Patrick J. Ledwidge, Dickinson attorney for 54 years and Detroit native, dies

"I want the world to know what a wonderful person he was," says daughter Anne Mervenne.

Devotion and loyalty are the first words that come to mind when describing Patrick Ledwidge. He was unwavering to his family, his church, his friends, his work, his profession, and his community.

Case in point: 54 satisfying and successful years in the same law firm. "Pat Ledwidge was a brilliant attorney, whose versatile and extraordinary legal skills ranged from corporate and business counseling to banking and finance to trial practice. For many years he was principal outside regulatory counsel to National Bank of Detroit, and served for decades as general counsel and corporate Secretary to ACO Hardware. Most importantly, he was an excellent teacher, mentor, partner and friend to his colleagues. He was in all respects the epitome of a true gentleman and a 'man for others'. The legal community at large, and our Firm in particular, will miss him greatly" said Dickinson Wright Chief Executive Officer William T. Burgess.

Yet Patrick's family life topped even his professional one. He married Rosemary Lahey Mervenne, a widow with 5 children: Anne M. Mervenne, now of Royal Oak, Michigan; Mary C. Mervenne (Bill Helin), now of Washington, D.C.; John W. Mervenne, Jr. (Carol Tenuta), Clarkston, Michigan; David J. Mervenne (Patrisha nee Janto), Bloomfield Hills, Michigan; Sara Mervenne Edleman (John Edleman, Jr.), East Grand Rapids, Michigan. At the time of Patrick and Rosemary's marriage in 1974, her children ranged from a teenager to a 4 year old. Pat fathered this new family with joy and love; and he earned their hearts as well as those of his six grandchildren: Patrick Joseph Mervenne , Theresa Mervenne, Anna Edleman, Maria Mervenne, William Mervenne II, Aurora Edleman.

Born in Detroit in 1928, Patrick attended University of Detroit High School, Class of 1945; College of the Holy Cross, Class of 1949; University of Michigan Law School, Class of 1952. After serving as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy from 1952 to 1955, he joined Dickinson, Wright, Moon, Van Dusen & Freeman in 1956. He was still an active lawyer at the Bloomfield Hills office of Dickinson Wright at his death on May 19. During Patrick's professional years, he was a member of the American Bar Association, the Michigan Bar Association, the Detroit Bar Association, the American Law Institute. But he still found time to devote to community service as a member of the Serra Club of Detroit, President of the Board of Trustees of the Citizens Research Council; and Counsel to Angels' Place.

Above all, Patrick was a devout Roman Catholic; his life was celebrated during a funeral Mass at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 22 at Holy Name Church, 630 Harmon at Woodland in Birmingham. Visitation was at A. J. Desmond & Sons Funeral Home, 2600 Crooks Road, in Troy on Friday, May 21, from noon to 8 p.m. There will be a private burial on Monday. Family suggests memorials to University of Detroit Jesuit High School, 8400 S. Cambridge, Detroit, MI 48221, or Angels' Place, 25240 Lahser Road, Suite 2, Southfield, MI 48033.

Published: Mon, May 24, 2010