The Honorable James F. McClure Jr., U.S. Senior District Judge, 79, of 63 University Ave., Lewisburg, died on Friday, Dec. 17, 2010, at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
Judge McClure was born in 1931 in Danville. He graduated from Lewisburg Arrea High School as valedictorian of the Class of 1948. He then graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College in 1952. He served nearly two years in the Army as a guided missile electronics instructor at Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Ala. Graduating cum laude in 1957 from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, McClure was a member of Order of the Coif, and the editorial board of the Law Review.
Following law school, Judge McClure was employed with the Legal Advisor’s Office of the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., the Philadelphia law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, and Merck & Co., Inc.
In 1965, Judge McClure returned to Lewisburg to enter into the private practice of law with his late father, James F. McClure. He and Terry W. Light, Esquire, were associated in the practice of law in Lewisburg from June 1977 to May 1984, when Judge McClure was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of the 17th Judicial District, comprised of Snyder and Union Counties. In 1985, he was elected to a 10-year term. Peter Johnson, Union County District Attorney, was Judge McClure’s first law clerk.
Judge McClure was appointed United States District Judge for the Middle District of Pennsylvania by President George Bush on April 30, 1990 and was sworn into office on May 7, 1990. Judge McClure elected senior status in April 2001. He was stationed in Williamsport where he served as a senior judge.
He completed seven years of service as a member of the Code of Conduct Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States, having been appointed to that position by the Chief Justice of the United States in 2001.
Prior to becoming a judge, Judge McClure served as District Attorney of Union County and as President of the Lewisburg Area School Board for six years. He was also a member of the House of Delegates and Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, the Pennsylvania Appellate Court Nominating Commission, and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Appellate Court Rules.
He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lewisburg, where he served several terms on the Board of Trustees and Session, and sang for more than 45 years in the choir. He was also a member of the Bucknell University Golf Club and sang tenor for 34 years in the Susquehanna Valley Chorale.
Judge McClure resided in Lewisburg with his wife, Betty Lou, to whom he was married for 58 years. They have five daughters and sons-in-law, Holly and Terry Kerwin, of Millersburg, Kimberly and Mark Pacala, of Great Falls, Va., Jamee and David Sealy, of Seneca Falls, N.Y., Mary Elizabeth and Michael Hudec, of Austin, Texas, and Margaret and Marc Persing, of Madison, N.J.; 14 grandchildren, Katie Kerwin Bonini, Terry Kerwin, Megan Kerwin, Carolyn Pacala Wethington, James Pacala, Andrew Pacala, Benjamin Sealy, Nathaniel Sealy, Laurel Hudec, Stephen Hudec, Louisa Hudec, Marc Persing, Brett Persing, and Lydia Persing; and one great-grandchild, Nolan James Bonini.
He was preceded in death by one daughter, Betsy, one brother, Richard F. McClure, and his parents, James and Florence McClure.
Obituary taken from the The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA - December 19, 2010.