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Latrobe attorney loved practicing law, helping people

November 18, 2018 GMT

Richard Jim loved assisting people through his law practice and taking his time to work with clients over his six decades as an attorney.

“He inspired me to be an attorney. He never wanted to quit. He had a full load of cases two weeks ago,” said Aimee Jim of Latrobe, who practiced law with her father for three of his 61 years as an attorney.

Her father told her to be “gracious” because there was no need to swear or get angry. So devoted was he to his clients that Mr. Jim was making calls to his office from his hospital bed at the intensive care unit a few weeks ago, Aimee Jim said.

“He had a strong work ethic,” said his son, Bernard L. Jim of University Heights, Ohio.

Mr. Richard L. Jim, a lifelong resident of Latrobe, died Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018, in Excela Health Latrobe Hospital. He was 89.

Born Oct. 17, 1929, in Latrobe, he was a son of the late Charles J. and Rose C. Margo Jim. His father was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, serving five terms from the late 1940s to early 1960s.

After graduating from Latrobe High School in 1948, he attended Saint Vincent College for one year in pre-engineering before transferring to the University of Pittsburgh, where he earned a degree in industrial engineering in 1950.

Mr. Jim entered the first Naval Officer Candidate School Class in Newport, R.I., in 1951. After serving on active duty, he retired as a Naval Reserve lieutenant commander.

“It was very important for him to go through the Officer Candidate School for the Navy,” Bernard Jim said.

He was proud of his service and always had a Navy hat in his car and wore it while doing errands, the family said.

Upon leaving the Navy, he enrolled in the University of Pittsburgh law school, graduating in 1957. Among his classmates were future U.S. Attorney General Richard Thornburgh and former Westmoreland County Public Defender Dante Bertani.

Mr. Jim was a member of Latrobe City Council and was deputy mayor for two years. He was director of Latrobe Community Development, an urban renewal initiative in the 1970s. He served as solicitor for the Latrobe Municipal Authority and Westmoreland Federal Savings & Loan Association.

“He wore many hats, and he wore them well,” said his wife of 53 years, Rosemary “Posy” (Lechman) Jim.

He was a member of Holy Family Roman Catholic Church of Latrobe, where he served as an usher. He also was a member of the Thomas B. Anderson American Legion Post 515 and the Latrobe Sons of Italy.

Mrs. Jim was an avid tennis player into his 80s, the family said. He was a singles, doubles and mixed doubles champion at Latrobe Country Club. His partner in mixed doubles was his wife.

Mrs. Jim said her husband was devoted to his family.

“He was there for them. He dropped everything” for them, she said.

He was preceded in death by a grandson, Charles W. Jim; a sister and brother.

In addition to his wife and children, he is survived by a grandson.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Friday, and interment was in Saint Vincent Cemetery, Unity. Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home Inc., Latrobe, handled arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Adams Memorial Library, 1112 Ligonier St., Latrobe, PA 15650, or online at adamslib.org.