Honorable William W. Lipsitt William W. Lipsitt, 92, of Harrisburg passed away on Saturday, August 1st, 2009 at Community General Osteopathic Hospital. He
Message 1 of 1
, Aug 1, 2009
Honorable William W. Lipsitt
William W. Lipsitt, 92, of
Harrisburg passed away on Saturday, August 1st, 2009 at Community General
He was born in Harrisburg on August 2nd, 1916 to
the late Henry and Emma Cohen Lipsitt.
Judge Lipsitt is survived by
his loving wife of 37 years, May Y. Lipsitt; four step sons, Richard Miller
of Pottsville, Steven Miller of Harrisburg, David Miller and his wife
Sammie of Harrisburg, James Miller and his wife Erin of Wormleysburg; one
brother, Robert Lipsitt and his wife Jean of Florida; two nephews, Henry
Lipsitt of San Antonio, TX, Michael Lipsitt of Atlanta, GA; niece Nancy
Otto of Austin, TX, and his twelve loving grandchildren, Jason, Melissa,
Samantha, Robert, Jessica, Ryne, Ian, Sophie, Jacob, and Ella Miller, and
Haley and Casey Fritz. The Judge also leaves behind his loving and faithful
caretaker, Carol Warren.
Judge William W. Lipsitt attended William Penn
High School in Harrisburg. He graduated from Harvard College in 1938, where
he played varsity football and from Harvard School of Law in 1941. He
excelled in his studies and he also attended Oxford University. He
was admitted to practice before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court,
Pennsylvania Superior Court and various Federal Courts. He was a
member of the law firms of Shelley, Reynolds and Lipsitt, later Reynolds
and Lipsitt, and former Solicitor for the Sheriff of Dauphin County.
In June 1965 Governor William Scranton appointed him a Judge
of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County. In November of 1965
he was elected to a full ten year term on the bench and was returned in a
retention election in November 1975 for an additional ten year term.
It was noted by the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas Judges that during
Judge Lipsitt's years on the bench, he "... conducted some of the most
famous trials in Dauphin County history, including the infamous '666'
lottery fix trial (which was made into a movie), the Jay Smith murder trial
(which was recounted in a best-selling novel and TV movie), and early Three
Mile Island litigation." Upon his retirement in 1986, he continued to
preside over cases throughout Pennsylvania as a Senior Judge until he
retired for the second time in December 2002. He then joined his
step-son, James A Miller, and formed Miller Lipsitt, LLC, serving in the
capacity as "Of Counsel." He also taught as an Adjunct Law Professor
at Dickinson Law School.
Judge Lipsitt served in the United
States Army in World War II and the Korean War and fought in the European
theatre for 44 months. He earned the rank of First Lieutenant,
receiving the bronze star and the campaign medal.
was a member of the Dauphin County, Pennsylvania and American Bar
Associations, Beth El Temple, former President of the Keystone Area Council
of Boy Scouts of America, National Jewish Committee on Scouting, Harrisburg
Lodge # 12 B.P.O. Elks; Harrisburg VFW Post # 1086, American Legion, Jewish
War Veterans Post # 97, Salem Lodge # 26 B'nai B'rith, and past chairman of
the Tri-County Welfare Council.
The Judge was a former
member and president of the Harrisburg School Board, a former member of the
board of Trustees of the Harrisburg Public Library, past president of the
Harvard Club of Central Pennsylvania, a past secretary and treasurer for
the Optimist Club of Harrisburg; past member of the Executive Committee,
United Jewish Community of Harrisburg, a national delegate to the American
Jewish Committee, a member of the Royal Arcanum, American Technion Society,
Paxton Lodge # 798 F. & A.M., Harrisburg Consistory, Zembo Temple,
National Sojourners, Tuesday Club of Harrisburg, Greater West Shore Area
Chamber of Commerce, Pennsylvania Society of New York, Harrisburg Council
Navy League of the U.S. and was former member of the Board of Managers of
the Harrisburg Hospital.
Judge Lipsitt earned and held many
important titles and positions thru out his life. Two that he
held to be the most important were Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of
America and the one he treasured and held dearest was that of "Grandpa"
In honor of Judge Lipsitt's 90th birthday, the Judges of the
Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas in 2006 proclaimed "Throughout his
legal career he earned and kept the esteem and respect of the bench, bar,
and community for his legal scholarship, work ethic, vision, wit,
gentility, and compassion; and was well known for his personal charm,
marvelous sense of humor, love of literature, art, theatre, sports, and
Funeral services will be held on August 4th,
2009 at 1:00 p.m. at Beth El Cemetery Chapel, 1100 S. Progress Avenue,
Harrisburg. Rabbi Eric Cytryn and Rabbi Peter Kessler will be
co-officiating. Burial will be in the Beth
Arrangements by Hetrick Funeral Home, 3125 Walnut
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made
to the Keystone Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, One Baden Powell
Lane, Mechanicsburg, PA 17050, the Beth El Temple Building Fund, 2637 North
Front Street, Harrisburg, PA 17110 and/or the Jewish Home of Greater
Harrisburg, 4000 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg, PA
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