Guy Cellucci, 59, law firm chairman

Guy A. Cellucci
Guy A. Cellucci
Posted: November 21, 2013

Guy A. Cellucci, 59, of Malvern, a managing partner and chairman of the law firm White & Williams, died in his sleep Saturday, Nov. 16, at his vacation home in Avalon, N.J.

An autopsy was performed Saturday by the Southern Regional Office of the New Jersey medical examiner, and the cause of death was unknown pending the receipt of toxicology test results.

Investigator Liz Kemp said it would take more than a month for the results to become available. She said such tests were routine in cases where the cause of death was unclear.

For 34 years, Mr. Cellucci worked for the law firm, which has local offices in Center City, Berwyn, Cherry Hill, and Wilmington. He was the leader of the firm's 230 lawyers for the last three years.

Under his guidance, the firm grew not only in size in the Northeast, but in breadth and the strength of the services it provided to its clients here and in Boston and New York City, his colleagues said.

Patricia Santelle, a partner and chair of the commercial litigation department, said Mr. Cellucci was a good listener.

"He did not force his ideas on others, but listened to what they had to say and formulated a plan of action after forging consensus in a way that only a great leader can do," she said.

Former Pennsylvania Bar Association president and firm partner Andrew Susko said Mr. Cellucci "brought professional excellence and integrity to everything he did for this firm."

Born in Upper Darby, Mr. Cellucci was a 1976 graduate of St. Joseph's University and 1979 graduate of Georgetown Law School. He put himself through college working at the Breyer's ice cream factory in West Philadelphia.

He joined the law firm in 1979 and in 1986 became one of its youngest partners. In 1999, he became chair of the commercial litigation department; three years ago, he became the firm's chair.

He made time to mentor younger attorneys. "He was always willing to discuss anything that was on someone's mind, personal or professional; he always made time," said Michael Olsan, a partner and chair of the reinsurance practice group. "He was like a big brother to me."

While he started out practicing general commercial litigation, he quickly became a specialist and leader in insurance-coverage cases involving environmental liability. Several became landmark cases.

"He was an immensely talented yet humble individual with a courageous desire to make the world a better place for his work associates, friends, and family," said his son Daniel. "We will miss him dearly."

In his spare time, he enjoyed his house in Avalon and golfing, and was an avid Eagles and Penn State football fan. He supported La Salle Academy and was an usher at St. Patrick's Church in Malvern for 15 years.

In addition to his son, he is survived by his wife of 31 years, the former Bernadette Van Kirk; another son, Robert; a daughter, Megan; his parents, Guy and Lucille; a brother; and two sisters.

A visitation will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at SS. Simon & Jude Parish, 8 Cavanaugh Court, West Chester. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30. Interment is in SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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