by Joseph RADDER
When we arrived at Bill Loves architecturally beautiful historic law office to interview him, he asked, Why would you want to write about me? Im not interesting. This from a person who, with his wife, has been to both Antarctica and the Arctic Circle on vacation and is planning to go to Africa this year. Would you believe he took a golf club and balls to Antarctica? Thats true. He and two friends got permission to do so in order to be able to say they played golf in Antarctica. Uninteresting guy? We think not.
Bill Loves travels werent the only thing we found interesting about him. A graduate of Canisius College & Canisius High School he has a mini alumni association right in his own family. His grandfather, father, father-in-law, brothers and brothers-in law are all Canisius graduates.
I have a strong respect for the way the Jesuits teach, he said. They really pass along values as well as education. He recalled an incident during his senior year at Canisius High School when, during physics class early in the term, Father Vincent McDonough held up a little ball for all to see. This is a pith ball, he said, and the first one to mispronounce it goes down to the gym with me. Well put the gloves on, he continued, and only one of us will leave standing up.
Tough love like this is just one of the things Bill learned as a result of his Catholic education. He attended Blessed Sacrament in Kenmore for the grammar school grades. As he grew older he became very interested in scouting. I loved scout camp and earning merit badges, he said.
This interest in the BSA has followed him through life. Educating young people and influencing them in a positive way is one of his primary goals. And his interest doesnt stop with the Boy Scouts. For example, Bill Love is a trustee of Canisius High School.
He learned early in life to get out there and serve the public. When a junior in high school he began working for the Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company in one of their chain A&P grocery stores. While in college he worked at Republic Steel as a laborer, where he had valuable exposure to the ethnic mosaic that is Buffalo.
After earning a BS in economics at Canisius, Bill Love attended U.B. Law School. He graduated with a JD degree (doctor in law) in 1968 and was admitted to the bar that year.
Through his economic studies he had a good depth of knowledge about taxation, and it seemed natural to follow a law career along that line. However, he found being a trial lawyer much more challenging. Today he specializes in personal injury cases, representing plaintiffs of counsel to Siegel, Kelleher and Kahn.
After being admitted to the bar, Bills first law firm was Pritchard, Garvey, Magner, Kinney, Sullivan and Bush. He was with the firm or its successors for over thirty years, joining Seigel, Kelleher and Kahn about three years ago.
I found trial work very intellectually stimulating, Bill told us. Working on medical malpractice and product liability cases lets him practice his philosophy, summed up as, its nice to be able to help somebody.
In addition to his work on the Canisius board, Bill Love was president and a member of the board of the Erie County Bar Association Foundation, a group that assists lawyers in need. He is on the board of the East Aurora Boys and Girls Club. The club is visited over 2,000 times a month by hundreds of children from East Aurora and vicinity. Its great to keep kids interested in something worthwhile and given them challenges, he said.
East Aurora has been home to his family for almost 30 years. It is here he and his wife of 37 years, the former Mickie Hetzelt, raised their four children.
Bill Love is clearly a family man. His oldest daughter is a doctor here in town, but like so many of us, the rest of his family is scattered all over the country. His oldest son is a computer executive in Boston. He has a daughter in Seattle who is an architect and designs Starbucks stores, including the one on Delaware Ave. in Buffalo. His youngest son is working on his MBA at Yale.
He was reluctant to talk about awards and honors, but were sure he has many. Undoubtedly his greatest rewards are in the smiles he sees on clients faces and on the children at Canisius High School, in the Boy Scouts and in the East Aurora Boys and Girls Club.
Like so many of the successful people we have interviewed for Living Prime Time, Bill Loves goals in life are based on helping others.
The minute you meet him you know that hes really a nice guy and we trust by now you agree hes a very interesting person as well.
Bill Love is not thinking about retirement yet, but wed be willing to bet that, when the day comes, hell be even more active in helping others than he is today.
Bills last name is very appropriate. Its clear that he understands the importance of loving ones fellow man.
Joseph Radder is a freelance writer.
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