Stritch Trustee Emeritus James Patrick “Pat” Brody’s life was defined by connections – with people, with ideas, and with causes that he held dear. And during his time as a trustee at Stritch, he found a place where the deepest of connections were frequently nurtured.

Brody, who passed away in January 2014 at the age of 93, was a distinguished Milwaukee-area attorney, but he is also remembered by both his family and friends as a person dedicated to the Catholic Franciscan mission of Stritch, which was a reflection of his own modest roots.

“He put himself through college and lived very frugally,” said his son, Michael. “He recognized the value of education and the importance of allowing people who couldn’t otherwise get it to have that opportunity.”

Brody attended La Crosse State College, but later transferred to UW-Madison where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree. He subsequently entered law school at Madison, but left to serve in World War II, where he saw action as a naval officer in the Pacific. He returned after the war and received his law degree in 1947.

Afterward, he became a trial attorney at Foley & Lardner (then Miller, Mack & Fairchild), became a partner, and practiced law there until he retired in 1988.

He and his wife of 62 years, Lorraine, raised four children together: Mary, Katie, Patrick, and Michael. Michael recalled that his keen mind was particularly skilled at making connections, which made him an excellent lawyer but also a true student of life.

“He didn’t forget anything,” Michael said. “He would see something that happened in the news that day and compare it to something that happened eight years ago and compare that to something that happened when he was 14. It was amazing to watch his mind work. He was well-versed on every possible topic of current affairs and had well-based and defended opinions.”

Brody served on the Stritch Board of Trustees from 1976 to 1988, and he also served as chair of the Board from 1980 to 1982. During his time at Stritch, he found a second home while forming a strong and lasting friendship with Sister Camille Kliebhan, OSF, Ph.D., who served as president at that time.

“He was very proud of his work with Stritch,” said his daughter, Mary. “He was very engaged with Stritch and its mission and was very happy with what Stritch was doing and what it stood for. He was pleased to be a part of it.”

Brody was particularly enthused about Stritch’s commitment to offering education to those who might otherwise not have access.

“He would tell me with a great deal of pride about the school’s initiatives, working with the local community, bringing in people who might not have access to that kind of education,” Mary said.

Brody’s service to Stritch was later recognized in 1993 when an honorary doctorate was bestowed upon him by Sister Camille.

“It meant a great deal to him to have a place that he worked hard for and that he also respected to confer that honor on him,” Mary said.

Thomas L. Shriner, a current Stritch trustee and husband of Donna L. Shriner ‘08, worked with Brody for 16 years at Foley & Lardner and was recruited to follow in Pat’s footsteps of support and service to Stritch.

“Pat was a man of extraordinarily high integrity, and he taught me a lot about the practice of law and being a trial lawyer,” he said. “He was a big booster of Stritch and friend of the Sisters. He thought that the leadership of Sister Camille was wonderful and that Stritch was a very special place.”

The Shriner’s were close friends of the Brody’s, and even bought the Brody’s Shorewood home and raised their own family there. And when Pat and Lorraine passed away, Donna sung at both funerals.

“We both had such love and affection for Pat and Lorraine,” Shriner said. “We were so delighted when we were able to buy their house because we always enjoyed the times we had there as their guests.”

Both Michael and Mary remember their father as an excellent storyteller and writer, and those talents were on display through his career and even in retirement. He wrote countless limericks and poems that he enjoyed sharing with family and friends.

“He loved words and lived his life surrounded by words,” Michael said. “I think that’s why he was successful as a lawyer. People would comment on his care in writing and in his retirement he did the same thing. He would send poems to his friends; he would write lengthy letters to his grandchildren. He really enjoyed that part of life.”

But his abilities with the written word, along with his attention to detail, resulted in his children knowing that they would have to stay on their toes.

“When I was in college, I wrote a letter home to him, and I misspelled one word,” she said. “And I got a limerick back in return mail, about his daughter who was going to college but couldn’t spell. I wrote him a limerick back.”

Brody’s passion and commitment for Stritch’s work continues well after his time as a trustee and into his retirement. Today, a six-figure endowed scholarship bears his and his wife’s name, carrying on his desire and commitment that a quality Franciscan higher education be accessible.

Have you included Stritch in your estate plan? Please let us know. To discuss ways to support student scholarships at Stritch, please contact Vice President for University Advancement Robert J. Buckla, Ed.D. (rbuckla@stritch.edu; (414) 410-4201) or Director of Planned Giving Chris Lange ‘11 (cjlange@stritch.edu; (414) 410-4207;). Or visitwww.stritch.edu/Giving/Friends-of-Stritch/Heritage-Society/.