Leonard Alvin Washofsky, born August 27, 1936, in New Orleans, passed away on May 25, 2019, at 4:36 pm. He was the son of the late Celia Dulitz Washofsky and Earl Washofsky, beloved husband of Victoria G. “Vickie” Washofsky, widower of his beloved first wife, Cecile K. Washofsky, brother of the late Harris Warren, father of Erin K. Chernow, PhD (Lance), of Atlanta, GA., Beth L. Levine (Brian), of New York, NY, and Michael D. Washofsky (Stephanie), of Chicago, IL; grandfather of Cole and Max Chernow, Skylar, Maclyn and Kelin Levine, and Chloe Washofsky. He was the stepfather of Stephanie F. Melancon (Jerry), of Picayune, MS, Joseph F. Fortier (Christie), of Carriere, MS, and Jennifer F. Elwell (Mike), of Covington, the step-grandfather of Nicolas (Jay) and Jeremy Melancon, Emily and Anthony M. Elwell, Jr., and the step great-grandfather of Jaxon and Amiyah Melancon.
He resided in Metairie for 36 years, and then in Mandeville, where he resided at the time of his death.
He was valedictorian of his 8th grade class at Andrew H. Wilson Elementary, graduated 2nd in his class of 400 at Alcee Fortier Senior High School, and was awarded the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law Degrees by Tulane University, where he was a member of Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity and served as Master of Tau Upsilon Chapter. He was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa, Honorary Societies. He was a member, Secretary and Assistant Editor of the Student Board of Editors of the Tulane Law Review and acted as the Managing Editor of Volume 33 of The Review.
He was invited to serve as law clerk by the late Honorable E. Howard McCaleb, Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of La., and served in that position both, before, and after his term of active duty in the US Army Reserve, of which he was a member of the 2nd JAG Detachment.
In 1963, he joined the law firm of Jackson and Hess, which represented over half of all organized labor in La. The firm became Hess and Washofsky, then Hess, Washofsky and Angelico. He became a trial lawyer and found his niche in the practice of Workers’ Compensation, La. and US Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Acts. Over his 58 years in the private practice of civil law, he represented hundreds of injured and disabled workers and the dependents of those killed in the workplace, changing the lives of so many for the better. He relentlessly pursued their rights under the prevailing laws, as well as lobbying the Louisiana Legislature to reform the law, and then fighting to retain the reforms made, as well as mastering the ever-changing rules of practice as business and labor battle at each legislative session to make the law better or worse for the disabled workers dependent upon it. He was admitted to all US District Courts in the state, the US Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the US, and the US Court of Claims.
He was a member of the Louisiana State, American and New Orleans Bar Associations, the American Association for Justice (Assn of Trial Lawyers of America), the Louisiana Association for Justice (La. Trial Lawyers Assn), of which he was a Governor Emeritus, the Academy of Trial Lawyers of New Orleans, which he served as Inner Barrister, and DAWN, Disabled Workers Network, of which he was one of the founders. He lectured frequently at continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the La. law schools and bar associations.
He was a Toastmaster with the NOYMBC Toastmasters club, served as president, and was elected governor of District 68, Toastmasters, International.
He was an upright man and Mason, Past Master of Hiram Lodge No. 70, F. & A. M., elected for 25 consecutive years as Treasurer. He was also a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason, in the Valley of New Orleans, and a Jerusalem Shriner.
For 30 years, he was a member, served on the Board, on the Executive Committee, and as an officer of Congregation Chevra Thilim. In 1980, he joined Congregation Gates of Prayer, and served as President 1989-1991.
From his teens, he was an astute student of politics and government on all levels and prided himself for living through the terms of 15 U.S. Presidents, knowing several La. Governors on a first name basis, as well as several New Orleans Mayors, Councilmen, and Legislators.
He was an avid sports fan, growing up with the N.O. Pelicans Baseball team, among the first season ticket holders for the N.O. Saints, and a follower of the NBA Pelicans, Chicago Cubs, NY Yankees, Florida Gators, Wisconsin Badgers and LSU Tigers.
He was greatly loved by and immensely loved his parents, brother Harris, beloved Cecile, his astonishing loving children, who gave him so much “Nachas” - “pride”, he never stopped talking about their accomplishments. He adoringly loved and was loved by Vickie, who brought such joy, warmth and devotion to each other as they grew in years, fulfilling their dreams. He loved his grandchildren, all six and took so much pride in them. He loved and was equally loved by Vickie’s children and their mates and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services and Masonic Rites were conducted on Monday, May 27, 2019 at Congregation Gates of Prayer, 4000 West Esplanade Ave, Metairie, interment was in Congregation’s Joseph St. Cemetery, in New Orleans.
Kindly omit flowers. Donations preferred to Congregation Gates of Prayer, The Cecile Washofsky Memorial Jacobs Campership Fund, Chabad House Metairie, and Tulane University School of Law.
Arrangements by Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp, 1600 N. Causeway Blvd. Condolences may be expressed online at www.tharpsontheimerfh.com. Information 504-835-2341.
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