James F. McCadden, 64, pilot, law partner, licensed captain


James F. McCadden, a former partner in a Baltimore County law firm who was also a licensed captain and pilot, died of kidney cancer March 14 at his Towson home. He was 64.

Mr. McCadden was born in Baltimore and raised in Towson. After graduating from Calvert Hall College High School in 1959, he was an Army military policeman in Germany for three years.

After returning to Baltimore, he was on the staff of U.S. Sen. Daniel B. Brewster in the 1960s. He graduated from Essex Community College and earned his law degree from the University of Baltimore Law School in 1968.

After he passed the Maryland bar examination in 1969, he and Roland Walker formed the partnership Walker & McCadden in the Court Square Building.

He later left the partnership and for more than 20 years maintained a law practice at the Penthouse Condominium in Towson until he retired three years ago after being diagnosed with advanced kidney cancer.

"He turned over his criminal defense practice to me when he became ill. He was known as a guy who would take any case that needed to be tried. He was very thorough and knew the law. He knew the judges and commanded their respect," said John Willard. "He wasn't flamboyant in the courtroom. He knew what he wanted to say and when to say it. He was always very professional."

Rather than eliminate Mr. McCadden's name from the practice, Mr. Willard decided to add his name.

"While I was happy to have my own practice and firm, I wanted to keep his name on the door and named the firm McCadden & Willard," Mr. Willard said.

"He once gave me a piece of advice: Don't worry about the big-name lawyers, because they passed the same bar exam that you did."

Mr. McCadden loved the sea and ships, and held Coast Guard certification to operate vessels weighing up to 40 tons on inland waterways, rivers and offshore.

During the summer of 1989, he and his son operated a charter fishing business in Ocean City.

"During the summer of 2002, he was a lawyer during the week and a water taxi captain on weekends for Seaport Taxi in the Inner Harbor. His illness precluded him for doing it longer," said his wife of 37 years, the former Carol Moessinger.

In 1991, he earned his commercial pilot's license and enjoyed flying family and friends to Ocean City and other East Coast destinations. Later, he and several other aviation enthusiasts owned a six-seater Piper Lance airplane.

"Jim was a dignified, honest and generous man. He was a very good, safe and meticulous pilot. We flew to Epcot Center in Florida and plenty of other East Coast destinations," fellow pilot Craig C. Kugel said yesterday. "We did day trips, weekend trips and plenty of night flying and through our fair share of storms, and he did just fine."

Mr. McCadden overcame alcoholism and in February celebrated 20 years of sobriety, family members said.

He supported and believed in the importance of clinical trials in the treatment of cancer, and during the past three years participated in trials at Johns Hopkins Hospital and University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He also participated in the work of the Hopewell Cancer Support Center in Towson.

Mr. McCadden had been an avid traveler and especially enjoyed visiting Ireland. Last year, he and his wife took a Danube River cruise and returned to cities in Germany and Austria he had seen while serving in the Army.

Mr. McCadden was a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians, Towson Elks and Sigma Delta Kappa law fraternity.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. April 15 at the chapel of St. Paul's School, Falls Road and Seminary Avenue.

Also surviving are a son, John Daniel McCadden of Abingdon; a daughter, Kathleen M. McCadden of Blacksburg, Va.; two brothers, Ray McCadden of Fallston and Harry McCadden of Dundalk; and three sisters, Cynthia Judd of Edgemere and Florinda Keen and Janice Beach, both of Edgewood.


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