Please remember in your prayers James Larkin, trustee emeritus

Please remember in your prayers James Larkin, a University of St. Thomas trustee emeritus who died Sunday, Feb. 27, from cancer.

A memorial Mass will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, March 5, in the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas on the university’s St. Paul campus. Father Dennis Dease, president of St. Thomas, will officiate.

Larkin and his wife, Barbara, have been living in Cumberland, Wis., and a Mass of Christian Burial will be held there for family and Wisconsin neighbors earlier in the week.

James Larkin

Larkin served on the St. Thomas board for almost 20 years, from 1980 to 1999, and on the board of governors of the School of Law since its founding. He served on the Executive Committee of the board of trustees from 1988 to 1999 and as its chair from 1992 to 1995.  He was a member of the Board Affairs Committee from 1992 to 1999, and chaired the Finance Committee from 1997 to 1999. Earlier he served on the Audit Committee, the Physical Facilities Planning Committee and as the board’s liaison to the Minnesota Private College Council.

“He was as decent a man as I’ve ever met,” Dease said. “His Irish sense of humor, along with a gentle, respectful and peaceful approach to all, made him especially effective in situations of stress or conflict.”

Dease noted that Larkin’s vision was instrumental in the decision to open the University of St. Thomas School of Law. “The key role he played in the founding of the School of Law will long be remembered and appreciated. For us at St. Thomas, Jim Larkin was a leader, a confidant and a great friend. We will miss him deeply.”

Larkin was 16 when he passed the entrance exams to what is now the University of St. Thomas. After graduating with honors, he became an ardent supporter of the university and in 1987 he received its Distinguished Alumni Award. Several of his 13 children also attended St. Thomas.

After graduation from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1954, Larkin began a distinguished legal career in both the federal and state courts. He was admitted to practice in Minnesota, the District of Columbia and Wisconsin.

Larkin was a co-founder of the Bloomington-based law firm that bears his name: Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd. Specializing in litigation, he opened his own practice in downtown Minneapolis in 1957. In that same year, he formed a partnership with Robert Hoffman and the firm moved its offices to Southdale Center, opening the first law office in a suburban regional mall.

“Jim was the conscience of our firm,” Hoffman said. “He looked out for anyone needing help and had confidence that by doing the right thing, our firm would prosper.”