Remembering John J. Jurcyk Jr. (1930-2018)

Opinion

John J. Jurcyk Jr.

We were saddened to hear recently of the death of John J. Jurcyk Jr., a lawyer and community leader in Wyandotte County.

Jurcyk, 88, was a past president of the McAnany, Van Cleave and Phillips law firm. He died on Dec. 29, 2018.

Visitation is scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 1086 N. 94th St., Kansas City, Kansas, with the funeral at 10:30 a.m. Jan. 5 at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Catholic Charities or St. Patrick School. Porter Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

He served as senior policy adviser to former Mayor Joe Reardon. Active in the community, Jurcyk served on the boards of many community organizations, including the Kansas City, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce, Providence Medical Center, Wyandotte Health Foundation and Villa St. Francis. He served on the University of Kansas School of Laws Board of Governors. He also served as a past president of the Wyandotte County Bar Association and past president of the Kansas Bar Association.

He was a graduate of Rockhurst University, and he served in the U.S. Army 13th combat Engineer Battalion in Korea. As a student at the University of Kansas Law School, he was editor in chief of the law review.

In 1958, he joined McAnany, Van Cleave and Phillips, serving as president of the law firm from 1980 to 1984. In 2004, he left the firm to serve as senior policy adviser to the mayor, and returned to the firm in 2013, serving there through 2018.

In 2009, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the KU Law School.

MVP Law expressed its deepest condolences upon the passing of John J. Jurcyk Jr., according to a spokesman.

“John was a lawyer’s lawyer. Professional and respectful he would advocate to his greatest ability for a client without personal animosity to opposing counsel…He is an aspiration,” said Byron Bowles, MVP’s president.

“I am so grateful for the privilege of knowing and working with John and will forever treasure his wise words of advice,” Rep. Pam Curtis, D-32nd Dist., stated. “He was one of the people I knew I could call on to give good counsel and advice – it was great to see him serve in a mentoring role to so many these past years!”

His sense of humor, along with wisdom, could be found in an article in a law journal after he received an award. His advice: “Be professional – courteous and truthful always. Remember we practice the law – no one is perfect. Work hard, but work as a team. Love what you do, be passionate about it. Have fun and welcome creative solutions. Respect history’s lessons. Love your family and make time for them. Give back to the community in service and profits. Forget insults. Have a sense of humor. Keep brewed coffee on the warmer. Keep beer in the refrigerator. Keep popcorn in your drawer. Honor the law.”

We once asked him for a quote about another leading community member who had passed away, and, paraphrasing the Athenian oath, he said that individual left the city better than it was when he found it. The same should be said of John J. Jurcyk Jr. – Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County are better for his work here.

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