In Memoriam 2016

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. Find a full transcript of the memorial ceremony here.


December 30- Hon. Jeffrey R. Merrill

30-year Syracuse City Court Judge, Co-founder of Syracuse drug court.

December 17- Robert D. Essig Sr., Esq.

Partner at Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC, Air Force and Vietnam Veteran, Husband of 46 years, Father of 3 and Grandfather of 4.

December 6- Bruce Bolton, Esq.

Partner at Coulter, Fraser, Bolton, Bird & Ventri, of counsel to Coulter, Ventri & McCarthy, WWII Navy Veteran.


November 21- Dennis G. O’Hara, Esq.

New York State litigator, 50+ years in practice, Husband of 53 years, Father of 7 and Grandfather of 15.

November 10- Carl F. Dobe, Esq.

Niagara Mohawk Key Counsel for 35 years, Korean War Veteran, Father of five and Grandfather of 11.


October 6- Richard V. Lang, Esq.

Patent Attorney for General Electric for 40 years, U.S. Navy and WWII Veteran.


September 21- Clarence Q. Johnson, Jr., Esq.

Attorney for 22 years, private practice in West Seneca, NY.

September 15- Charles R. Greiner, Esq.

Attorney at Melvin & Melvin, PLLC for 38 years, Husband for 69 years and Father of nine.


August 21- Leroy “Roy” Natanson, Esq.

Attorney in private practice for over 50 years, Reporter and editor (1953-1980) for Syracuse Post-Standard, Korean War Army photographer.

August 9- August J. Nordone, Esq.

Attorney at Carden Dotzler Attorneys at Law, SU College of Law Graduate and member of National Railway Historical Society.


July 27- John Lindauer, Esq.

Attorney for 30 years, Supporter of Chautauqua Institution

July 18- Richard D. Grossman, Esq.

Attorney at Grossman, Kinney, Dwyer & Harrigan and in private practice for a total of 60 years, U.S. Coast Guard during WWII, Journalist, Officer for Syracuse Cerebral Palsy Association

July 8- John William Gormley, Sr., Esq.

Assistant District Attorney for Onondaga County District Attorney’s Office for 30 years, Assigned Counsel for Onondaga County, U.S. Army Veteran

July 1- Peter John Hopkins, Esq.

Lawyer for over 50 years, Co-founder of NYS Conservative Party, WWII Veteran (Received Bronze Star and Purple Heart), Husband of 61 Years, Father of 5


June 16- Beverly A. Michaels, Esq.

Attorney at Michaels and Michaels for over 50 years and former OCBA Board Member

June 2- Steven W. Snyder, Esq.

Attorney and Partner at Fitzpatrick and Snyder, P.C.


May 28- Patrick Joseph Pedro, Esq.

Attorney and Partner at Bond, Schoeneck & King, recipient of inaugural “40 Under 40 Award” and former President of BOD of Syracuse Opera Company and Everson Art Museum.

May 27- Carl A. Marino, Esq.

Attorney, Veteran of U.S. Army and Air Force and ran family business The Inn of the Seasons.

May 17- Raymond W. Hackbarth, Esq.

Attorney with Mackenzie Hughes LLP, former OCBA President and 1984 Distinguished Lawyer of the Year.

May 12- Edward “Ted” Wright Lavery, Esq.

Attorney, Skaneateles Village Attorney, active volunteer in community, church and missions work.


March 17- Marilyn A. Westlake, Esq.

Attorney and mediator, and stepmother to current OCBA President Jean Marie Westlake.

March 14- Burton Lowitz, Esq.

Attorney, Veteran of U.S. Air Force and Jewish War Veteran.


February 22- Joseph W. LaFay, Jr., Esq.

Attorney with Hiscock Legal Aid and former teacher.

February 5- John M. Freyer, Esq.

Attorney and Partner at Bond, Schoeneck & King.