Rhind helped grow law firm, supported higher education, arts
James T. Rhind
A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m. May 11 at Fourth Presbyterian Church, 126 E. Chestnut Street in, Chicago.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois at 125 S. Wacker Drive, Suite 1400, Chicago, Ill.
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:58AM
GLENVIEW — Glenview resident James T. Rhind, a corporate lawyer, supporter of higher education and civic leader, remained active until shortly before he died Jan. 16 at 90 years old.
Mr. Rhind had been a longtime partner in the Chicago law firm of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, joining the firm in 1950 upon graduation from Harvard Law School and specializing in corporate and securities law.
From 1976 to 1986 he served as chairman of the firm’s Executive Committee.
He spent his entire legal career with the Bell Boyd firm, which in 2009 combined with the global law firm K&L Gates LLP.
In World War II, he served with the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946 in military intelligence.
After studying Japanese language and culture at the University of Michigan, he was transferred to the former Fort Snelling, Minn.
He was then sent to the former Camp Ritchie, Md., to work as a translator of captured Japanese documents.
Upon discharge, he served as a translator for the U.S.War Department in Tokyo in Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s headquarters before leaving Japan in 1947 to enter Harvard Law School.
Mr. Rhind had a special interest in higher education, serving from the mid-1970s as a trustee of both the University of Chicago and Hamilton College and Vice-Chairman of both for eight years.
He subsequently became a Life Trustee of both institutions.
Mr. Rhind and his wife Laura also were interested in and supportive of cultural organizations. He was appointed by former Illinois Gov. Richard Ogilvie as a member of the Illinois Arts Council and served as such from 1971 to 1975.
For many years he was a trustee, officer and then Life Trustee of Ravinia Festival Association and was a governing member of the Chicago Symphony.
In 1983 Mr. Rhind was elected a trustee of the University of Chicago Hospitals of which he became a Life Trustee in 1993. Since 1985 he was an officer, trustee and then Life Trustee of Presbyterian Homes, a continuing care retirement organization.
Mr. Rhind served as a director of several business corporations, including Fred. S. James & Co., Kewaunee Scientific Corporation, VSI Corporation, Lindberg Corporation and Griffith Laboratories Inc.
For over 30 years he was personal attorney for W. Clement Stone until Mr. Stone’s death.
During recent years, Mr. Rhind and his wife traveled extensively to Europe, Asia, South America and Egypt, often on trips sponsored by the Chicago Symphony, Harvard University or The University of Chicago.
Mr. Rhind was born in Chicago in 1922, the son of a Presbyterian minister who was then professor of religion at Lake Forest College.
He graduated from high school in Covington, Kentucky and attended Hamilton College, Ohio State University.
He is survived by his wife, Laura, whom he married in 1958; a daughter, Constance Rhind Robey; two sons, Jamie and David.
Cameron Avery, who practiced with Bell Boyd and K&L Gates for 50 years said, “Jim led Bell Boyd during a period of considerable growth and expansion of its practice from twenty-some lawyers when he joined the firm. Today, K&L Gates has more than 2,000 lawyers in 46 offices on five continents.”
His son, David, said his father was a mentor to many friends and coworkers.
“Nearing his death many, a great many people used the word mentor, including myself.
“He had a way of taking the new or the older ones on an institutional board under his wing and showing them the way,” David said.
“He was going to become a minister, but chose the law because he thought a lawyer was in a position of doing more good.”
David said his father had been fighting a blood cancer for more than a year, but had emergency hip replacement surgery after a fall in December 2012, and the operation left him unable to continue his cancer treatment.