Painter was the 'kind of man people liked to be around'

July 13, 2005|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Tom Painter was from Idaho, but he had his own private Waynesboro.

Painter, a longtime local attorney and former Waynesboro mayor, died Monday at his home on State Road. He was 70.

He was remembered Tuesday not just as a local icon, but as one who was liked by those who knew him.

"He had an incredible relationship with his clients," Waynesboro attorney Clint Barkdoll said. "He was the kind of man people liked to be around."

Painter was born in Bloomington, Idaho, attended Brigham Young University and graduated from Dickinson School of Law in 1960.

He was a partner at Kulla, Barkdoll, Ullman and Painter, a law firm with offices at 9 E. Main St. He retired from the firm last year.


Ullman and Painter are dead, but the sign on the firm's door will remain as it is, Barkdoll said.

Millard Ullman, Painter's father-in-law, and Painter ran their own law firm on center square for years.

Ullman was admitted to the bar in 1937. He died in 1988, Barkdoll said.

Painter met Ullman's daughter, Shirley, while both were in college. They were married in 1954.

"He was the last of the old-fashioned lawyers," Barkdoll said of Painter. "He did a lot of things for a lot of people. They'd call him for all kinds of things, not just legal matters, but personal things like jobs or marriage problems."

"He was a go-to kind of guy," state Rep. Pat Fleagle of Waynesboro said. "I never saw Tom Painter mad."

Painter was a Democrat, but he managed to win election to a Borough Council seat in a municipality with a 2-1 Republican majority. He served for eight years on the council and another 12 as mayor.

Fleagle succeeded Painter as mayor in 1985.

"He seemed to be involved in everything in the community," Fleagle said.

He recalled when Painter was presented with the Fireman of the Year Award in 1983. Although not a firefighter, Painter was recognized for leading a fundraising campaign that netted about $175,000 to buy a new firetruck.

"It took about 10 minutes for them to rattle off all they things he had done for the community," Fleagle said.

Painter directed a fundraising drive for the Waynesboro chapter of the American Red Cross, served as director of the Waynesboro Little League Association and of the Mental Health Clinic of Franklin County. He also did stints as chairman of the Citizens Advisory Committees for the borough and the Waynesboro Area School District.

Waynesboro Fire Chief Ron Flegel said Painter headed up a second fundraiser in 1985 for a tanker for the department.

"It was so successful that we had near enough money to buy a second truck," Flegel said.

He said Painter provided a lot of legal advice to the department.

"I don't know if we ever paid much for it," he said.

"He wasn't a firefighter. He never pulled a hose or went into a burning building, but he did a lot for the fire department," Flegel said.

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