Francis J. McNamara Jr., trial attorney, philanthropist

Francis J. McNamara Jr., a prominent Connecticut trial attorney and philanthropist, and step-father of Michael J. (and Leslie) Magner of Weston, died Friday, June 8, 2012, in Vero Beach, Fla. He was 84.

Mr. McNamara Jr. was born in Boston, Mass., on Nov. 30, 1927. He spent his early years in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Gonzaga High School in 1945. He served in the U.S. Navy as a seaman in 1946. He attended Georgetown University, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in 1949 and completing his college education in three years.

Mr. McNamara received a bachelor of laws degree from Georgetown in 1951. He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1952.

During his illustrious 35-year career in litigation, he rose to managing partner of the law firm Cummings & Lockwood in Stamford and argued cases in courts from the Connecticut Supreme Court to the U.S. Supreme Court as well as in federal courts in many states.

During the same time period, he also led the Charles E. Culpeper Foundation in New York City as it disbursed more than $100 million dollars in charitable funds to health, educational and cultural institutions.

Mr. McNamara was a voracious reader of history as well as a passionate student of Irish genealogy, loved writing and had just recently completed a comprehensive memoir of the McNamara family. He was also an avid golfer and sportsman.

Mr. McNamara was predeceased by his first wife, Noreen, who died in 1984.

Mr. McNamara is survived by his loving wife of 26 years, Lois Magner, as well as his six children, three stepchildren and 20 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Aloysius R.C. Church in New Canaan, with burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan.

Memorial donations may be made to the Gonzaga College High School Annual Fund, 19 Eye St., NW, Washington, DC 20001 or the Fairfield University Fairfield Fund, 1073 North Benson Road, Fairfield, CT 06824.

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