Edgar C. NeMoyer, who was a police officer, prosecutor and defense lawyer before serving 17 years on the State Court of Claims, died Saturday morning in his Buffalo home. He was 75.
Judge NeMoyer had just attended the 45th reunion of his law school class at the University of Wisconsin with his wife, Josephine, before becoming ill Saturday.
Born in South Buffalo, he gathered each year with fellow members of "Butler University," those he grew up with, in South Buffalo's Butler Park to celebrate friendships that went back more than 60 years.
"He always had a smile on his face," said Patrick J. Baker, who was a partner with him in the firm of Boreanaz, NeMoyer and Baker, and then clerked for him in the Court of Claims.
Baker recalled that Judge NeMoyer, known as "Mickey," loved taking court officials visiting from out of town to his favorite lunch spot, Gene McCarthy's in the First Ward.
"Mickey would always say, 'You take somebody to lunch there and put a $10 bill on the table, you get change back,' " Baker said.
"He was such a character," John Humann, a partner in that same firm, said of Judge NeMoyer. "He was a cop, prosecutor, defense lawyer and a judge."
He graduated from St. Teresa's School and Canisius High School and attended Georgetown University before graduating from the University of Buffalo in 1954. He spent three years in the Air Force, assigned to the Rand Corp., and left the service as a captain.
Judge NeMoyer returned to Buffalo, joined the Buffalo Police Department and walked a beat while putting himself through UB's Law School. He also was a longshoreman for nine years.
After graduating from law school, he got a master's degree in law from the University of Wisconsin. He served in the general counsel's office of the Public Health Administration during the administration of President John F. Kennedy and spent two years as an associate professor at the State University at Albany's graduate school.
In Buffalo, he served as undersheriff of Erie County and was assistant, first assistant and briefly the acting U.S. Attorney in Buffalo.
For 15 years, he was partner with Harold J. Boreanaz and Baker in one of the city's premier defense firms.
He ran for district attorney in 1981, was appointed to State Supreme Court by Gov. Mario Cuomo before losing in a close election and was appointed to the Court of Claims, where he served until he retired at age 70. He since had practiced law in the firm of Collins, Collins & Donoghue.
Judge NeMoyer married Josephine Kiely of Cork, Ireland, in 1954. He was named 1986 Citizen of the Year by the Buffalo Police Detective Sergeant and Detective Association, the 1984 Irishman of the Year by the Ancient Order of Hibernians and in 1974 by the Emerald Club.
He was a member of the Erie County, New York State and American bar associations, the American Legion and Mensa.
Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Patricia Catanzaro; two sons, Daniel and Michael; and a brother, Patrick, a State Supreme Court justice.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Teresa Catholic Church, 1974 Seneca St.