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Richard Eddy Heath, longtime Buffalo attorney

Nov. 15, 1930 – Jan. 7, 2017

Richard Eddy Heath, a Buffalo attorney active in many community organizations, died Jan. 7 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., from complications following a stroke. He was 86.

Born in Bound Brook, N.J., he attended high school in Somerville, N.J., and earned a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College.

Richard Eddy Heath

He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1955 and served as a teaching fellow there for a year while his newlywed wife completed her studies at Wellesley College.

Mr. Heath began a 56-year career with the firm of Hodgson, Russ, Andrews, Woods & Goodyear, now Hodgson Russ, in 1956 and was a senior partner in the corporate and tax departments. He mentored many young lawyers and, as a champion of equal rights for women, fostered the careers of many female attorneys.

He also practiced law in Florida.

He served on numerous boards of directors, many as chairman, including Women and Children’s Hospital, United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, the Junior Chamber of Commerce, the International Institute, Studio Arena Theatre, Planned Parenthood and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

His longest tenure was on the board of directors of the University at Buffalo Foundation, which he joined in 1967 and which recently named him a trustee emeritus.

He and his wife traveled extensively and maintained a vacation home on a lake in the Adirondacks.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, the former Beth Montgomery; a son, David; three daughters, Ellen Heath Plapinger, Karen and Deborah; a sister, Betsy Gleason; and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 4 in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Buffalo, 695 Elmwood Ave. at West Ferry Street.

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