James W. McRae

Jim McRae died in 2006.

We lost Jim to cancer. He wasn’t old. He was as bright, as vibrant, as full of life, happiness, play and joy as when the diagnosis was made. He never lost his warmth and goodness. He was so looking forward to many years together with LeeAnn, the kids, the grandkids and his many friends and colleagues throughout the country. He and they were deprived of that. It hurts.

I remember him all those many years ago when we attended quarterly Law Practice Management Section meetings. Jim and I met soon after Herb Goodfriend and Dick Reed invited me to join the Section while in Chicago in the fall of 1975. Jim and I were on several of the same committees and he found a home along with Howard Hatoff and me on the Section magazine’s Editorial Board soon thereafter. The rest is pretty well known to most of the College members familiar with the ABA LPM Section.

Jim and Dottie, Jim’s first wife (who also struggled valiantly but succumbed to cancer several years ago) used to meet with Susan and me at Section meetings and, together, spent happy hours exploring so many common areas of interest. You may not know that Jim and Dottie met while both were performing musicians in the Atlanta Symphony orchestra, and that both remained active in the arts throughout their time together. Their charitable artistic work for the University of Georgia stands as a model for all of us. Whether toiling lovingly on his remarkable woodworking hobby out in his shed, practicing law with Troutman Sanders, then later in his own start-up firms, (each of which became remarkably successful), working on his new house up in the hills, or just sitting back, lighting up his ubiquitous pipe and sipping a single malt,
he was always as open, kind, incisively intelligent, wonderfully humorous and personally engaging as anyone I’ve had the pleasure of knowing.

I’ll never forgive him for his gleeful good cheer when he beat me at tennis all those many times over the years, or for pointing out to me each time the orchestra or conductor goofed while we were seated at the symphony during open Section evenings. We were at concerts in Dallas (with Harris Morgan, a member of that orchestra’s Board), Baltimore, San Diego, Chicago, Detroit, and so many more. We actually never missed the opportunity to attend the local musical performances. It was in his blood. We rode bicycles in San Diego (you should have seen him cross that bridge!), went to the Bandolier Indian ruins outside Santa Fe while Dottie and Susan went to the Opera House …  I could go on and on.

Jim loved sitting with friends in Section Council meetings, working together with Howard, Bob Green, John Tredennick, Burgess Allison, Merrilyn Tarlton and so many other outstanding volunteers and professionals on Law Practice Management magazine, and laughing with others during scores of Section events. Need I mention the bus ride to Puerto Nuevo in Mexico? (sigh!) Those times with Jim will never be forgotten. I’m sure LeeAnn and the family knows that Jim’s colleagues and friends will miss him greatly. I ask that we each take a moment to remember; to pray for Jim, and to pray for the health and happiness of his family on this occasion of their irreplaceable loss.

—Bob Schack

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