Trusted Counsel and Confidant: Harry C. Benford, III (1937-2015)

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our longtime friend and colleague Harry C. Benford, III. Harry was a shareholder at Schuyler, Roche & Crisham from 1985-2005, and of counsel since 2005.

After graduating from Harvard Law School, Harry began practicing law in 1961 at a boutique firm on Chicago's North Shore. The only associate in a three-person firm, he handled a broad spectrum of family law matters—from adoptions to divorce, bankruptcy to real estate. He eventually narrowed his focus to estate planning and management. In 1985, he and Alison Barkley approached Schuyler, Roche & Crisham (then known as Schuyler, Roche & Zwirner) about opening an office in Evanston under their leadership to offer their growing North Shore clientele the resources available through our firm. He joined us at our downtown offices early in 2002 to work closely with our Estate Management team, which he expertly helped build.

A fixture at civic affairs in Evanston and Chicago, Harry lent his considerable charm and expertise to a variety of worthy causes. He was a collector of military memorabilia and a wildlife photographer, principally of birds. He worked passionately to assemble a photo album of Anasazi and Mogollon petroglyphs from the American Southwest, intent on preserving what is left of these national treasures before they vanish. One of Harry’s proudest accomplishments, combining his legal and civic passions, was his role in helping a long-time firm client fund and establish the Ruth Helen Wolf Animal Hospital and Clinic at Orphans of the Storm in Riverwoods, Illinois.

His community and civic organization memberships and services included the Rotary Club of Evanston; the Evanston Historical Society; the Salvation Army of Evanston; the University Club of Evanston; the Evanston Public Library; Evanston Chamber of Commerce; the American Cancer Society; the Chicago Crime Commission; and the Family Welfare Association.

Harry served in the United States Army Reserve from 1961 to 1985.  He rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (retired), Illinois Army National Guard.  He was very proud of his service to his country.  To those of us who knew Harry, with his vast knowledge of history and witty sense of humor, he will be sorely missed.

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