Lawyer had long career of community service

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Opinion column

by Murrel Bland

I recall the first time I met John Jurcyk. It was mid-July in 1968. John was a campaign chairman for James K. Logan, a candidate for the U.S. Senate. Logan was a former dean of the law school at the University of Kansas, Lawrence. Logan, a Democrat, lost in the Primary Election to William I. Robinson of Wichita. Robinson later lost to Republican Bob Dole. But that didn’t discourage John from being involved in politics. He was an adviser to Jack Reardon and his son Joe Reardon. Both Reardons served as mayor of Kansas City, Kansas.

John was a longtime lawyer with the McAnany, Van Cleave and Phillips Law Firm. He served as president of the Wyandotte County and Kansas bar associations. He also was a fellow of the American Trial Lawyers Association.

John was a volunteer leader for various community organizations. He served as chairman of the board for The Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce, Providence Medical Center, the United Way of Wyandotte County and the school board at Ward High School. He was a longtime active member of St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church.

I recall that John was an excellent news source when he was in Mayor Joe Reardon’s office. He was always accessible, straight-forward and honest.

John leaves his wife Rita, two sons, three daughters, 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

I was drawn to a comment that John made that was published in the Kansas Bar Association’s Journal— “Be professional, courteous and truthful always. …Respect history’s lessons. Love your family and make time for them…” That’s good advice for lawyers and anyone else.

The community said goodbye to John last Saturday morning, Jan, 5 at St. Patrick Church.

John’s family has suggested that memorial contributions be made to Catholic Charities or St. Patrick Church. That would be most appropriate.

Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.

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