Cover photo for James Joseph Mulligan's Obituary
James Joseph Mulligan Profile Photo
1921 James 2021

James Joseph Mulligan

December 21, 1921 — July 3, 2021

MULLIGAN, James J., lawyer, raconteur, husband, father, grandfather and uncle, died on July 3, 2021 at age 99. Jim was born on December 21, 1921 in New York City, the first of three children born to Sarah Gannon Mulligan and James Mulligan, immigrants from County Galway, Ireland.

Jim recalled a happy though economically stressful childhood, and a mother without peer. The family lived in various apartments on W. 109th St. near Amsterdam Ave., with aunts, uncles, cousins and other extended family in nearby buildings. He and his cousins and friends were accomplished players of stickball and other urban games. Jim received all his formal education in the city, at Ascension parochial school, Commerce High School, Manhattan College and, on the G. I. Bill, Columbia University Law School (1949). He played varsity baseball in high school and freshman ball in college.

In World War II, he was a paratrooper platoon leader and company executive officer in Europe in combat with B Company, 508 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, and received several decorations, including the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge.

Jim graduated near the top of his law school class and knew he had chosen the right career. He moved to Dayton and practiced corporate and securities law for more than 60 years with Smith & Schnacke and its successor, Thomson Hine, and later in a very happy partnership with his son, Patrick. He enjoyed his work and said that there were very few days he didn’t want to go to the office. Jim was included in the Best Lawyers in America from its first edition until he retired.

While Jim was known as a social person, the focus of his life was his family. He married the love of his life, Patty Marshall, on November 5, 1955, and they had three children, Sarah, Patrick and Maggie, whom they loved, enjoyed and respected, as they did Maggie’s husband, Noel Knox, and their son, Liam, and step-grandson, Ben Knox; Pat’s stepson, J. D.; and J.D.’s mother, Elisa Mulligan.

Jim was an avid skier and squash player, and he enjoyed golf and poker – essentially, name a game and he’d play it, especially if his kids or grandkids were involved. He and Patty loved their post-retirement time at their Snowmass, CO, condo, where Jim became an enthusiastic hiker. They also loved summer getaways with the family to Bay View, Michigan, where they had friends of many decades.

He was a member, at various times, of the Buzz Fuzz Club, Dayton Country Club, Moraine Country Club, and The 49ers, where he purportedly won more than he lost at poker. He was the first referee of the Oakwood Youth Court. He was a member of the board of the local chapter of the National Conference of Christians and Jews and a longtime board member of the Montgomery County Law Library Association.

He was predeceased by his parents, sisters Marion and Catherine, and his beloved wife, Patty. He is survived by his three children, three grandsons, and many nieces and nephews, all of whom miss his warmth, stories, advice, larger-than-life personality, and most of all, his loving kindness.

A Memorial Service will be held 11AM on Saturday, August 14 at ROUTSONG FUNERAL HOME, 2100 E STROOP RD, KETTERING. Reception to follow the service at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton, 324 Wilmington Ave, Dayton, OH 45420. Fond memories and condolences may be shared with the family at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Joseph Mulligan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, August 14, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Saturday, August 14, 2021

Starts at 11:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 24

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree