Obituary: Earl Darnell Hollinshead Jr. / WWII veteran, real estate lawyer
Share with others:
Earl Darnell Hollinshead Jr., a lawyer, Navy navigator and lover of music, died Tuesday. The Bethel Park resident was 85.
Born on Aug. 1, 1927, just east of Pittsburgh, he grew up on a farm in Illinois and in Western Pennsylvania. A graduate of Ohio University and the University of Pittsburgh law school, he served in the Navy during World War II and in the Korean War.
In 1957, he married Silvia Antion, whom he met while singing in the Pittsburgh Downtown Chorale. He was a real estate lawyer, running a solo legal practice for 20 years before helping found the firm, Hollinshead and Mendelson, in 1973. He participated in many local bar associations in Western Pennsylvania.
Mr. Hollinshead's Quaker upbringing instilled a strong sense of fairness that motivated much of his life, said Barbara May Hollinshead, one of his children.
His family lived on a farm in Illinois when he was growing up, and they were able to feed themselves comfortably during the Great Depression. His mother would give food to drifters who came by, as long as they worked for their fill -- by weeding, cleaning the chicken coop or helping Earl gather eggs.
"A sense of fairness came out of that, I think," Ms. Hollinshead said.
Before embarking on his legal career, he enlisted and trained to be a pilot during World War II, briefly interrupting his undergraduate studies. After completing law school, he was drafted into the Korean War, when he served as a navigator on the USS Ingraham.
A second stint in the military did not faze him.
"Looking back, those were the happiest days. He loved being on the ship," Ms. Hollinshead said.
His naval experience brought him to Europe, Cuba and Korea, where he was in charge of the radar used to find fliers who had bailed out at sea. His love of the water never faded, and in 2010 his family went on a cruise, where he was happy to sit on the deck and simply watch the waves.
His commitment to fairness and generosity would motivate the pro bono work and mentorship he performed during his law career. One client sent his family shortbread at Christmas every year, grateful for a will he wrote for her at no charge.
"He cared deeply about his clients and deeply about his fellow lawyers," said Andrea Geraghty, his friend and colleague.
Mr. Hollinshead maintained a balance between his professional and personal life, and let his personality shine at the workplace. If he was reminded of a lyric, he would break out into song at the office, Ms. Geraghty recalled.
"He was a man with a good sense of humor. He was practical and often he had a sort of country lawyer demeanor," she said.
Mr. Hollinshead is survived by his wife, Silvia; his children, Barbara of Arlington, Va., Kim Hollinshead Burke of McLean, Va., Susan of Bethel Park and Earl of Morgantown, W.Va.; his sister, Ariel Hollinshead Hyun of Medford, N.J.; and four grandchildren.
A service will be held Sept. 15 at the Medford Friends Meeting in Medford, N.J.
First Published August 25, 2012 12:00 am