It is with heavy hearts that the DeSales University family reports the death of James F. Kilcur ’73, chairman of the Board of Trustees, alumnus, supporter, and friend.
“We will always remember Jim’s patient wisdom, strong faith, and Salesian gentleness,” said Father Bernard F. O’Connor, OSFS, president of DeSales University. “We will miss his firm hand and embracing laughter. Please offer a prayer for the pain of those left behind, especially the members of his family, and of our DeSales University family who loved him so much.”
After graduating from Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia, Jim came to DeSales University in 1969 as an undergraduate student. The faith Jim and his parents, the late Rita and James, Sr., showed a relatively young college was strong.
While at DeSales, Jim managed the basketball team, ran cross country, played intramurals, and spent two years in student government. After graduating, Jim earned and M.A. from Lehigh University in 1974, and his J.D. from Widener University in 1977.
Jim was a partner of the Philadelphia law office of Saul Ewing LLP. He was in the firm’s Labor, Employment and Employee Benefits Practice. Before joining the firm, he served as an attorney for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transporation Authority (SEPTA), joining the Authority in 1978 and retiring in 1995 as General Counsel. He was appointed Acting SEPTA General Manager in 1987 and was credited with helping rebuild trust in the organization.
Kilcur was designated a "Pennsylvania Super Lawyer" by Philadelphia Magazine and Law and Politics magazine in 2005, 2006, and 2009, and was named one of the “Irish Legal 100” by Irish Voice Newspaper. He is also the recipient of the Administrators Award for Outstanding Public Service, Federal Urban Mass Transportation Administration
Jim joined the Board of Trustees at DeSales in 2002, serving on numerous committees including the Finance and Budget, Institutional Advancement, and Educational Affairs committees. On July 1, 2011, Jim became the second alumnus to serve as chairman of the Board of Trustees.
Jim is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Maria Theresa; three sons, James Francis III, wife Kristen and granddaughter Annabel Katherine; Patrick Ryan and fiancée Julie; and Matthew Victor; sister Marguerite Eagan and husband Russ; brothers-in-law Rev. Msgr. Ralph Chieffo and Angelo Chieffo and wife Anna, nephews Michael and Stephen. His sons James '02 and Patrick '06 are also DeSales University graduates.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are requested to DeSales University, 2755 Station Ave., Center Valley, PA 18034.
Read Jim's published obituary here.
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