It is with sadness that Thompson Coburn recognizes the passing of our former partner Jim Gunn, who died August 29 at the age of 78.
Jim was the former chair of our Health Care group and a nationally recognized practitioner in the area of health care law. He joined Thompson Coburn in 1999 from The Stolar Partnership, bringing with him a talented team of health care attorneys.
During his 50-year career, Jim represented the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and served as outside general counsel to St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood for more than 25 years. Jim served on Thompson Coburn’s Management and Executive Committees and was a respected voice in the leadership of the Firm. He received the Firm’s highest honor, the Musgrave Award in 2013, and retired from active practice in 2015.
“Even more than his impressive leadership and practice skills, Jim was renowned for his joyous spirit and buoyant sense of humor,” said Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue. “No one ever left his office without a smile on their face and a better feeling about themselves and the world around them. He was truly a gifted, optimistic individual and enjoyed sharing those gifts and that spirit of optimism with everyone he met.”
“Jim was one of a kind,” said Thompson Coburn partner Evan Goldfarb, who started working with Jim when she joined the The Stolar Partnership in 1992. “I feel so fortunate that he was my mentor, my partner and most importantly, my dear friend. Jim’s total dedication to our clients, his commitment to high quality work product and the depth of his knowledge of the business of health care were and are an inspiration to me and our entire Health Care group. He built a legacy of compassion, humor and warmth that we strive to apply to our practice each and every day.”
Anyone who ever met Jim knew that he was exceedingly proud of his six children and eight precious grandchildren. Five of Jim’s children work in the entertainment industry as film directors, actors, writers, and producers and one followed in her father’s footsteps and became an attorney. Jim credited his beloved wife, Lee, with their creativity and humor. Jim often remarked that because he was blessed with professional success, he was committed to giving his kids the freedom to do what they really wanted to do.
As Jim said in a 2014 interview, “I told them that I had decided — after much deliberation — not to let my children starve as long as I was alive. So I said, ‘Go chase your dreams,’ and that’s what they’ve done.”
Visitation will be held Thursday, September 5, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Schrader Funeral Home, 14960 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO 63011. Services for Jim Gunn will be held Friday, September 6, at 2 p.m., with a funeral mass at St. Joseph’s Church, 567 St. Joseph Lane, Manchester, MO 63021. Donations can be made in Jim’s memory to the Sisters of St. Joseph, Mission Advancement Office, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111.
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