RACINE— A family man divorce lawyer.
The idea certainly seems antithetical. But if it does, you didn’t know attorney Gerald M. Crawford.
A former Assistant Racine County District Attorney and longtime partner of the former law firm Stewart, Peyton and Crawford, Gerry Crawford passed way in February.
On Thursday, local judges and around 200 local attorneys packed the Fourth Floor Ceremonial Courtroom at the Racine County Courthouse to honor Crawford and three other attorneys who passed away in the last year: William Dye, Patrick Lloyd and Robert G. Riegelman.
While the legal profession might be the one of the most maligned, members of the Racine County Bar Association have made it part of their mission each year to honor the vocation and its departed practitioners.
Dubbed “The Call of the Calendar” the annual gathering began in 1997 and takes its name from the days when the bar association would memorialize deceased attorneys before the beginning of the fall and spring judicial schedules, explained Racine County Bar Association President Robert W. Keller.
Time was also set aside to welcome new members of the bar association and have them sign the association’s membership book which dates back to 1848.
“The Racine County Bar Association has held fast to the tradition of remembering attorneys that have left our ranks, (leaving us with memories) of their friendship, their wit, their humor, their talents and their legal acumen,” Keller said delivering the introduction to the event.
Taking the podium, local attorney Timothy Crawford recalled the work his brother and former colleague did to negotiate fair divorce settlements but also keep families together.
“Gerry was well respected and will be remembered by his fellow attorneys in the Racine area as being firm but fair in his negotiation involving his divorce cases,” said local attorney Timothy Crawford, Gerry Crawford’s brother and former colleague.
“A number of attorneys have told me that he saved many marriages with the advice he gave to his clients; many of which reconciled with their spouses (instead of) divorcing. He was very, very proud of that record.”
A common thread through many of the eulogies was a dedication to family and community, as well as college sports.
“At all times Gerry had his priorities in order: God, family, law and Marquette basketball,” quipped his brother.
Delivering the eulogy for Robert G. Riegelman, who died in December, attorney Robert J. Riegelman noted his father’s devotion to family, saying that what he learned most from him was how to treat people.
Following the remembrances, the bar association welcomed new members, including Tony Dunn, Devin Stasek, Abigail Gilman, Ann Cohen and Josh Blakely.