Stanley W. Root Jr., 92, formerly of Chestnut Hill, a lawyer who was involved in drafting the Pennsylvania Professional Corporation Act, died July 8 at Chestnut Hill Hospital. He had been living in Florida for the past seven years.
Mr. Root, who retired as a partner at Ballard Spahr in 1992, was widely recognized for his work with numerous physician groups, especially assisting in forming professional corporations in an era when doctors and other professionals started to practice in a corporate setting. He was a frequent lecturer on this topic at numerous Bar Association seminars.
During his professional career he represented many small businesses and some charitable organizations as well as Chestnut Hill Hospital.
Mr. Root started his private law practice in 1952 with his father-in-law, Henry L. Schimpf Jr., and was also associated with his attorney father, Stanly W. Root Sr.
Born at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii, where his father was stationed as an Army officer after World War I, he returned with his family to Chestnut Hill where he resided in his mother’s family home for many years.
He attended J.S. Jenks School, graduated from Germantown Friends School and did a postgraduate year at Darrow School. He was a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
He entered Army service with the ROTC at Princeton in 1942 and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in 1944. He served overseas with the 751st Field Artillery Battalion and participated in in three major campaigns including “the Battle of the Bulge,” during which he received the Bronze Star Medal for Valor.
Following the end of WWII in Europe, he served with the occupation forces and learned to speak fluent German, which resulted in him being assigned several duties organizing the civilian government of occupied towns and cities.
After completing his bar exams in 1950, he was called to active duty as a captain with the 28th Infantry Division. He was hospitalized in 1952 for an injury he received in Europe in 1945.
He rejoined the 28th Division when it returned from Korean War Service and ultimately became Division Staff Judge Advocate. While serving in that position, he was primarily responsible for the drafting and enactment of the Pennsylvania Code of Military Justice.
He was awarded the State of Pennsylvania Commendation Ribbon for this achievement. He retired from military service in 1972 as a lieutenant colonel.
Mr. Root was active in many organizations, including the Chestnut Hill Community Association where he served a vice president for four years.
He was a former president of the Union League, a commander of the Philadelphia Chapter of the Military Order of World Wars and of the Pennsylvania Commandery of the Military Order of Foreign Wars. He was a member of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion, the Vestry of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill, and the Episcopal Advancement Society for Pennsylvania.
In Naples, Fla,, where he spent many seasons and ultimately came to reside, he served the Nature Conservancy as a boat captain and visitor guide on the Gordon River.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; a son, Henry; a daughter, Louise Melby, and four grandsons. A son, Walter, and a brother, John, preceded him in death.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church at 3 p.m.Sunday, July 19. Memorial donations may be made to the Walter W. Root Arborist Internship Foundation at the Morris Arboretum, University of Pennsylvania, 100 Northwestern Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19118. – WF