James S. "Jim" Routch, 84, 160 Evergreen Road, Hollidaysburg, passed away Friday at The Winds at Mattern Orchard after an extended illness.
He was born in Hastings, the seventh and youngest child of the late Elmer and Olive (Trimble) Routch. Jim married his college sweetheart, J. Carolyn (Albert) Routch, on Dec. 26, 1959, at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. She predeceased him on July 13, 2008.
Jim is survived by his three sons: James S. Routch II of Hollidaysburg, David A. Routch and wife, Dawn, and Michael P. Routch and wife, Shari, all of Duncansville; four granddaughters: Emily, Kendall, Sydney and Katelyn; and his brother, Wendell, of Hastings.
He was also predeceased by his siblings: W. Valgene, Edson, Samuel, Donald and Betty.
Jim graduated from Hastings High School (now Cambria Heights) in 1953, Dickinson College, with a B.A., in 1957, and Dickinson Law School, with an L.L.B., in 1960, where he served as associate editor of the Dickinson Law Review. He was admitted to practice before the Courts of Pennsylvania in 1961.
He served as assistant attorney general with the Pennsylvania Sales and Use Tax Bureau from 1960-61. He then relocated with his wife and newborn son to Hollidaysburg, after meeting Attorney Marion Patterson of Hollidaysburg.
Jim later became a partner at the Hollidaysburg law firm of Patterson, Evey, Routch & Black, later Evey, Routch, Black, Dorezas, Magee & Levine. During his time as an attorney, he served as a Pennsylvania Workers Compensation referee from 1966 to 1971; and from 1984 to 1990, he served as an appointed member of the disciplinary board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He also served, by appointment from the governor of Pennsylvania, on the Trial Court Nominating Commission of Blair County from 1984 to 1987.
He was the assistant solicitor for the County of Blair from 1981 to 2006, and general counsel and a trustee of Altoona Hospital (later Altoona Regional Health System) from 1972 to 2013. In 2015, he retired as in-house legal counsel at UPMC Altoona after the merger between UPMC and Altoona Regional Health System.
He served as past president of the Hollidaysburg Kiwanis Club and Blair County Bar Association. He was a director of the boards of the Hollidaysburg YMCA, Hollidaysburg Library, March of Dimes and First United Methodist Church of Hollidaysburg.
Jim will long be remembered as the quintessential "life of the party" and someone who could always liven up any meeting or social gathering with his unique style of humor. He loved the Blair County community and always strived to treat his colleagues and friends with deference and respect. He cherished his many years as a Penn State football season ticket holder and his visits to the New Jersey shore.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 27, 2019, at Sorge Funeral Home & Crematory Inc., Hollidaysburg. Interment will be at Alto-Reste Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jim's memory may be given to the UPMC Altoona Foundation.