Memorial Resolution for Richard K. Hoskinson, Esquire

Video message from FCBA President Andrew J. Benchoff and the memorial resolution read by Forest Myers:





                WHEREAS, the members of the Franklin County Bar Association intend to meet in a Special Meeting on a future date to celebrate the life and honor the memory of our colleague and fellow member, RICHARD K. “DICK” HOSKINSON, who was called home by his Almighty God May 3, 2020; and


                WHEREAS, although saddened by his death, it is our desire, and the tradition of the Franklin County Bar Association, to share our recollections of Dick and honor him with a Memorial Resolution at this Special Meeting; and


                WHEREAS, before offering this Resolution, the members of the Franklin County Bar Association desire to offer a brief record of his life and career.


                Dick was born March 2, 1938 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of the late William C. and Thelma R. (Kiernan) Hoskinson. He is survived by one brother and was predeceased by a sister and two brothers.


                Dick’s first wife, Marge, passed away suddenly.  He is survived by his wife, Lin Ace Hoskinson of 26 years, and stepdaughter Kristin and her husband Brent and three step-grandchildren to whom he was a grandfather.



                Dick graduated from Moon Township High School.  He was a 1960 graduate of Indiana State College (now Indiana University of Pennsylvania “IUP”) where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree.  While attending IUP Dick was a member of the IUP Basketball Team (1956-1958).



                Following graduation from college, Dick entered the United States Army and served honorably from 1961 to 1963, rising to the rank of Captain.  He was stationed in Germany for most of his time in the Army and was proud to be Quartermaster at the base.  While in Germany with the Army he traveled extensively though out Europe.


                Following his service in the Army, Dick taught history and English in the Bellefonte School District and also coached the basketball team.


                In 1965, Dick enrolled in the Dickinson School of Law, now the Penn state University, Dickinson School of Law, from which he graduated in 1968.


                Dick’s first position after graduation was as a trust officer at a major bank in his native Pittsburgh.


                He began the practice of law in Franklin County in 1971 and took the oath to be admitted to the Franklin County Bar on December 8, 1971.  He practiced with the late Paul F. Mower and William Davis for nearly 27 years before establishing, with G. Edward Wenger, Jr. the practice of Hoskinson and Wenger in 1998, Lawrence Rife IV joined Dick and Ed in 2016 and became a partner in 2019 in what is now Hoskinson, Wenger and Rife.


                During his years as a member of the Franklin County Bar Association, Dick served as Chair of the CLE Committee, Chair of the Orphans’ Court Rules Committee, and president in 1987-1988. In May 2018, Dick was recognized by the Pennsylvania Bar Association as a 50-year member.


                Dick served as solicitor to the Register of Wills and Recorder of Deeds Office of Franklin County from 1980 until his death.  He also served as an instructor at the Mont Alto Campus of the Pennsylvania State University from 1975 until 1992.


                Dick served as counsel to Sentry Trust and was counsel to the trust department of Farmers and Merchants Bank and Trust Company of Chambersburg.


Dick was a devout Christian and attended Falling Spring Presbyterian Church where he served as a Trustee and Member of the Session.


                 Dick was a member of the Chambersburg Rotary Club.  He served many Franklin County non-profit organizations as a Board member, notably the Chambersburg YMCA which honored him in 2015 with the Dwight M. Edwards Youth Builder Award for his contributions to the YMCA’s mission in Chambersburg.


                Dick was an avid art collector, bidding in person and online.  He and his wife, Lin, traveled extensively throughout the United States and Europe.  He walked the Gettysburg battlefields regularly.  He loved to read and loved sports of all kinds and was very knowledgeable about players and statistics.


                The following are memories and observations submitted by his fellow members of the Franklin County Bar Association:


                My earliest memory of Dick was as a young man working for my father at an estate sale on a Saturday; Dick came to the sale to read the terms of sale before the real estate was offered for sale.  I remember that he was dignified and patient that day and he remained so until his passing. Through the years I enjoyed working with him to resolve cases on behalf of our respective clients.  He always treated me with the utmost professionalism. Once I was on the bench and sitting in Orphans’ Court, I could always count on Dick’s filings being complete and accurate. When in his company we enjoyed talking about his trips and excursions to New York City with his wife Lin.  He was a credit to the legal profession and our community. President Judge Shawn D. Meyers


                One member remarked that, although she did not interact with Dick much professionally, “her dealings with Dick were always cordial. He was kind, informed and helpful. I was impressed with his work ethic and the way he treated his colleagues and clients.  He will be missed.” Janice M. Hawbaker, Esquire


                My recollections of Dick are both social and professional. Because of the overlap in our practices we had numerous occasions to work together on real estate and decedents’ s estate matters. In our mutual dealings Dick was always courteous, dignified, respectful and dependable. He referred several matters to me in which he had a conflict. Socially, he and Lin would often meet for dinner with Marty and me.   Once or twice a year we would host each other for meals in our homes.  More often we would meet at local restaurants. Dick liked to split bill 50/50 rather than running two checks.  With our wives we also traveled together to interesting locales. Four that come quickly to mind are Napa, and Sonoma, Paris, the Canadian Rockies and a Moscow and Leningrad river cruise. It seemed no matter where we traveled Dick had recollections from past trips to the same places. Obviously, he was a big traveler during his lifetime.  For the past ten years we have taken an annual ling weekend trip with our good friends, Carl Schurr and Will Love.  Carl nicknamed us the “six musketeers.”  Just last year our final destination was Williamsburg including a wonderful side trip to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk.  Dick always enjoyed fine art. Lastly, Dick was a devout Christian.  He shared his faith in God freely and openly and we had many interesting discussions about this aspect of his life. He prayed often for others and took an interest in their lives. He sincerely cared about his family, friends and colleagues and fellow man during his life’s journey. He was generous both privately and publicly.  He will be remembered fondly and greatly missed.  David F. Spang


                Another colleague remembered Dick in this way.  Unfortunately, I did not have the opportunity to have in-depth dealings with Dick. I, however, do remember my early encounters with him when I was a young attorney starting out in the late 1970s.  Our paths would cross in the Office of Recorder of Deeds Gideon Hartman 9as would many other attorneys back in the days when attorneys actually did their own title searches). I always remember Dick as being very kind, friendly, encouraging and helpful to new attorneys. He always impressed me as quite a gentleman with his soft spoke, yet effective style.  J. Edgar Wine, Esquire


                Richard Hoskinson was a very close friend both personally and professionally.  He and I collaborated on a number of cases where he was involved in estate proceedings and I in the family law aspects of the matter. We had a great working relationship solving legal problems in connection with prenuptial agreements and death and divorce matters.   He was a true professional and knowledgeable attorney. It was always a pleasure to work with him.

                On the personal level, Richard and his wife Lin, and David and I enjoyed many wonderful excursions together in the last 15 years:  we rode together to museums, art galleries, antique and craft show and theatres. We travelled with the Hoskinson’s abroad to Paris, Russia, and Austria along with two trips to CA wine regions.  With our mutual friends Carl Schurr and Wilbur Love we did an annual long weekend getaway to such places as Newport, Chadds Ford, Philadelphia, Williamsburg, Charlottesville, among others.  visiting a different part of an eastern seaboard city for over 10 years. Annually, we went to Baltimore to see our friends perform at Everyman Theatre.  Too numerous to mention were our monthly local dinners together.

                We were very close friends who had many common interests in travel, art, sports, fine dining, theatre, history, antiques. Those bonds provided us with wonderful times together that engender very fond memories of a gentleman who will be sorely missed. Martha B. Walker, Esquire


                To me, Dick was the consummate professional whose excellence as an attorney was surpassed only by his excellence as a person.  He quietly served his community by giving of his time and resources to many organizations including the Chambersburg YMCA and the Chambersburg Rotary Club.  Dick let faith be his guide in all that he did. He will be remembered as a FCBA leader having served as a Past-President of our organization and a mentor to many of its attorneys.  Senior Judge Carol L. Van Horn


                I am privileged to call Dick my friend and partner for 22 years.  Dick and I both went to the YMCA to exercise in the 90’s.  That is where he said one day that maybe we should get together, and we did.  I had learned to know his faithful legal assistant, Evie, some years earlier selling her Pizzas for High School Band projects. One day Dick discovered what would be our new office on East Washington Street while taking a noontime stroll.  He helped with the decorating and furnishing – we moved in 2001.  Dick loved the office, he enjoyed just being there. Over the years Dick’s art collecting adorned most of the walls.  He always had time to talk, maybe about a case or maybe family or past military adventures we both shared. We always worked through any disagreements. He was a superb attorney and proud of his work, serving his clients very professionally. Mostly he was easy going, but could be a fighter when necessary. Dick was exceptionally pleased when Lawrence Rife IV joined our firm. Clients, staff and partners were treated with respect. He loved his family and enjoyed traveling. Dick will be greatly missed; his empty room will be very different.  His easy-going demeanor is what I see in my mind.  “Hey Ed” I would hear from across the hall, I wish I could hear it one more time. G. Edward Wenger, Jr., Esquire


                When I started practicing law in 1973, I went to work for the firm of Mower and Davis. Dick had already been working there as an associate when I arrived. He had moved from Pittsburgh where he had worked in the Trust Dept of the Pittsburgh National Bank. He brought a whole new level of expertise in estate planning to Franklin County. He was a terrific mentor to me in the estate planning arena and willingly shared of his time. I will always remember his sharp sense of humor and ready smile. Joel R. Zullinger, Esquire


                My remembrances of Dick are a man who was fiercely principled and consistently professional. Having a deep knowledge of estate matters and a willingness to teach. My time working with him as a colleague was only a few years but rewarding in what I learned from him and appreciated the opportunity to work alongside him in matters in recent years. As our senior partner and resident office art curator he will be sorely missed and forever remembered.  Lawrence R. Rife, IV, Esquire


                In my previous life as a computer salesman, I enjoyed a few hours at Richard Hoskinson’s home on Dell Circle setting up a new home computer for him and his wife Lin Ace-Hoskinson and showing them how to operate it.  They were delightful company and the consummate hosts.  My compensation for the personalized home delivery and orientation was the memory of a very enjoyable evening and a delightful bottle of fine red wine. Commissioner David S. Keller


                     Dick was so kind to me when I started practicing in 1985.  It’s so easy for experienced attorneys to look down upon, or not pay any attention to a new attorney.  From my first day Dick treated me as an equal and was always friendly and always told me if I needed any assistance to feel free to call upon him – and I did.  He always took my calls and helped me as best he could.

     Dick was the consummate professional – always ethical, low key, and not easily rattled.  In fact, I never saw Dick rattled.  I think of Dick as the Franklin County version of Atticus Finch – tall, dignified, low voice, and never using a word without meaning.  In fact, Dick actually looked a bit like Gregory Peck.  I’m sorry I never told him that when he was alive but, knowing Dick, he would have shrugged it off.  

     Dick Hoskinson – excellent attorney and an even better human being.  There is no better accolade for an attorney than to say that they honored their profession and they made the rest of us better in our practices.  Unequivocally Dick did and he will be sorely missed.  Bradley R. Bollinger, Esquire


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the members of the Franklin County Bar Association assembled at a Special Meeting to be held at a future date express our sympathy on the occasion of the loss of Richard K. Hoskinson, husband, father, grandfather and friend and colleague of the members of the Franklin County Bar Association.  We will strive to keep his memory alive, for the strength, dedication and wisdom of those who have gone before us represent the foundation of the future generations of our profession.



Respectfully Submitted,

Memorial Resolution Committee

Franklin County Bar Association


Shawn D. Meyers, President Judge

39th Judicial District of Pennsylvania


Andrew J.  Benchoff, Esquire

President, Franklin County Bar Association                                                                                    


Forest N. Myers, Esquire, Chair

George S. Glen, Esquire, Member