James Walter Gladden, Jr. died peacefully at home in Evanston on November 3, 2015, after a long and gallant struggle with Parkinson's disease. His death was confirmed by his wife, Patricia Gladden. Born In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 23, 1940, Jim was the son of James Walter Gladden, Sr. and Cynthia Hales Gladden; he was the son and grandson of Methodist ministers. He spent his childhood and young adulthood in Lexington, Kentucky, and attended Lafayette High School, where he was Captain of the football team and Senior Class President. He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he was a starting tackle on the football team and a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity for which he later served as District Chief. In 1961 Jim was awarded the Guy Morrison Walker Cup on the basis of service to the University and which honors the outstanding senior of the graduating class. Jim was a history honors student and was chosen to receive the Walker Cup by the senior class. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Jim graduated from Harvard Law School cum laude in 1964. While there, he coached the intramural football team. Jim then spent a long and storied forty-one year career at the Chicago law firm of Mayer, Brown & Platt, retiring in 2005. He specialized in Environmental Law, Labor Law, and Commercial Litigation, and acted as mediator in labor disputes. In 2003, the firm created the James W. Gladden, Jr. Award, given to his fellow litigators who share and practice Jim's values of "professional excellence, integrity, team work, and collegiality." During his time at the firm, Jim mentored many beginning attorneys, for which he was both beloved and proud. Jim was also beloved as a seventh and eighth grade football coach of the "heavyweight" team through the Winnetka Park District. As a coach, he was a great teacher of the game, focusing on fundamentals, teamwork, and execution. His approach both challenged his players and supported them. At one point, Jim's teams did not lose a game for four years. Jim served on the Zoning Board in Glencoe for several years. Following his move to Evanston, he was a long time member of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Evanston, and served as Jr. Warden and as Senior Warden. He also served as Chancellor of Seabury Western Theological Seminary in Evanston. Jim is survived by three sons, Jay (Sheri), Tom (Kim), and Matt (Emily), two stepchildren, Henry Kuehn (Sherlyn) and Louise Peace (Rob), by seven grandchildren and four step grandchildren, by his sister, Margaret Hermann, and by his first wife, Dianne M. Gladden. Jim took pride in his family and his work, and his mentoring in football and in law. He is remembered as a loving father and husband. Services will be held at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in Evanston, 2120 Lincoln Street, on Sunday, November 8, at 2 pm. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the National Parkinson Foundation. Info. 773-736-3833 or visit James's memorial at www.smithcorcoran.com
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Published by Chicago Tribune on Nov. 5, 2015.