Memorializing Our Deceased Members

In Memoriam: Thomas Charles Raup (1938-2016)

Posted on October 2nd, 2016 at 12:00 AM
In Memoriam: Thomas Charles Raup (1938-2016)

Thomas Charles Raup, a 50 year member of the Lycoming Law Association, and 22 year Judge of the Lycoming County Court of Common Pleas, died August, 2016. He was remembered at a memorial service held September 30, 2016.



NO. 16-1344



On the 15th day of September, 2016 the Honorable Nancy L. Butts, President Judge of the 29th Judicial District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, appointed the undersigned Committee to draft Resolutions memorializing the life of Thomas C. Raup, and to submit the same to the Court on Friday, September 30, 2016, at 3:00 p.m., in courtroom number 1 of the Lycoming County Courthouse, Williamsport, Pennsylvania.

The undersigned Committee submits the following Resolutions for this Honorable Court's consideration:

  1. Thomas Charles Raup was born December 1, 1938 in Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, the second of three sons born to William L. and Eileen Mary Kirby Raup. The Isaac Raup family came to Jersey Shore in the years following the Civil War, from the Shamokin area. He and his brothers Bill and John grew up on the corner of Eden and Wylie Streets in Jersey Shore in the 1940s and 1950s. His father was a nominal German Lutheran who worked as an electrician foreman for the NY Central Railroad and his mother was a devout Catholic and first generation Irish-American.
  2. Tom graduated with the Jersey Shore High School Class of 1956, being class president and winner of a county-wide essay contest his senior year.
  3. Upon graduation he won a U.S. Navy ROTC scholarship which enabled him to attend Columbia University. The scholarship paid most college expenses, obligating him in return to take Navy science courses during the academic years, and six-to-eight week cruises during summers between those years. He was also committed to serve three years as an officer after graduation. 
  4. At Columbia Tom majored in psychology, rowed both heavy weight and light weight varsity crew, and captained the light weight crew that placed fourth in the nation his senior year.  He belonged to Psi Upsilon Fraternity and was president of that organization his senior year.
  5. Upon graduation in June 1960, he was commissioned as an Ensign, and initially assigned to two months at the Navy Justice School in Newport, Rhode Island. The Navy assigned Tom to the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Saratoga. Because of his psychology major, the carrier staff directed him to attend the Navy's military law school before boarding the ship, and he was subsequently assigned as assistant law officer (handling discipline cases and some common legal issues), and was assigned to serve bridge watches when at sea. Eventually during his three years he became the chief legal officer and also qualified as "officer on deck" (one of about 5 officers who took turns when at sea) and in his last year was designated "battle-station officer-of-the-deck".  In his last year the Cuban Missile crisis arose and the Saratoga was assigned to stand off Cuba during the tense negotiations between Kennedy and Khrushchev.
  6. On June 22, 1963, at the end of his Navy tour, Tom married Barbara Jean Libby of Malibu, California, whom he met while his ship was visiting Athens, Greece. Barbara had been staying with her parents in Greece, where her father was spending a sabbatical from his position as a faculty member at the UCLA Medical School. Tom received a scholarship to attend Columbia Law School from 1963 to 1966. During that time Barbara worked at the United Church Center in New York City to support the family.  
  7.  Dean R. Fisher, of the Lycoming Bar and also a Jersey Shore native, agreed to act as Tom's preceptor, preliminary to his admission to the bar. During summers of his law school years, Tom clerked for Fisher, Rice and Perciballi. Upon his admission in November, 1966, he joined that firm as an associate. He later became a partner in the firm of Fisher, Rice and Raup, from January, 1969 through March of 1974, specializing in civil and criminal litigation. As a partner he mentored a young attorney Carl Barlett. During the seven and one-half years he was in practice, he was counsel in seven homicide cases.
  8. In 1968, he accepted appointment as first assistant district attorney.
  9. In 1969, he became the first individual to hold the position of chief public defender for Lycoming County, a position he held until mid-1971.
  10. When a vacancy occurred on the Common Pleas bench in 1974, Tom, then age 35, was one of the applicants. A merit selection committee was appointed by the governor, made up of five statewide and six local members. That committee submitted three names to the governor after conducting interviews and background studies. Tom was appointed, and was confirmed by the Senate on March 19, 1974. In 1975 he was elected without opposition to a 10 year term.
  11. During his first term, Judge Raup handled his share of civil and criminal work, as well as all Juvenile Court work for the county. He also served as president of the Juvenile Court Section of the Pennsylvania Conference of Trial Judges.
  12. Also during his first term, Judge Raup together with Joseph L. Rider, then president of the Lycoming Law Association, promoted the concept of a bench-bar committee, which was approved by Judge Greevy and the Lycoming Law Association.
  13. In 1983 Judge Raup and Judge Robert Kemp of Tioga County petitioned the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to form a regional judicial unit composed of the counties surrounding Lycoming. At first their proposal was turned down, but after repeated efforts by the two judges, the Supreme Court formed the first regional judicial unit. It included Bradford, Tioga, Potter, Clinton, Lycoming, Union, Snyder, Northumberland and Columbia Counties, comprising over 550,000 people and 14 judges.
  14. The regional concept allowed judges from any one of the counties to take jurisdiction over cases arising in the other counties. The judges in smaller counties could obtain substitutes in the event of illness, vacation, attendance at seminars or conflicts of interest. It further enabled the several judges to meet regularly to share experiences and work toward conformity in procedures. Judge Raup was designated as the administrative judge for the unit and continued to serve in that capacity.
  15. Upon Judge Greevy's retirement in January, 1982, Judge Raup became president judge of Lycoming County, which in 1981 became a three-judge county after the Legislature approved a new judgeship.
  16. He took the initiative to provide adequate judicial manpower in Lycoming County. In 1983, he initiated and was successful in obtaining the creation of the Sixth Magisterial District in the County.
  17. In 1985, Judge Raup chose to forego the yes-no retention system for judges, and announced that he would seek conventional re-election. By this announcement he created the prospect of a vacancy for the following year. This allowed anyone interested in the position to seek it. The judge indicated that he would file nomination petitions in both parties. He had no competition and was re-elected in November, 1985 to a second 10 year term.
  18. Judge Raup was a strong advocate of an independent judiciary and on at least two occasions during his tenure this advocacy resulted in public disputes with the county commissioners. During his first term he engaged in a dispute with the commissioners over the adequacy of funding programs for troubled youth. In 1986 he, together with his two associate judges, brought a law suit against the Lycoming County Commissioners alleging that they were unreasonably refusing to provide adequate manpower for the Domestic Relations Office, one of the offices which the court is responsible for operating.  Both of those disputes resulted in settlements, and in each case a strong stand had been taken by the court.
  19. In 1988, he appointed a task force to study the need for a fourth judgeship in Lycoming County, which culminated in a report in 1989 recommending the creation of a fourth judgeship in the Twenty-ninth Judicial District.
  20. Judge Raup's intellect and leadership qualities were well recognized throughout the Commonwealth. In 1994 he was asked to chair the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's Ad Hoc Committee on Evidence. The work of the Committee culminated in 1998 with the adoption by the Court of Pennsylvania's first Rules of Evidence. Modeled in part upon the Federal Rules of Evidence, the Rules of Evidence condensed decades of Pennsylvania's court decisions, rules and statutes so that practitioners and members of the judiciary now have rules governing the admissibility of evidence available in a single reference.
  21. Judge Raup served as a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Criminal Procedure Rules Committee from 1983 to 1992; Chair of Subcommittee on Summary Case Rules; a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Death Penalty Task Force; a member of the Education Committee of the Trial Judges Conference; a member of the Juvenile Court Judges Commission; Chair of the President Judges and Court Administrators Committee of the Trial Judge Conference and Chair of the Statewide Court Automation, Criminal Implementation Team.
  22. Judge Raup did not seek a third term in office.  After retiring in 1996, he served a short time as a senior judge while also teaching Legal Studies as a professor at Lycoming College.
  23. He served as Coordinator of Trial Judge Education from 1996 to 2002.
  24. In the years after his judicial service, he rekindled his interest in politics, chairing several political committees of Democratic candidates for office and writing provocative commentary that occasionally appeared on the editorial page of the Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
  25. Judge Raup returned to private practice in 1997, focusing on mediation and arbitration, being highly in demand for his services throughout northeastern and central Pennsylvania.
  26. During his second venture at private practice he initially practiced with Lenore Urbano.  Then starting in 2003 and for the next decade, he and Mike Wiley practiced together initially as Raup & Wiley.  John Mott joined the practice for several years and was added to the firm’s name before departing to form his own practice.  Steve Sholder joined the practice in 2009 and the firm became Raup, Wiley & Sholder.  He last practiced with Steve Sholder at Raup & Sholder.
  27. Tom and Barbara’s son, Ethan was born on March 1, 1970.
  28. In 1981, Tom joined the "Big Brother" program with a young man named Joe as his "little brother". Their relationship blossomed with Joe first coming to live with Tom and his family as a foster child and then, after high school, being formally adopted into the family.
  29. Tom played a similar role with his nephew, Jay, who lived with Tom and his family for a year while Jay obtained his high school diploma.
  30. Tom was a devoted husband, father and grandfather, coaching soccer evenings and weekends for years. He treasured the family’s annual trips out to Wyoming initially with the pop-up camper and later in their cabin, as well as family gatherings at the cabin on Pine Creek.  He rarely missed weekly square dancing with his wife, Barbara, and, later nearly weekly trips to Gettysburg to pursue Barb's interest in the Civil War.
  31. He was extremely proud of his sons’ accomplishments, among them Ethan being an all-state soccer player at Williamsport High School and later playing Division I soccer at Brown as well as Joe becoming an accomplished electrician and instructor at Penn College.
  32. Judge Raup was preceded in death by his wife Barbara Jean Raup, who passed away in 2010 after 47 years of marriage, by his parents and by his brother, John.
  33. He is survived by his son Ethan, daughter-in-law Tess and grandsons Jonah and Owen; his son Joe, Joe's partner Diane and his granddaughter Stephanie, his brother Bill, his nephew Jay and his family, several cousins and many, many friends.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the undersigned, joined in by the Lycoming County Bar, do hereby recognize and mourn the passing of the Honorable Thomas C. Raup, and remember him as an exemplary community servant and good friend, a man of conscience, commitment and quiet strength, and honor his extensive and remarkable contributions to this community and beyond, a man who was loved, honored and respected by all who had the privilege to be a part of his life;

AND BE IT RESOLVED FURTHER,  that these Resolutions and statements be spread at length upon the Minutes of the court with copies to Judge Raup's family and descendants, and be published in the Lycoming Reporter; and,

AND BE IT RESOLVED FINALLY, that this Court and the Lycoming County Bar extend to Thomas C. Raup's surviving children and their spouses, his grandchildren, his brother, his nephew and other family members, the deep and heartfelt expression of sympathy and respect for Thomas C. Raup.

Respectfully submitted,

Stephen C. Sholder, Chairman
Honorable Dudley N. Anderson
Judge Kenneth D. Brown
Michael H. Collins
J. Michael Wiley


AND NOW, this 30th day of September, 2016, in consideration of the Resolutions presented by the Committee appointed to draft Resolutions in the death of the Honorable Thomas C. Raup, the said Resolutions are adopted and it is hereby ORDERED and DECREED that the Resolutions herewith submitted and attached be adopted as an official expression of the Lycoming County Bar Association and this Court; and that the same be spread upon the records of the Court; and that copies of this Resolution be delivered to the children of the Honorable Thomas C. Raup; and it is further ORDERED and DIRECTED that said Resolutions be entered at large and upon the record of the Court, and that they be printed in the Lycoming Reporter.


Nancy L. Butts, President Judge
Dudley N. Anderson, Judge
Richard A. Gray, Judge
Joy Reynolds McCoy, Judge
Marc F. Lovecchio, Judge

Additional Photos