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James “Jim” Redeker 1963

After graduation from Central, I went to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with thoughts of becoming a college professor. I did not find academia to my liking and worked for a time in public relations in New York City before going to law school at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Just before law school, I married my wife Nancy Vargish of 52 years, who at the time, worked for Time and Life in New York. I was the classic “Put Hubby Through” as she worked in advertising in Philadelphia while I studied. Nancy and I have three children and two grandchildren. Our eldest, Rebecca, is a graphic artist in the Philadelphia area. She is the mother of our two grandchildren. Our eldest son Zach is a graduate of the University of Tennessee. He holds a degree in anthropology/archeology and before going to graduate school, he is taking a couple of years off to dig. Our middle child Eric manages 150 ranches for Bank of America and has his own ranch near Fort Worth, Texas, where he breeds and raises miniature longhorn cattle. Our youngest child Trisha is a professor of anthropology at the University of Tennessee, where she is also the director of the Disasters, Displacement and Human Rights program.

I am a partner at Duane Morris, LLP, a Philadelphia law firm. My specialty is representing employers in their dealings with labor unions.

I think the thing I am most proud of is that in 1977 I founded the Support Center for Child Advocates. It was and is an organization that provides first class legal assistance and representation and care to 1,100 abused children/clients and closed 306 cases with 95% achieving positive safety and permanency outcomes. The conviction rate of perpetrators is over 67%. The Center’s Center for Excellence and Advocacy trains over 4,500 lawyers and other professionals each year to provide them with the skills to assist and represent abused children.

I have published over 100 professional articles and written three books on employment and labor law.

Looking back on my most memorable moments from Central, I recall Bill Van Doorninck ’63 (I think) and I removing all of the hymnals from the Chapel in the middle of the night (except for the one at the President’s pew, another at the organ and a third at the podium) and hiding them in the gown room. At Chapel the next day, the only two who were singing were the President and the leader. There was a mad search and inquisition for nearly a week, but no one could find the hymnals or learn who was responsible. I had to pass an anonymous note to the President to tell him where the hymnals were. The truth is out. I was the guilty one.

Recently I have turned my attention to writing fiction. My first book, “Aunt Gert, Crazy Eddie and Other Critters,” is a collection of short stories about my life as a preacher’s kid in the 1940’s and 50’s. The second is a mystery/thriller, “Animus in Philly,” about a labor lawyer who gets cross ways with a client, his law partners and labor leaders, each of whom decides that the only way to get out of their troubles is to kill the lawyer. They are available on Amazon or Kindle.

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  • Paul Aykens


    10:40 am on January 7, 2018

    You are to be commended upon your many literary accomplishments. My wife loves all of the John Grisham books and I’m sure she would like to read your “Animus in Philly” I’m sure that your conscience is relieved upon confession to the “hymnbook ” disappearance. Our 55th reunion will be coming up soon. Hope to see you there.

  • Thomas Hetherington


    6:40 pm on January 6, 2018

    Animus in Philly is a good read. Character development is well done and the plot moves forward with reflections and intensity. Good job Jim and you were suspected by the Many Gaass Hall residents. Great prank