Michigan State Bar's oldest member dies at 103

John Keusch of Chelsea, Mich., became a lawyer in 1933 when it was difficult to find a job.

He lived with his parents for a year and took any cases he could find, according to a 2011 story by the Michigan Bar Journal (PDF) and the Chelsea Standard. He was so poor he had to wait seven years before he could afford to get married. He practiced law in Chelsea, though he took breaks to work as an attorney with the National Park Service and to serve in World War II.

Keusch died earlier this month at the age of 103. He was the state bar’s oldest member, according to the State Bar of Michigan’s SBM Blog. In 2011 he was still working at his law office. According to the bar journal article, Keusch was “such a beloved fixture at his firm that his clients and law partners … won’t let him retire.” His wife died in 2012; the couple had been married 72 years.

Keusch told the bar journal in 2011 that the Depression was a blessing in disguise. “I had to learn to live with limited resources, so it made decisions for me,” he said. “It checked any illusions of grandeur. It was a great educational experience.”

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