August 25, 2019
Thomas J. Kircher, labor lawyer and Cincinnati native, died on Sunday, August 25; he was 78. After Kircher graduated from St. Xavier High School ('59) and Xavier University ('63), he attended Georgetown Law ('66), during which he worked under U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and subsequently served the National Labor Relations Board. When he returned to Cincinnati in 1969, he founded what became the largest labor law firm in the Tri-state region (Kircher, Robinson, Cook, Newman & Welch) and represented thousands of Kroger employees faithfully for 4 decades as well as workers in the auto, steel, paper, and hospitality industries. Deeply engaged in local politics, in 1973 Kircher recruited attorney, City Councilman, and future Mayor Jerry Springer to his firm; worked closely with U.S. Congressman Tom Luken; and was a prominent member of the Hamilton County Democratic Party. In the continued service of union members, Kircher represented Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Boomer Esiason during the NFL strike of 1987. When the Ohio Fernald plant gained national notoriety in 1988 for knowingly exposing workers to toxic levels of radiation, Kircher secured benefits for hundreds of affected employees. The son of Hilda Kircher and national labor leader Bill Kircher, who organized the migrant farmworkers beside Cesar Chavez and later became Organizing Director of the AFL-CIO, Tom continued the family legacy of political activism, not only as an attorney but also by actively supporting local, state, and national campaigns that advanced workers' rights and protections. Most of all, he was a man with a heart of gold, deep compassion for the suffering, and a fantastic sense of humor. He is survived by his wife, Donna Kircher; his sister, Mary Jo Huck; his two children--Bill Kircher and Evelyn Schwalb; and six grandchildren; and beloved by many. Memorial Visitation will take place at St. John the Baptist Church 5361 Dry Ridge Rd., Dry Ridge, Friday from 10AM until Mass of Christian Burial at 11AM.