I always remember that he told me that he realized early on in his career that, although, a litigation practice would have been interesting, he felt he was more suited to a desk practice because he couldn’t stand the time you wasted waiting around for the court to begin.
He had a pivotal career moment in 1955 while in service to the Harris family, in selling their half interest in Hess Brothers Real Estate, achieving a four million dollar purchase price, an unheard of amount at that time.
He told many stories of those months of negotiating in New York when he left with only a few shirts for a short trip and had to buy many more over the course of many months. Remember, that was the time before computers, fax, E‑mail, even Fed‑Ex. So negotiations were done very differently.
Partnered with his brothers, Tom and John Hessinger, and friend Roy Minninger, they created H & M Concessions which operated concessions throughout the Lehigh Valley and funded the expansion and continued to operate the Allentown Farmers’ Market.
They operated the Ritz Bar BQ, concessions at the Trexler Game Preserve and most of the regions pools and parks. H & M Concessions also had an important role in assisting in the management of concerts and programs at the annual Great Allentown fair.
The partners also owned and operated a number of smoke shops in Allentown. Carl was a cigar aficionado long before it was fashionable.
In 1962, in response to the build‑up in tensions in and around Cuba, he purchased futures in Cuban cigars, primarily from Dunhill of New York. When the Cuban embargo was announced, he became the owner of one of the largest collections of pre‑Castro Cuban cigars in the United States.
He went on to sell a portion of the collection at auctions in the 1970’s and ’80’s, retaining a few boxes for his personal collection.
And then there was the time when he asked Trisha and me, who were driving home from school in Montreal, to bring back a few CUBAN CIGARS that he just couldn’t resist buying when he was there visiting, and, suddenly, twenty boxes of cigars arrived in our dorm room with instructions to remove the Cuban wrappers, and pack them back into the boxes and put them into the trunk. I think he figured that it would be all right if we took them over the border.
He could never resist a good cigar or a bargain. And I also didn’t mention that the exchange rate was particularly favorable that year.
One of his proudest moments was in 1963 when he was appointed by Judge Coyne to the Board of Trustees for the Trexler Trust. He was one of the longest serving members of the Trust, retiring as Trustee Emeritus in December of 2001.
He greatly admired Harry Trexler, and was very conscious of the many benefits this community enjoys because of the vision of Trexler. He took his Trusteeship very seriously and helped the Trexler Trust Corpus grow enormously during some very rough financial times. He was counsel to THE TRUST and Foundation from 1963 to 1995.
He was president of Allen Title Company, the first title company in Allentown, founded in 1947.
Carl was also vice president and counsel to First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Allentown from 1952 to 1985.
His other love, besides his family, the law, business and cigars, was figure skating, which he shared with his entire family ‑‑ WIFE Marguerite, and daughters Nancy, Trisha, Marianne and Holly.
He founded the Penguin Figure Skating Club of Allentown, as well as a figure skating foundation, which continues to provide scholarships to young skaters today.
Notwithstanding his professional accomplishments, he enjoyed the simple pleasures of life, never forgetting his humble beginnings.
Carl grew up on the second floor, above the family grocery store. He loved food and going out to dinner, whether on vacation in some out of town location or Wertz’s in Allentown.
Although, he enjoyed all foods, and loved trying new things, I never forgot when he told me that he didn’t eat sauerbraten because it reminded him of the old leftover meat that the family would sometimes eat, to save the newer meat for the customers.
Carl was a devout Catholic and a staunch Republican. And he was a smart, tough lawyer, who rarely compromised his position.
But he was also kind, compassionate and never judged people by who they were, how they dressed, where they came from, or even what they believed. Many of his estate clients were farmers, who came into the office right from the farm, and he welcomed them as if they were president of a big corporation.
He laughed with them, told Pennsylvania Dutch jokes, gave wise counsel, and earned their respect. He only looked at how hard you worked and if you were a good person.
As a boss, and as his beloved assistant, Joanne, can confirm this sentiment, he was a strict taskmaster and had high standards for thoroughness, but didn’t judge by mistakes as long as you had done your best.
And his daughters can also recount the many times at dinner that they heard his lectures about hard work.
I know this CHALLENGED MANY of his beliefs to have a young, liberal, lesbian lawyer working with him, but he never judged on those traits. He treated me with the same respect he expected to be treated. And as his daughter told me recently, opened his heart and mind to accept new ideas.
So because one of my other fond memories of Carl is the Bar Memorial he gave of Mr. Butz, another Trexler Trustee, and how it ran on forever, for giving every street that Mr. Butz had lived on, and he did love to talk, I will end with this thought.
I honestly don’t know how you sum up a man’s life, but in Mr. Hessinger’s case, we can remember and honor and learn from his legacy. He was loved and will be missed.
THE COURT: Thank you, Miss Fox.
MR. ORLOSKI: May it please the Court. We are here today to memorialize the life of Thomas Calnan, Junior, attorney and counselor at law.
For those of you who knew him, my words aren’t necessary. For those who did not know him, my words will be wholly inadequate. It is impossible to capture the larger than life presence that was Tom Calnan.
One word that immediately came to mind when I began this TASK; IT is not a word that I use every day. Tom was ebullient. He was enthusiastic about any project he undertook.
He was representing clients, serving in the United States Navy, helping young boys in the Big Brothers program, functioning as president of the Lehigh County Bar Association, serving on the consistory of the Saint James United Church of Christ, planning the family vacation, handling his chore as Master in Divorce, going to Atlantic City to battle the fickle finger of luck on the slot machines. Tom was enthusiastic, and his enthusiasm was pervasive.
I wondered what one thing Tom would like me to share with you today about his life. The answer came immediately. Tom would want you to know that he was a captain in the Navy and a captain of a ship. For the uninitiated, that is two different themes, as Tom patiently explained to me.
I did not know much about nautical themes. I useD the terms ship and boat interchangeably until Tom taught me that a boat can be carried on a ship, but not vice versa.
Captain is a military rank for an officer in the United States Navy, but not all persons with the rank of captain ever get to captain the ship. That is an honor and privilege reserved for a few.
Tom must have had intensive character to be captain of the ship on the high seas, where the word of the ship’s captain iS unchallenged. All shipmates do what the captain tells them; and in turn, the captain bears the responsibility for the safety of the crew.
The only restraint upon a captain on a ship when he is on the high seas is self‑restraint.
Ever the consummate warrior, Tom thought that the experience of ship captain had a parallel in our court system. Judges have total power in their courtrooms, like the captain on the high seas. The best judges, Tom opined, were the judges who understood self‑restraint.
POWER OVER OTHERS INCLUDES the obligation to use power wisely and with self‑restraint. Tom saw self‑restraint as virtuous. As the official master for court in divorce cases, Tom put into practice what he learned earlier as the ship’s captain on the high seas.
As we can all appreciate, divorce places an enormous toll on the litigants. Tom was ever sensitive to the plight of the parties who appeared in front of him and he earned a reputation as fair, firm, compassionate, and a wise master.
What was true for ship captains, judges and divorce masters, is equally true for parents. Tom taught me, as a parent, we must recognize the value of self‑restraint in our interaction with our children.
Tom Calnan was a member of the generation that Tom Brokaw labeled the greatest generation. Tom was right in the middle of things, having served in the active duty with the United States Navy in both World War II and the Korean War. When Tom Brokaw wrote the phrase, the greatest generation, he was writing about Tom.
Tom received two undergraduate degrees; a B.a. from the Merchant Marine Academy, and a b.s. from Muhlenberg College. He earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Tom was the proud father of four children: Tom Calnan, III, a businessman; Professor Alan Calnan, a law school professor; Kathy Reynard, a computer systems analyst; and his beloved Carol, whom Tom described as having a heart of gold.
Both Tom’s wife of forty‑three years, and his beloved Carol, pre‑deceased him in death. That was hard on him and it left a void in his life.
Tom’s son, Alan, wrote a book called Justice and Tort Law, that Tom rightly treasured. He kept it in his office. He would point with an impressive tone and say, my boy wrote that. Tom was proud to be the father of the author.
Tom worried about the younger generation. He was a man of action and he wanted to help. Tom volunteered to work with the young boys in the Big Brothers program. There were always young boys hanging around the office at the end of the school day. Tom wanted to give these young boys a role model in order to give them a chance.
During Tom’s lengthy illness, I met one of his boys. I was at Dan’s Camera waiting in line when a young man wearing a u.p.s. uniform approached me. He said, Mr. Orloski, don’t you remember me? I’m one of Tom’s boys.
I remembered. The skinny, young kid grew into a scrappy young man with a good job raising a family. Yes. Tom made a difference in that young man’s life.
It is right and fitting that we are here in courtroom number one memorializing our friend and colleague, Tom Calnan. Tom spent many hours of his life standing right here running the criminal trial list.
It was a different time. There WAS no huge staff in the court administrator’s office providing support service. It was the Tom and Ken show.
Tom was the first assistant district attorney under the late George Joseph. Tom had the clerk of courts bring up all of the outstanding criminal files to courtroom number one. There, he and the President Judge, the late Kenneth H. Koch, went through all of the files assigning cases to other courtrooms, and taking guilty pleas in courtroom number one.
Tom was the grand maestro orchestrating the entire two criminal terms with his customary enthusiasm for getting the job done. He always got the job done.
One of the enduring memories that I will always have of Tom Calnan was his appearance in my office in his Naval cap and uniform. Tom was already retired from the law.
He had a doctor’s appointment that day. He wanted to show his doctor that in his seventies, he could still fit in his NaVy uniform from his younger days. He capped an impressively dapper figure with THE CAPTAIN insignia and the gold braids.
I’m going to ask all of you for your indulgence. Military and non‑military persons alike, please join with me in saluting this Navy captain, who was the captain on a ship, and tell the captain that in guiding his ship of life through many storms, he did his job. We salute you, Captain, job well done. Thank you.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Orloski.
MR. LANSHE: May it please the Court, President Judge Platt, the Honorable Judges of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, members of this distinguished Bar, guests, my mother and sister.
I would like to begin by thanking this Honorable Court for affording me the honor to speak these few words today on behalf of the great and gifted man, whom I was privileged to know as a mentor, my friend and most especially, a very dedicated father.
James C. Lanshe, known to his friends and acquaintances as Jim, was born in Allentown on November 17th, 1909, and passed away almost ninety‑six years later, on May 15th, 2005.
During those ninety‑six years, he lived an unimaginably full and rewarding life. It’s sometimes difficult to appreciate, or even to comprehend, all that took place during that time.
But he occasionally and, rightly, observed that he was born into a home where the main means of transportation was still a horse and carriage. Yet, by the end of his life, he had crossed the Atlantic at supersonic speeds on the Concord and was communicating with his own children, grandchildren and great‑grandchildren via the internet.
The intervening period was marked by the great depression, two world wars, the transition from an industrial economy to the information age, and last, but not least, shifting cultural, social and political beliefs.
Yet, through all this time, he seemed to live his life by a clearly defined set of practical values that served him, his family, his clients, his profession and his community remarkably well.
In remembering and paying tribute to him, it is those values, their roots, their impact about which I would like to briefly speak today.
In Jim’s case, he would say that his values were initially the product of several fortuitous things. As the ninth of ten children, he was part of a very loving, caring family that emphasized education, commitment to family, commitment to community, and commitment to faith.
It was also a musical family inasmuch as Jim’s father owned the local music store on Hamilton Street that sold instruments to many Lehigh Valley families in an era that certainly preceded TV and, probably, radio, too.
His instrument of choice was the piano, and he played it pretty well both for his own enjoyment and to entertain others, too.
As to education, Dad graduated from Allen High School, Muhlenberg College and Dickinson School of Law. But that does not do justice to his attitude and to his interest in life‑long learning.
He was an omnivorous reader, who genuinely enjoyed the pleasure of exploring just about every kind of writing, whether it was books, periodicals, magazines or newspapers.
This is perhaps all the more remarkable in light of the demands on his time as a sole practitioner for much of the early part of his career.
Though he entered practice after law school with AUBRY, FRIEDMAN, STECKEL and SENGER, and later became first assistant district attorney of Lehigh County, he engaged in solo practice for most of his professional life, first at 37 North Fifth Street, and later at 469 Linden Street.
Both the locations close by this court house where many of us recall he spent a great deal of his time in and out of the courtroom and in and out of the county offices that are part of the daily routine of practice.
But his visits here were more than just a passing part of his practice, he genuinely delighted in the friendships formed over the years with judges, fellow lawyers and everyone who worked and served in courts and the county government.
Despite the demands of being a sole practitioner, he made or found time to do so much else that in hindsight, it is sometimes hard for me to imagine.
First and foremost, he was a family man in the traditional sense of the term. Family came first. He was the kind of father that you could always count on to be there.
Perhaps, that is because he married a very beautiful, young redhead, who he first met at Allen High School. Her name then was Alice McDermott.
And they were wed in 1938, eventually celebrating sixty‑seven years of marriage together that produced three children: My sister Mary Alice Miller, who’s passed away; my sister Lois Kelly, who is seated here to my right today, and myself, as well as nine grandchildren and four great‑grandchildren.
My mother is here today, as I’ve mentioned, and I would like to make special mention of the key and important role that she played in making possible many of the accomplishments he ultimately achieved, for without her love and support, these things would never have been possible.
In addition to family, Jim believed in giving back to the community that he felt had given him so much. For years he served on numerous charitable and civic boards, including service as president of the Sacred Heart Hospital Board of Trustees, president of the Library Board, member of the Salvation Army Board, chairman of the Chamber of Commerce Board, member of the United Way board, and president of the Board of Trustees of Cabrini College.
For his service, he received commendations, awards and recognition, including, the Chambers Distinguished Service Award, the Library Board’s Meritorious Service Award, and an honorary doctorate in Humane Letters from Cabrini College.
He especially prized his tenure as President of the Lehigh County Bar Association, and the subsequent award the Bar presented him not long ago in appreciation of his extended service to the Bar and the community.
Even in retirement, he continued to remain active in community affairs and received special recognition in resolutions adopted in 1998 by both the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and the Senate of Pennsylvania honoring him as the outstanding volunteer fund raiser for the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Society of Fund Raising Executives.
The latter award is remarkable in that he was nearly ninety years of age at the time, and still very much engaged in efforts to support the community activities and improvements that he felt were important.
In collaboration with other men of this era, like Leonard Pool of Air Products and Jack Busby of PP&L and ZENAN Hanson of Mack Trucks and Phil Berman of Hess’s and many others, he tried to do his small part to make Allentown and the Lehigh Valley a better place to live and work.
He was not only generous with his time, but with his resources, as well. Though he often chose to quietly support many charities, he and my mother had a special commitment to Sacred Heart Hospital, culminating in a gift to the hospital that lead to the opening of the Lanshe Breast Center.
In a resolution of appreciation for this contribution to the hospital, the hospital cited his commitment and leadership of many years on behalf of the hospital and the fact that it was grounded in and formulated by his deep belief in his Catholic faith, strong family values and his real concern for the welfare and well‑being of others.
True to those statements, he also played a prominent role in his parish church, the Cathedral of Saint Catharine of Siena, where in the early 1950’s, he helped lead the parish fund drive to construct the present church building at Seventeenth and Turner Streets that stands today as the diocesan cathedral.
Incidentally, from the time that church opened to shortly before he passed away, I had never not known him to quietly pay a brief daily visit to church to say a silent prayer to start the day.
When not involved in family, his practice or community service, his hobby was travel. He loved it, whether it was the far reaches of the U.S. and Canada, or the pyramids of Egypt, Mount Fuji in Japan, the Vatican in RoME, the River Thames in London, the Hermitage Museum in Russia, the Panama Canal, he wanted to see it all.
When, or if, my mother was not available, his favorite alternate travel companion was Don Miller, publisher of the Call Chronicle newspapers. Together they conquered the world, in their own and mythical way, accumulating wonderful stories and memories, but also in forming his view of the world beyond the town that he grew up in and always wanted to come home to.
In the end, he was the kind of person whose infectious enthusiasm for life made it possible for him to equally enjoy every minute of an annual Bar picnic as much as dinner on top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Lest all this sound too sugary, let me take a moment to ensure you that he was the first person to acknowledge his short‑comings. Like everyone, he had a very human side.
You may remember that I mentioned earlier in my remarks about Dad’s interest in the piano. In later years, he sort of admitted that he possibly, may have occasionally, used that particular talent at a prohibition speakeasy in Fountain Hill, nor was he one to let that fact get in the way of a good story.
But notwithstanding his faults or transgressions, I came to view, understand and appreciate his life as plainly demonstrating that the true measure of a man is never perfection, but what he does upon serious reflection.
His life, as he chose to live it, was richly rewarding in many ways, buT maybe the most rewarding thing that he ever did was to mentor others. This could range from being a public speaking merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts, to working with recent law graduates doing their clerkships, which at one time, were mandatory prerequisites to admission to the practice.
While these relationships may not have taken on the task of George Swift and Thomas Jefferson, he nevertheless helped a lot of people get started in their careers.
Many, many names come to mind including Bob Jordan, Paul McGinley, Senior, JoE Fruhwirth, and more recently, Judge Johnson, just to name a few.
But the relationship that bears special mention here is the one that he maintained with Fred Lanshe, my cousin, and my Dad’s partner for much of the latter part of his career. Fred was and is as fine a partner as anyone could hope to have in the practice of law and Dad always held Fred in the highest regard for the special relationship they developed over more than twenty‑five years of practicing together.
I would be remiss not to mention here my own experience in practicing with my dad and Fred after graduating from law school. They both helped provide me with the foundation and the encouragement that allowed me to go on and practice out west and later to Wall Street and eventually to go into legal education, where, as an assistant dean and law professor, I don’t think I ever have gone into class without imagining my dad there and how he would first enjoy the give and the take of the Socratic method of teaching; and two, sharing the value of his incites into really being able to help and to serve clients who are willing to put their trust into you.
To all whom he met, he was un‑failingly courteous and friendly and people seemed to respond in kind, making it a lot of fun to be with him. He was non‑judgemental towards others.
In more quiet moments, he could often be philosophical. Several years ago we were talking during our fall Sunday afternoon drive, and he suggested to me that, well, we could surely learn a great deal from past experience. We shouldn’t expect too much of history.
His view was that the present need not necessarily be guided by the past. Like Thomas Jefferson, whom I mentioned earlier, he believed that the mission of nearly every philosophy is not to reflect the world as it is, but to change it for the better.
In this respect, he was certainly progressive in his views, as long as they did not clash with his values.
Not long ago, there was a popular book called Tuesday with Morey ‑‑ Tuesdays with Morey. Whether Morey took a page from Dad’s book or Dad took a page from Morey’s book, both seemed to agree on a few things.
First, devote yourself to loving others, especially your family.
Secondly, devote yourself to the community around you.
Thirdly, devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.
And FOURTH and most of all, give out of love and let it come back to you.
Perhaps one award that Jim received above all others summed up these things better than anything that I may have said here today. It referred to a passage from the Book of Sirach.
A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; HE, who finds one, finds a treasure.
I believe our dad was a true gentleman, was a treasure who will be missed, certainly by family, but perhaps also by those whose lives he may have touched in some manner.
And my hope, therefore, today is that in some small way his commitment to his values, his family, his profession, his friends and this community, will stand as an example and some small inspiration for present as well as future members of this Bar.
Again, my family and I thank the Court, and the Bar, for the privilege of sharing these remarks here today.
THE COURT: Thank you, Mr. Lanshe.
Judge Wallitsch asked me to apologize for his being unable to be here today. He’s at a meeting with the Judicial Conduct Board. It doesn’t involve him personally. He’s a member of the board.
I acknowledge the presence of Judge Backenstoe, a former member of this Court who’s in the audience.
I wish to express the thanks of the Court to John K. Baker, Esquire, who planned this program as chairman of the Bar Association Committee.
This Bar Memorial was a success because of his hard work, the hard work of the Bar Association and also because of the effort that the speakers put into their presentations.
This was an easy year for speakers. We lost a number of titans in the Bar this year and there was a lot to be said.
I thank the Bar Association for continuing this tradition and allowing us to share the lives of our departed members.
The official court reporter is directed to transcribe the notes of testimony of these proceedings and place them in a digital format so that they can be published on the Bar Association’s home page.
We’ve done this since 2002 and all the memorials since that date are available at www.lehighbar.org. Anyone interested in a copy or reading the transcript can obtain it through that source. Are there any members of the Court who wish to add any remarks today?
If not, then we will adjourn this ceremony. And when we do so, it will be out of our respect for our departed colleagues.
MR. RABER: Please rise. This Court is adjourned.
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