Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Arthur Church was Democratic activist, lawyer

Wyoming football star in hall of fame

By Rebecca Goodman
Enquirer staff writer

WYOMING - Arthur C. Church, a lawyer who was a former prosecutor for Wyoming and heavily involved in Cincinnati and Hamilton County Democratic politics, died Thursday of a heart attack while on vacation at Niagara Falls with his wife, Madeline. He was 62.

"He was just a bulldog," said his son Willard Randolph "Randy" Church of Kenwood. "If he loved you, he loved you. But if you were an enemy, you were an enemy. Whatever he put his mind to, he accomplished.

"Law, sports and politics were his three loves."

A lifelong Wyoming resident, Mr. Church was a football star at Wyoming High School, setting several records and playing on the undefeated team of 1959. He participated in four sports - basketball, track and tennis, in addition to football, for which he received all-city and all-state honors. Wyoming High School gave him its Fred S. Dewey Award for best all-around athlete and citizen. He was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 1996.

He went to the University of Cincinnati on a football scholarship and graduated from the U.C. College of Law in 1967.

Mr. Church went into private general practice downtown. He was still practicing at the time of his death.

During his 37-year career, he was finance chairman for the Cincinnati Democratic Party and a member of the Hamilton County finance committee for Gov. Richard F. Celeste. He also served on the finance committee for U.S. Rep. Thomas A. Luken and on the Hamilton County Democratic Steering and Executive Committee, and was a campaign committee member and chief legal counsel for Cincinnati City Councilman Charlie Winburn, special counsel to Ohio's attorney general and a referee for Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court.

Mr. Church was a member of Cincinnati Lawyers Club, Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity, Cuvier Press Club, Cincinnati Club and Cincinnati Athletic Club, and former president of the Ohio Real Estate Commission.

In addition to his wife of 12 years and his son Randy, survivors include another son, Brian Austin Church of Wyoming; a daughter, Marthe Church of Wyoming; three step-children, Joe Koch of Indiana, and Greg Koch and Rachel Kinne, both of Price Hill, and three grandchildren.

Services were held. Burial was at Oak Hill Cemetery in Glendale.

Memorials: The Wyoming School Foundation Athletic Department, 420 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45215.

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