John Lyell Dampeer, 97, of Hudson, Ohio, died Aug. 9, 2013.
Mr. Dampeer, born in Cleveland, lived his entire life in the greater Cleveland area and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School in 1934. He was senior class president, president of the student council, and the "top" scholar in each of his three years. He played varsity basketball and baseball in each of his three years.
Mr. Dampeer attended Harvard College as a Harvard College National Scholar and graduated in 1938. At Harvard, he received a Detur Prize his first year, was a "Junior Eight" member of Phi Beta Kappa, was Third Marshall of his class, and was Second Marshall of Phi Beta Kappa. He was captain of the freshman basketball team and a three year varsity basketball team member. He attended New College of Oxford University in England as a Henry Fellow in the school year 1938-39. His Harvard College National Scholarship was continued for his three years at Harvard Law School, from which he graduated in 1942. He continued his interest in Harvard as a Member of the Class of 1938 Permanent Class Committee and as president of the Harvard Club of Cleveland in the early 1950s. He was a special agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1942 until the end of 1945.
Mr. Dampeer clerked for the law firm Thompson, Hine and Flory, now Thompson Hine, of Cleveland in the summers before and during law school and was a member of that firm from 1946 until his retirement in February 1997. He was a member of the Thompson Hine Executive Committee from 1962 until 1982. At Thompson Hine, he specialized in corporate law and securities law. In 1955, he was a principal draftsman of the completely revised Ohio General and Non-Profit Corporation Laws, having served as a member of the State Bar Corporation Committee from the early 1950s until 2002. He served as chairman of that committee from 1959 through 1962. He was a member of the American, Ohio and Cleveland Bar Associations. He was a trustee of the Cleveland Bar Association and a member of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee of the Association.
Mr. Dampeer was a trustee of what was then called the Family Service Association for more than 10 years and was its president from 1959 until 1961. Mr. Dampeer was a board chairman of The Kelvin & Eleanor Smith Foundation and a trustee of Sea Research Foundation. He was a board member and secretary of Fisher Foods, Hansen Manufacturing, and Van Dorn Companies; he also served as a member of the board of the J. M. Smucker, Monarch Machine Tool, The W. M. Pattison Supply, Albee Homes, and Gibson Homans Companies. He was a member of the Union Club and the Kirtland Country Club.
Lucie Kennerdell Dampeer, Mr. Dampeer's wife of 40 years, died in 1990. He is survived by his sons, Lyell B. (Valerie) of Hyde Park, N.Y.; David K. of Murphy, N.C.; and G. Geoffrey of McLean, Va.; by three grandchildren, Reilly, Thessaly (John) and John; by two step grandchildren, Burt and Clinton; by two great grandchildren; by three step-great grandchildren; by "ward" Bruce A. Hamilton (Roxanne) of Cincinnati, Ohio; and the Hamilton's three children; by his sister, Ida Louise (Robert) Holdren of Little Hocking, Ohio; and the Holdren's two children; and by his sister-in-law, Martha (William) Kennerdell of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; and her two children.
The family would appreciate contributions, in memory of Mr. Dampeer, to Laurel Lake Retirement Community, 200 Laurel Lake Drive, Hudson, OH 44236, or to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Boulevard, Cleveland Heights, OH 44106 where services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. For further information, directions and to sign the guestbook, please log online to: