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Hon. James Albaugh "Jim" LENFESTEY

LENFESTEY, Hon. James Albaugh "Jim" 94, passed away peacefully at home on April 17, 2013 with family members at his side. Longtime Circuit Court judge, U.S. Army Colonel, accomplished mediator, professor of constitutional and business law, Sunday School teacher, and devoted husband, father and grandfather, he enjoyed a distinguished career that spanned a lifetime. A second-generation Tampa native, he was born into one of Tampa's pioneer families, and attended Gorrie Elementary, Wilson Junior High and Plant High School. He received his B.A. degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his J.D. degree from the University of Florida College of Law, where he became a member of Phi Delta Phi, an international legal honorary society. After 16 years of general law practice in Tampa with the firm he established, he was elected to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court in 1966 following a hotly contested three-way race, and served for 24 years on the bench before "retiring" to pursue more than a decade of active service as a mediator. During his tenure as a Circuit Judge, he was elected Chairman of the Florida Circuit Judges' Conference and served two terms as Chief Judge of the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. He received the Robert W. Patton Outstanding Jurist Award from the Hillsborough County Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and, after 10 years on the bench, was pleased to receive the highest approval rating of any judge in a Hillsborough County Bar Association lawyer opinion survey. For many years, his favorite "hobby" was teaching college classes in business and constitutional law at USF, University of Tampa, HCC and other local campuses. He was a veteran of World War II and attained the rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve. He served for years as a member of the Ft. Stewart/Hunter Army Air Field Retiree Council. Judge Lenfestey led and was active in a variety of legal professional, civic and charitable organizations and endeavors, and he and his wife and parents were faithful members of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as a Deacon, an Elder and taught an adult Sunday School class for decades. Known for his wisdom, wit, work ethic, courtesy and interest in others, he was a mentor to, and was beloved by, many throughout his lifetime. Judge Lenfestey was predeceased by his wife of 54 years, Laurel White Norden Lenfestey; father, Harold B. Lenfestey; mother, Iva Idella Albaugh Lenfestey; and sister, Anna Florence Lenfestey. Survivors include daughter, Laurel Jean Lenfestey Grammig (Bob); grandchildren, James, Clare, Julia and Grace Grammig, brother Dr. Frederick T. Lenfestey (Dot); and cousins, Tom Lenfestey (Hatty), Bonnie Frances McCredie and Martha Hollandsworth Snyder. Visitation will be Friday, April 26, 2013 from 6-8 pm at Blount & Curry Funeral Home, 605 South MacDill Avenue, Tampa, 33609. A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 11 am. Flowers will be accepted, or in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 400 E. Zack Street, Tampa, 33602; Muscular Dystrophy Association, 9720 Executive Center Dr. N., Ste. 110, St. Petersburg, Florida 33702; or the .


Published in the Tampa Bay Times from Apr. 21 to Apr. 26, 2013
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