Former SMU Law School Dean John W. Riehm dies
John (Jack) Wilks Riehm, former dean of SMU's Dedman School of Law, has died.
John (Jack) Wilks Riehm, a longtime resident of Bronxville, New York, died 26 August 2011, of natural causes at his home in Tucson, Arizona.
Born in 1920 in Peoria, Illinois, to John and Martha Riehm. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honors from Bradley University. With the outbreak of World War II, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and married the love of his life Doris Pancratz. After the war, he completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Michigan and accepted a position with the New York law firm Cravath, Swain and Moore.
He left New York for Dallas, Texas, and the SMU School of Law where he started as an Associate Professor and rose to Dean of the Law School. As Dean, he initiated programs that would lead to a Doctor of Science Law degree, Comparative Law for Latin American lawyers and the creation of the Southwest Graduate School of Banking at SMU. He was responsible for the move of the Journal of Aviation Law and Commerce to the SMU Law School.
He served several terms of office with the Southwestern Legal Foundation. In 1963, he moved back to New York as Director and Executive Vice-President of Matthew Bender Law Publishing and then to Thomas J. Lipton as Secretary and General Counsel. He retired from Lipton as Executive Vice-President.
Not one to really retire, he began the venture capital business R&G Ventures, Inc. He served on the Boards of Lipton, Unilever, US Life Corporation, and the Board of Montefiore Medical Center, part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He was a Director of US Life Insurance Company and President of Freedom House. John's interest in law, economics and aviation continued after his retirement. He was a voracious reader, four newspapers a day as well as best sellers. His favorite activity was the forty summers he spent at the ranch, Spear-O-Wigwam, in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. His sweet tooth was with him to the end.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Doris Riehm; his three daughters, Susan Riehm Braden of San Marcos, Texas, Sandra Riehm Shepard and husband Joe of Tyler, Texas, and Elizabeth Ganin and husband Bruce of Tucson, Arizona; son, John Riehm III of Tucson, Arizona; five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
The family would like to thank their neighbor Dave Edwards, the caregivers of Home Instead and Hospice for the special care they provided.
The family will have a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice.