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Richard E. Croker In Memoriam 1/9/19  01/09/19 4:31:00 PM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version


Richard E. Croker
Aug. 14, 1923 – Jan. 2, 2019
One of the Nicest Guys in Omaha
Retired Omaha attorney Richard Croker, whose name is still synonymous with his law firm, has died at 95.
Ask any colleague or acquaintance about Dick Croker and you will hear one thing – as J. Terry Macnamara said – “What a great guy!”
Their praise for him was effusive.
Macnamara continued, saying that Croker had followed him as president of the Omaha Bar Association in 1988.
“Dick led with a steady hand, was an all-around outstanding person, as a lawyer, a friend and an administrator of the bar. He was a wonderful guy.”
Attorney Rich Gilloon called him “one of the nicest guys, and lawyers, I ever met in Omaha.”
One of his law firm colleagues, Bob Gonderinger, said, “He was the nicest person I ever worked with, both professionally and personally.”
Fellow lawyer Marty Pelster, who said he clerked for Dick in 1987, then started working at the firm in 1990, added, “He was such an enjoyable person to be around. He was also a great lawyer. To this day in our firm, when we have a decision to make we say, ‘What would Dick Croker do?’”
Gonderinger said even though Croker retired 21 years ago, “He is still our guiding principle. He was a great mentor for young lawyers and his impact on lawyers and clients still resonates. They still think the world of him.”
They couldn’t resist telling a story to underscore their friend’s sense of humor as well as his many involvements with the community. They said he attended a fundraiser for Mercy High School (not because he had any connection there) and ended up buying a horse. He kept it about four years. When others asked him about how he liked owning a horse, he said, “Don’t ever buy anything that eats while you sleep!”
To honor their founder, the firm of Croker, Huck, Kasher, DeWitt, Anderson & Gonderinger established a scholarship in his name 10 years ago for a 2nd or 3rd year Creighton law student “who shows civic commitment
and the need for financial support.” Croker was a 1957 graduate of Creighton School of Law.
Croker and Robert Huck established their law firm in 1979. They are known, among other things, for their work in creating and representing Sanitary and Improvement Districts that has helped drive the region’s expansion and development.
Donna Forsberg, the firm’s administrator since 1988, said the office has always been about “people who get along, operating as a team,” as personified by Croker. His priorities were “his practice, his faith and his family.”
Gonderinger summed up the kudos, saying, “He was humble, kind, fair, passionate, principled, and committed to his Catholic faith.”
After his graduation, summa cum laude, from Loras College in 1945, Croker spent several years working in the agricultural field before enrolling in law school.
He is survived by his wife, Jane; son John; daughter Cathy Eben; five grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and two brothers. His funeral was held Saturday. Memorials are suggested to the Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers or the St. Thomas More Society.
– By Lorraine Boyd
 
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