Category Archives: To Absent Friends

Remembering those classmates we’ve lost along the way.

To Absent Friends: Jim Schaefer

Jim SchaeferOur classmate Jim died on October 28, 2014 after a long illness.  Following is the eulogy delivered at Jim’s funeral:

Intelligence sometimes gets in the way. For all of us. Old George – Jim’s dad – always reminded us that Jim was the most intelligent kid in the family. He was correct. But I still can’t figure out that Xavier High School thing.

Sometimes, all of us think that we know better than God. We don’t. And we don’t always know what God wants of us. This leads to confusion. We forget that our job here in our earthly life is to learn the will of God for our lives – and then to live according to God’s will. I know this is news for all of us since, as a people of faith, we’ve only known this for a few thousand years.

So, yes, the later years of Jim’s life were filled with confusion. How do I love my kids and my wife and still follow the path that I want to follow. How do I reconcile that call to duty for our country and duty to my family? How do I use my education and skills, but still hang out with my buddies and party? Yes, Jim had issues. We know that. We all have issues.

Jesus spent a lot of time healing people with issues….

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To Absent Friends: Beth Musser

BethContributed by H.A. Musser

Beth and her husband, H.A. Musser, had two boys before Beth started law school.  Joel was one year old and Austin was three.  Beth originally intended to attend Chase due to caring for the boys, but then applied to UC at the last minute and started off part-time.  She decided to finish with her class, taking additional classes toward the end to make graduation.  She was often seen around the school with the boys in tow whenever her sister/babysitter needed time off.

After law school, Beth set up office in her basement doing wills and deeds for church members and neighbors who couldn’t afford a lawyer.  During law school and afterward, she clerked for Mayor Ted Berry who was on the Board of the Cincinnati Southern Railway.  She continued working with Mayor Berry after school until her death.

Beth had received her diagnosis of melanoma before she entered law school and had successfully completed treatment to battle the cancer.  After law school, at her 5 year check-up, it was found that the cancer had returned.  She was brave in her final battle, holding strong to her faith in Jesus.  Her biggest worry was who would take care of her boys.  When at peace that H.A. was fully capable, she went home to the Lord on January. 31, 1992.

Austin, now 32, followed his mother’s passion for the law by attending William & Mary Law School.  He is now a lawyer with FBT and is married to Meggin, who is also a lawyer.  They live in Pleasant Ridge.  Austin and Meggin have 2 kids, Elizabeth “Lizzie” (named after Beth) (6 months) and Michael (2 years).

Joel, now 29, majored in economics at Hillsdale College and worked for a couple of years at Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance in Rookwood, where he met and later married Nancy, a Xavier grad.  He now works at Chase Bank in Montgomery, and recently passed his Certified Financial Planner credentialing exam.  Joel and Nancy live in Kennedy Heights. They have a 15 month old, Joel, Jr., and twin girls, Natalie and Brianna.

H.A. remains close to Beth’s family from Kentucky.  He married Rhonda 20 years ago, and had 2 more children with her, whom Beth’s family treats as their own.

Please share your memories of Beth in the comments.

To Absent Friends: Greg Claycomb

GregGreg Claycomb was one of the more outgoing members of that collection of strong personalities known as Section 6, and quickly made friends with just about everyone within a hundred yards.  He was a member of Moot Court and wrote The Restatement’s “Faculty Spotlight” column, showing a real gift for capturing the human side of the professors he interviewed.

He also had a quick wit and a ferocious sense of humor.  Greg was the guy who publicly declared before God, Professor Lockwood, and everybody else in our ConLaw I section that I was the “Michael M.” in Michael M. v. Superior Court of Sonoma County, 450 U.S. 464 (1981).

–Mike Morley

Please share your memories of Greg in the comments.

To Absent Friends: Murray Lerman

MurrayMurray Lerman, our oldest classmate, an experienced financial advisor who became a grandfather during our first semester, died in March of 2006 at the ripe old age of 76.

A true father figure, Murray provided Section 6 with a good role model (and a little parental supervision) during our first year.  Here’s a sample of his wisdom, a wonderful essay he wrote for The Restatement giving advice to “non-traditional students” like himself:

You will begin to feel the questioning stares of classmates and see the raised eyebrows of professors who wonder what in the world the admissions committee was thinking. One professor commented to me last year that he remembers when a woman was an oddity in his class, and now he has to deal with grandfathers.

Do not try to conduct yourself on the same life-style level as your younger classmates. You will find them brilliant and inexhaustible. You, however, will not be able to attend class most of the day, spend four hours at Woody’s, eat dinner, study into the early hours of the morning, get up at dawn, go to a job, and then start the process all over again.

Make friends among your younger classmates. Besides helping you rid yourself of the feeling of an outsider, you will find the association stimulating. You may find yourself acting as a substitute parent figure, so listen with sympathy to their social, sexual, and academic problems. Likewise, you are going to need their support as it gets closer to “making the grades.”

Above all, fight solemnity. For some perverse reason, there is a perception that if you are senior to your colleagues, you are required to act more serious and formal. Laugh! Humor is where you find it, and may be available in the most deadly class. Remember, all this shall pass into fond remembrance someday.

–Mike Morley

Please share your memories of Murray in the comments.

To Absent Friends: Dan Sherman

DanDan Sherman was one of the most gentle men I have ever known.  Gentle in spirit, gentle in his spoken word.  Gentle in his manner of speaking.  He was smart and funny.  He was kind and inquisitive.  He wanted to know about people, where they were from, about their families, about their lives before law school.  What a loss to this world when we lost Dan Sherman.

–Geri Hernandez

Please share your memories of Dan in the comments.