Stephen Ian Richman
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Stephen Ian Richman

RICHMAN: Stephen Ian Richman, renowned attorney and dedicated supporter of the arts from Washington, Pennsylvania, and Miami Beach, Florida, passed away on Dec. 5, 2023, from heart failure. The son of Ben H. Richman and Bessie Wilner Richman, Stephen was born on March 26, 1933. Stephen attended Mercersburg Academy, received a B.S. degree in political science from Northwestern University and a J.D. degree from the Law School of the University of Pennsylvania. Stephen practiced law in Washington for over 50 years, and was a partner at Greenlee, Richman, Derrico & Posa. Throughout his time he was able to make a lasting impact on the law, enacting real change for the lives of others. He argued and won before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court the case that made adopted children equal to natural born children for inheritance purposes. Eventually, his area of expertise became employer liability claims, where he represented prominent clients such as Bethlehem Steel, Jessop Steel and Consolidation Coal. He authored articles published in law reviews dealing with cases of occupational disease and co-authored the U.S. Department of Labor’s report to the Congress on the Federal Black Lung Law. He advocated for procedural reforms of the worker’s compensation legal system that were adopted by the American Bar Association. In addition to his devotion to the law, Stephen made ample time to experience and savor life at its fullest. A man of tremendous curiosity and adventure, Stephen derived great pleasure from, as he put it, “the company of beautiful and brainy women and of intellectual and articulate men.” He could be found in any city in the world, martini in hand, patronizing jazz clubs, cocktail lounges and dive bars alike. Stephen was a student of political theory and philosophy, and an avid reader of literature, especially biographies and political and military history, along with the novels of Philip Roth and John Updike. He and his late wife Audrey (Gefsky) traveled the globe extensively to all but the polar continents, including a trek in the Himalayan Mountains. Throughout every journey, he acquired works of art from local artisans, amazing memories, and forged wonderful and diverse friendships. Stephen was active and generous in his communities, serving as director of Three Rivers Bank and Trust, trustee of Washington Mall, director of Pittsburgh Opera, member of Washington Jazz Society, officer of Beth Israel Congregation (Washington), director of United Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, and executive committeeman and director of NAACP (Washington) where to his end he constantly and vigorously opposed racism, antisemitism and all forms of bigotry. Stephen was pre-deceased by his beloved wife of 43 years, Audrey M Gefsky, and son James Richman. Stephen is survived by his beloved daughter Susan Richman and her husband Mark Friedman; his grandchildren Nicholas and Chloe; a brother John; and legions of devoted friends and admirers including his former spouse Barbara K. Abraham and dear friends Shirley Levinson and Liz Collins. A memorial service will be held Thursday, Dec. 7, at Temple Beth Israel Synagogue, 265 North Ave., Washington PA. Viewing for family and friends will start at 11 a.m., with services to follow. PJC

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