In Memoriam 2019

The Onondaga County Bar Association recognizes the dedicated service of its members. We’re very sorry to see any member of the law community pass away and would like to offer our condolences to their families, colleagues, clients and friends.


Edmund M. Davis Born in Watertown in 1929, Mr. Davis practiced law in Syracuse following his law school education at Cornell Law School. He worked at the Hiscock, Cowie, Bruce & Mawhinney firm, which later became the Barclay Damon law firm. He passed on the evening of December 25, 2019.


Kenneth C. Wheeler, Jr. Mr. Wheeler served his nation in the United States Marine Corps. He also served as Chief Clerk of the Onondaga County Court System and Oswego County Supreme Court for 30 years, retiring in 1999. He died a the age of 83 on November 1, 2019.


Joseph R. Pacheco, II A Syracuse University alumnus twice over, Mr. Pacheco earned his bachelor’s degree and his juris doctorate in 1987 and 1990, respectively. During his career he worked with the Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office, the City of Syracuse Law Department and Travelers Insurance. He died at the age of 54 on October 23, 2019.

Charles H. Umbrecht, Jr. Mr. Umbrecht was a Real Estate attorney with Hancock Estabrook. He grew up in Fayetteville, NY and graduated from St. Lawrence University before gaining his juris doctorate at Albany Law School, where he was the valedictorian of his class. He passed on October 8, 2019.

Joseph John Lawton, Jr. A Central New York native, Mr. Lawton practiced in the area of Construction Law for more than 40 years with Bond, Schoeneck & King. He was a World War II veteran who served his country in Italy with the 88th Infantry Division. He died October 7, 2019


Ben Wiles, Jr. Left this earth at the age of 102. He was a Syracuse native who graduated from Syracuse University in 1937 with a degree in Economics and Political Science. He received his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School. A Navy man, he navigated the U.S.S. Pollux, in 1941, home after supplying allies in Australia and beyond. He enjoyed his loving family, playing golf, and sailing on Skaneateles Lake.

G. William “Bill” Lemax. A native of Syracuse, Mr. Lemax was a graduate of Solvay High School, Niagara University, and the Syracuse University College of Law. He enjoyed skiing, tinkering with cars, and boating on Skaneateles Lake. He passed on Monday, September 2, 2019.


Richard J. Brickwedde. A longtime champion of the environment, Dick Brickwedde worked tirelessly on its behalf throughout his entire legal career. With the DEC air and solid waste programs, he orchestrated the testimony which led to the establishment of time and temperature parameters for solid waste combustion which ultimately became federal law. He died on Tuesday, August 27, 2019.


Mark T. Harrington. Graduated from Ithaca College before receiving his Juris Doctorate from the Western New England University and returning to Syracuse to practice law for 26 years with the Mackenzie Hughes law firm. Mr. Harrington passed away Thursday, July 18, 2019.


Hon. James C. Tormey. Fifth District Administrative Judge and Justice of the Supreme Court, was appointed a New York State Supreme Court Justice by Governor George E. Pataki in 1995, and in that same year, was elected by the voters of the Fifth Judicial District to serve a 14-year term. In 2000, Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Administrative Judge, appointed Justice Tormey to serve as Administrative Judge of the Fifth Judicial District. A longtime friend to the bar association, Judge Tormey will be greatly missed. He died on Saturday, June 22, 2019.


Angelo J. Rinaldi, Esq. A Syracuse native, Mr. Rinaldi practiced law for 50 years in his beloved home town. He served his country in the Korean War and received his juris doctorate from the Syracuse University College of Law. He died on Tuesday, May 7, 2019.

Judith Levy Alderman, Esq. An active community member in Syracuse, Ms. Alderman was a longtime member of the Onondaga County Bar Association, Central New York Women’s Bar Association, Fayetteville-Manlius Board of Education, and the Manlius Library. She passed Tuesday, May 7, 2019.


Paul M. Hanrahan, Esq. Died April 30, 2019. Formerly of Hancock Estabrook LLP, Paul was a man of many interests and achievements and will be remembered fondly by his many friends and colleagues at the Bar Association as a founding member of “The Bar Ripsters,” the musical group which graced us with their talents over many, many years at Association gatherings.  Paul exemplified the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession and service to the public.

Michael Pekarsky, Esq. was a Syracuse University alumnus where he gained both his undergraduate and juris doctor degrees. He was a lawyer in private practice, but had previously worked as in-house counsel at Aetna Insurance and began his legal career in the NYS Attorney General’s office. He died on Friday, April 12, 2019.


William Everett Sugnet, Esq. died Sunday, March 17, 2019 in Bend, Oregon. He was a longtime legal practitioner in Syracuse lending his name to the firm of Smith, Sovik, Kendrick & Sugnet.

Marcus Stornelli, Esq. passed away Tuesday, March 12, 2019 at age 52. He was a solo practitioner.


John “Jake” Curran, Esq. died January 21, 2019. A 1960 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law, Mr. Curran assisted two U.S. Magistrate Judges in his 47-year legal career. He was a world traveler and an avid yachtsman.

Hon. John S. Parker Judge Parker passed on January 11th. In 1980, he was elected Lewis County Court judge and, in 1988, was elected to the New York State Supreme Court.

Harrison V. Williams, Jr., Esq. died on January 8th after a short illness. An avid tennis player and bicyclist, Mr. Williams will be remembered for his bicycle accident litigation expertise. He concluded his law career at Bousquet Holstein.