The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 7, 2013

Att. Robert Wayne Critchfield


The Tribune-Democrat

SOMERSET — CRITCHFIELD – Att. Robert Wayne, 93, Somerset, passed away April 5, 2013, at The Patriot.  Born Jan. 24, 1920, in Somerset, to James Albert  and Sue Ellen (Pyle) Critchfield.  Robert was preceded in death by his parents, and older brother, Donald A. Critchfield.  He is survived by his younger brother, James A. Critchfield Jr., Somerset; nephews, Jon A. Critchfield and R. Eric Critchfield, both of Somerset, and Richard N. Critchfield, Bakersville; and nieces, Sarah “Sally” K. Urban, Somerset; Elizabeth Walther; and Anne Hart, both of Salt Lake City, Utah.  Robert was a 1937 graduate of Somerset High School.  He attended Susquehanna University and the University of Pittsburgh, where he graduated cum laude in 1942.  After graduation, he immediately entered the U.S. Army and served with distinction in the European Theater during World War II as an anti-aircraft artillery officer, rising to the rank of captain. Following World War II, he attended law school at Harvard and the University of Pittsburgh, graduating in 1949 after serving preceptorships with the late Sen. Charles H. Ealy and former District Attorney Archibald M. Matthews.  In 1950, he established a law office on East Union Street. He later moved his practice to West Main Street, where he shared offices with the late Simon K. Uhl. In 2000, he was recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association for 50 years of active practice. During his career he handled many cases from estates to divorces and wills.  He is perhaps best known for co-founding the Coal Operator’s Casualty Co. in 1957 along with the late Col. W.J. Stitler and his brother Att. James A. Critchfield Jr.  The company, later known as Rockwood Insurance Co., specialized in workman’s compensation insurance.  He also served as the solicitor for sheriffs Norman Walker and Donald Hay for 15 years.  Until his passing, Robert was the oldest living member of the Somerset County Bar Association.  Robert loved and appreciated classical music.  He played the flute and piccolo in the Somerset Band, which won national recognition at the 1936 band competition in Evanston, Ill.  He studied piano and played daily throughout his life. Robert was a lifelong member of Somerset Church of the Brethren, where he taught adult Sunday school.  Robert was a member of Somerset Lodge 358 F&AM for over 70 years. Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Hauger-Zeigler Funeral Home, Somerset, where masonic service will be held at 7 p.m.  A funeral service will be conducted at the funeral home at 11 a.m. Wednesday, the Rev. Paul Liepelt and the Rev. Roger Forry, officiating. Interment, Somerset County Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Humane Society of Somerset County, P.O. Box 182, Somerset, Pa. or Somerset Church of the Brethren, 606 Berlin Plank Road, Somerset, Pa. Military graveside rites accorded by the Somerset County Honor Guard. (www.haugerzeigler.com)


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