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Richard J. Sestak

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Richard J. Sestak Obituary
Richard (Rich) J. Sestak, Esq., 54, of Springfield, passed away on April 23, 2014 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
Rich grew up in Springfield, Delaware County, and graduated from Cardinal O'Hara High School and Villanova University, Cum Laude. He earned a Juris Doctor from Villanova University School of Law. Rich started his career in New York City in the Capital Markets group of Price Waterhouse. He practiced law as a commercial litigator at Kittredge, Donley in Philadelphia and at Baker & McKenzie, Brown & Winfield, and Ropes & Majeski in Los Angeles. His experience included complex litigation matters involving corporate and securities law, professional liability and real estate, at both the trial and appellate levels. His work resulted in the first actuary malpractice verdict in the United States involving a public pension plan and the largest eminent domain verdict in California. Due to his love of politics, Rich left the practice of law to conceive and craft the strategy for, and manage, his brother Joe's initial political campaign. His efforts resulted in an upset win against a 20-year incumbent for the U.S. Congressional seat of Pennsylvania's 7th District. Rich then immediately began coordinating all elements of an equally successful re-election campaign, winning by 20 points against a majority party candidate without spending any funds on advertisements. Rich was then the Southeastern Pennsylvania Political and Field Director for the Hillary Clinton for President campaign. Upon its completion, he developed the winning political strategy for his brother Joe's win against a 30-year incumbent U.S. Senator. Rich's unique metric-driven management approach, and his exacting leadership standards and immense grassroots organizational skills, led to an upset victory which included the most counties ever won (64 of 67) by a first-time, state-wide candidate in Pennsylvania's history. Rich was named one of the Top Democratic Influencers in Pennsylvania by Politics Magazine, and his brother credited him as the reason why his upset victories were achieved.
An accomplished athlete, Rich worked for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee and was an exceptional professional triathlete who was selected to the U.S. National Triathlon Team for the World Championships. Rich was devoted to his close-knit family of six sisters (Kathleen, Barbara, Ann, Elizabeth, Margaret, and Patricia) and one brother (Joe), and his wonderful now-departed father, Captain Joseph Sestak, U.S. Navy, and loving mother, Kathleen (Kay) Sestak.
Rich's immense love of life was infectious. He was the joy of his family's and friends' lives, and bonded them together. He will be sorely missed.
Mass: 11:00 a.m., Monday, April 28, St. Kevin Church, 200 W. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064.
Visitation: 6-8 p.m., Sunday, April 27 and 9:30-10:30 a.m., Monday, April 28, at Ruffenach Funeral Home, 4900 Township Line Road, Drexel Hill, PA 19026.
Burial: Ss. Peter and Paul Cemetery, 1600 S. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064
Contributions: In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to The Sestak Scholarship Fund, for students of academic excellence with financial need, c/o Cardinal O'Hara High School, 1701 S. Sproul Road, Springfield, PA 19064.
Published in Daily Times on Apr. 25, 2014
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