Death of Michael L. Philbin April 24, 2015


Born March 10, 1946, Akron, Ohio, passed away April 24, 2015 in Nashville, TN.

He graduated from Father Ryan High School in 1964, received his B.A. degree from Notre Dame University in 1968, and his J.D. degree from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1971.

He practiced law in Nashville with the firm of Taylor, Philbin, Pigue, Marchetti & Bennett and its predecessors from 1971 to 1998. From 1998 until his death Mike was in the solo practice of law as Michael J. Philbin, P.C. and was owner and President of Lawyer’s Escrow Service, Inc. in the Green Hills area of Nashville.


Mike was a skillful and accomplished civil trial lawyer, and was one of the pre-imminent real estate lawyers in Nashville. He was widely known and respected in the Nashville and Middle Tennessee legal community as a lawyer of the highest integrity. He was a member of the American, Tennessee and Nashville Bar Associations. He served as President of the Young Members Section of the Nashville Bar Association (1975-1976), on the Board of Directors of the Nashville Bar Association (1979-1981), as a member and President (1993-1994) of the Tennessee Defense Lawyers Association (1974 to present), as a member of International Association of Defense Counsel (1985 to present), and of the Middle Tennessee Title Agents Association. He was admitted to practice in all State Courts of TN, Federal District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee and the Sixth Circuit U. S. Court of Appeals.

Mike was a member of Christ the King Catholic Church. He gave tirelessly of his time, energy and talents to many charitable causes, including Catholic Charities of Tennessee, Inc., St. Mary Villa, Inc., Villa Maria Manor, Inc., and St. Henry Property Development Corp. He served on the Board of Trustees for each of above organizations from 1978-1998 and during this period served intermittently in all officer positions including President. He was also an active member of Knights of Columbus from 1975 to present.

He was a passionate and accomplished golfer and a member of Richland Country Club since 1971.

Mike was known, admired, respected and loved by a wide circle of friends across the United States for his graciousness, genial nature, kindness, generosity, and sense of honor and integrity. His family and friends will always remember him for his quick wit, although sometimes it was not so “quick” as he spun a long yarn as no one else could. It was often funnier to watch Mike laughing at his own joke than the punch line was. He will be remembered for his signature dish of the best mashed potatoes ever. Mike had a gift of making each person in his presence feel special and everyone close to him knew that if he was needed, Mike would be there by plane, train or any available means to hold hands and share troubles. Heaven has gained a special soul, but this world has lost a great man.

Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Stephen Philbin and Ruth Cowen Philbin, and his sister Susan Philbin Walsh. He is survived by his wife, N. Shannon McKinnon Philbin, his son, Robert Jeffrey Philbin and his wife Bethany of Nashville, his daughter, Katherine Shannon Philbin Butler and her husband John of Norfolk, VA, three grandchildren who were the light of his life, Elizabeth McKinnon (Lily) Philbin, Isabella Rutherford (Ella Ford) Philbin and Charlotte McKinnon Butler, his brother Jeffrey Stephen Philbin and his wife Marge, of Albuquerque NM, his brother-in-law, James F. Walsh, of Nashville, and a host of nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers are Denny Bennett, Ted Faust, Phil Hill, Dan Loftus, Jim Mondelli, Mike Mondelli, Ritchie Pigue, and Nixon Pressley. Honorary pallbearers are the Father Ryan Class of 1964, and Chris, David, Rob and Tim – the Crazy Crew.

Services are all at Christ the King Catholic Church, 3001 Belmont Boulevard, Nashville, TN; visitation from 5pm-7pm on Monday, April 27th in the parish hall, and 10am-11am in the church followed by Mass of Resurrection at 11am Tuesday, April 28th.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Father Ryan Athletic Fund 700 Norwood Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 or Special Olympics Tennessee P.O. Box 292549 Nashville, TN 37229-2549.

Death of Lenny Joyce July 1, 2014


JOYCE, Leonard Albert Died July 1, 2014, aged 68 in Oak Park, IL. Leonard was born October 31, 1945 in South Boston, MA., the son of the late Coleman V. Joyce and the late Eleanore Mary (nee Whelan) Joyce. Leonard was a 1963 graduate of Boston College H. S. where he played on the football team. He was a 1968 graduate of Notre Dame University where he was a student leader and political activist. He later earned a master’s degree and worked towards a PhD. After college, Leonard lived in San Francisco, Chicago and for the past thirty-three years in Oak Park, IL. Leonard leaves his wife of forty years Joyce Wesolowski and his sons Rory Coleman Joyce and daughter-in-law Jessica Leriger and Dylan Thomas Joyce, his brother Kevin Coleman Joyce and sister-in-law Kate Shore, brother and sister-in-law Joseph and Lydia Wesolowski and nephews and a niece. Leonard was a Marxist-Leninist, an active trade unionist and member of Local 308 Amalgamated Transit Workers Union AFL-CIO. Leonard was an early member of Students for a Democratic Society. He was a draft resister to the war in Viet Nam. He was active in the Civil Rights and Peace Movements and was active in Movements for a United, Socialist Ireland. Leonard was a lifelong internationalist and activist in the struggles for economic justice and equality for the poor, oppressed and the working class of the world. Leonard was a strong supporter of Cuba and a past officer of the Ernest Hemingway Society of Oak Park. He twice visited Cuba with the Hemingway Society. Seeing Cuban children play baseball without equipment, Leonard gathered baseball equipment and sent it to Cuba via Pastors for Peace. On his second trip to Cuba, Leonard was delighted to see Cuban children playing baseball wearing Oak Park tee-shirts with the equipment he helped send. He won the Hemingway Look A Like contest several times. At Leonard‘s request, he was cremated without ceremony. At his request his ashes were divided and were spread in Galway Bay and several other locations in Ireland. His remaining ashes will be spread in Lake Michigan and in the ocean off South Boston. Donations in Leonard‘s memory may be sent to: Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 799 Broadway, Suite 341, NYC, NY 10003-6827. “Mo ghra tu, Leonard mo Dearthair, mo Chara agus mo Comradai. Codladh slan agus Siochain.” (“I love you, Leonard my Brother, my Friend and my comrade. Sleep well and Peace.”

Don Hynes re: April 2015 guest teaching of Lou McKenzie classes

I  spent a few days at Notre Dame recently as Louis MacKenzie's guest in
a freshmen creative arts and language seminar. Louis chose a few of
my poems for two classes of discussion and analysis. I probably
learned as much as the students about this curious author and his way
of seeing and writing about the world.

When I visit Notre Dame I am always changed. As Tom Figel said, who was so
kind to drive all the way from Chicago and then buy me lunch(!), ND
is like catholic microsoft. Everywhere you look the "statement"
is on message, on brand. The infrastructure is three times bigger
than our student days with almost a billion dollars more of new
construction underway. But beneath the veneer, the sales and
marketing, something alive and on mission continues, finding its way
past the leprecauns and preaching about "excellence."  
Whatever that "something" is, I found it echoing in me, calling me
to shift and adjust to a deeper vein. Louis is a teacher in the
O'Malley tradition, inspiring the students, challenging them to go
further, empowering their critical thinking. I was amazed at how
young the students are. If I could go back I'd remind my younger self
of that fact! 
I thought you might all enjoy this dispatch. It was a very good
experience, with Louis and his good wife JoAnn, with whatever lives
within the fabric of that campus that still touches and changes me.
They may be flocking to the business school, the football stadium
becoming a megalith, but I bought the tee shirt and hope I can visit
again soon and talk more poetry!
Here's one of the poems we discussed. 
Holy Dark 
Clear sky at dawn
with a waxing moon,
the stark branches
of winter emptying,
letting go of the green
for descent
into the holy dark,
releasing faith
and all its tribunals
for blessed peace
as seeds soften
in the wet ground
awaiting the fire
of our surrender.
You might ask yourself how you discuss "surrender" with
eighteen year olds. That's what I mean about Louis being a teacher.