William E. Pfau III ’73 died on May 11, 2015, in Huron, Ohio.
(The following obituary was submitted by his wife, Margie ’75):
On May 11, 2015, William E. (Bill) Pfau, III passed away from heart failure. He was 64. His family was at his side. Bill had just decided to retire from his law practice of 37 years because of other health issues. He had hoped to spend his retirement at his home on Lake Erie in Huron, Ohio, with his wife Margie (Margaret Carey, 1975) his wife of 40 wonderful years.
Bill graduated from Bowdoin in 1973 with a B.A. In Biology. He was a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity. He received his J.D. From the University of Toledo College of Law in 1978, and then joined his family law firm Pfau, Pfau & Pfau, where he worked up until shortly before his death. He handled matters of personal injury and insurance litigation, medical malpractice and products liability. He was a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Mahoning County Bar Association, and he received an AV peer review rating in Martindale-Hubbell.
Bill is survived and was adored by his wife Margie, his daughter Sarah (Tom) Guilbride of New York City, daughter Wendy Pfau of Santa Monica, California, son William C. Pfau of Columbus, Ohio, and granddaughter Charlotte Guilbride of New York City.
(Additionally, the following article appeared in the Legal News Reporter, June 11, 2015):
Beloved Youngstown attorney passes away unexpectedly
He spent his entire legal career as a partner in his family’s Youngstown law firm, earning a reputation as a solid trial lawyer who did not let life’s obstacles get in his way, but on May 11 William Edward “Bill” Pfau III passed away unexpectedly following a brief illness.
He was 64.
“Bill was a very detail-oriented lawyer and a good advocate for his clients,” said his brother and law partner, John C. Pfau. “He loved practicing.
“He was a great brother and a dedicated family man, who will be missed by all,” said John, a partner at Pfau, Pfau & Marando, a litigation and insurance defense firm.
Born in Youngstown on April 19, 1951, Pfau was the third of five children.
After graduating from Western Reserve Academy, Pfau attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine where he received his bachelor’s degree in biology. He was a member of the Theta Delta Chi fraternity.
During college, he met his longtime wife, Margaret. The two were married prior to Pfau starting at The University of Toledo College of Law.
“They were inseparable,” said John.
After securing his juris doctor, he went to work for the family firm, Pfau, Pfau & Pfau.
“My dad retired in 1995 and then Michael Marando joined us,” said John.
At the firm, Pfau handled matters ranging from medical malpractice and products liability to litigation, insurance and personal injury.
“I knew Bill before we became law partners,” said Marando, a partner at Pfau, Pfau & Marando. “Bill enjoyed intelligent conversation about the law as well as other subjects and was very proud of the fact that our law firm was started by his grandfather.
“Despite the fact that he had significant health issues from the time he was a young man, you would never know it by the way he conducted himself and worked. He never complained, which was amazing since most people gripe about the smallest things.”
Pfau was a member of the American Bar Association, Ohio State Bar Association and The Mahoning County Bar Association. He was an associate at the American Board of Trial Advocates and received an AV peer review rating in Martindale-Hubbell.
“Billy and I grew up together,” said Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas Judge R. Scott Krichbaum. “He lived on Ottawa Drive and I lived on Mineral Springs Avenue.
“We were part of a fairly large group that played baseball, football and basketball in the Volney Road area,” said Judge Krichbaum. “Our homes abutted Mill Creek Park and sometimes we would play baseball right in Billy’s grandmother’s backyard.
“I remember one time Billy was not paying attention and walked behind me while I was swinging a bat. Billy got hit in the eye and it swelled up like a grapefruit in about three seconds.”
Judge Krichbaum said Pfau’s father was a lawyer of “great standing, and the boys, Billy and John, followed in his footsteps. They are contemporaries of mine and they have practiced before me.
“They are really good lawyers and a credit to our profession.”
Judge Krichbaum described William Pfau as a gentleman and true professional, “as ethical a man as I’ve known. He was always straightforward, honest and reliable.
“He always had a smile on his face and something nice to say. I don’t remember him ever saying anything unkind about anybody, but as a lawyer he was tenacious,” said Judge Krichbaum. “He stood strong for his clients and, although always reasonable, he never would surrender without a good and spirited debate.”
In recent years, Pfau lived in Canfield. He also owned a home in Huron, Ohio, where he spent a lot of time enjoying nature.
“Growing up we spent summers together on Lake Erie,” said John. “He really enjoyed the outdoors. His favorite hobbies were bird watching and fishing.”
“My brother was a very thoughtful and wonderful person,” said Pfau’s youngest sister, Dottie Pfau. “He had such integrity and he always encouraged everyone to do the right thing.
“He had his own garden and he would leave corn and other produce by my door.
“My brother had health problems several times throughout his life, but no one would ever know he was ill. He had such a positive outlook.”
Two years ago, Dottie said her brother showed up at her home at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning to help prepare the turkey.
“We were very close and we always enjoyed the holidays together. We shared a lot of good times and there are so many good memories,” said Dottie.
A memorial service was held May 19 at First Presbyterian Church at 201 Wick Ave. in Youngstown.
Pfau is survived by his wife of 40 years, Margaret; children Sarah (Thomas) Guilbride of New York City, Wendy Pfau of Santa Monica, California and Bill Pfau of Columbus, granddaughter Charlotte Guilbride along with his siblings Dr. Judith Cochran of Granville, Ohio, Jane Godshalk (husband Eric) of Haverford, Pennsylvania, Dorothy Pfau of Canfield, Ohio and John C. Pfau, of Canfield, Ohio.