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1923 - 2017
Attorney Richard L. Hershatter of Longboat Key, Florida, formerly of West Haven, Branford and Clinton, Connecticut, died on April 10th, 2017, at the age of 93. He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane McNulty Hershatter. Mr. Hershatter was born in New Haven on September 20, 1923, son of the late Alexander C. Hershatter and Belle Blenner Hershatter. He was a 1942 graduate of Hopkins School. Following the outbreak of World War II, at the age of 19, Hershatter enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, later transferring to the Infantry where he became a commissioned officer. He was awarded the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal and the World War II Victory Medal. His three and a half years of active duty ended with the A.E.S., Korea Base Command. Following the war, he majored in English at Yale University, graduating with a Bachelor's degree in 1948. After being awarded the degree of Juris Doctor by the University of Michigan Law School in 1951, he maintained offices for the general practice of law in New Haven and later Clinton for the next forty-eight years. Attorney Hershatter was the author of five mystery and suspense novels, The Spy Who Hated Licorice, The Spy Who Hated Caramel, The Spy Who Hated Fudge, Hung Jury and The Spy Who Hated Taffy. At the time of his death, he was an active member of the Mystery Writers of America. A recognized authority on municipal law and public sector labor law, Attorney Hershatter served at various times as Town Counsel for the Towns of Branford and East Haven and as attorney for the East Haven Board of Education for over twenty years. He was a charter member and first president of the Connecticut School Attorneys Council and served as labor counsel for the Town of Clinton for eight years. In 1982, he moved his offices to Clinton, where they remained until 1998, when he opened a satellite office in the Town of Killingworth. In 1999, he retired from the active practice of law. A member of the panel of arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association, he was also appointed by four successive Chief Justices of the Connecticut Supreme Court as Attorney State Trial Referee, Arbitrator and Fact finder. Active in civic matters, Mr. Hershatter served as President of the West Haven Chamber of Commerce in 1956 and was elected to the Branford Board of Education in 1963, remaining on that body until 1971 and serving on that town's Republican Town Committee. From 1984 to 1988, he served as Chairman of the Clinton Republican Town Committee. He was also a member of Cosmopolitan Lodge in New Haven and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Mercy Country Day School in Madison. Admitted to practice in Michigan, Connecticut and the Supreme Court of the United States, he formerly held memberships in the American Bar Association, the Michigan and Connecticut Bar Associations and the local associations for Middlesex and New Haven Counties. He has been for a number of years a biographee of Who's Who in American Law and Who's Who in the East and, starting in 1997, Who's Who in America. After moving to Florida, Hershatter became active in community affairs and served as a weekly columnist for the Longboat Key News, contributing over three hundred columns of interest to Floridians. In addition to his widow, Attorney Hershatter is survived by four children: University of California Professor Gail B. Hershatter and her partner, Dr. Grace Laurencin of Santa Cruz, California; Nancy J. Hershatter and her husband, Gerard Hinson, of Danbury, Connecticut; Dr. Bruce W. Hershatter and his wife, Andrea, of Atlanta, Georgia; Kimberly A. Kleiman and her husband Steven, of Ivoryton, Connecticut, and seven grandchildren, Sarah, Zachary (Frances Hu) and David Fang Jeremy Hinson, Jessica and Justin Hershatter, and Tate (Alyssa Harris) and Sydnie Kleiman, and one great granddaughter, Mila Kathleen Kleiman. He was predeceased by a brother, Milton A. Hershatter and is survived by a sister, Beverly J. Brody of Rockvillle, Maryland. A family period of mourning will be private. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Arrangements are by the New Haven Funeral Service.
Published in The New Haven Register on Apr. 13, 2017
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