Vice Chancellor, Provost and Chief Academic Officer Gretchen Ritter today announced the members of the search committee charged with identifying the next dean of the College of Law. Current Law School Dean Craig Boise will continue in the role until…
Forever Orange Hometown Hero Robert L. Gang Jr. ’39, L’42 Passes Away at Age 104
Robert “Bob” L. Gang Jr. ’39, L’42 never let aging get in the way of living. When he was 78, he and his friend cut down 60 trees to build a log cabin. At age 80, he hiked 16 miles around his beloved Otisco Lake home. He continued to practice law well into his 80s and ski up until he was 88. He was hunting deer into his 90s, and still camping (sleeping in a lean-to by the water) at age 96. He regularly went to the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center until he was 102.
Gang passed away on Feb. 18, 2023, a few months shy of his 105th birthday. The World War II and Korean War Army veteran, attorney, outdoorsman and world traveler demonstrated the meaning of the phrase Forever Orange in his loyalty to his alma mater and his determination to serve others through the skills he learned as a student.
Last year, Syracuse University named Gang a “Hometown Hero” at a celebration during a campus football game (the game ball holds a place of honor in his home). The National Veterans Resource Center at the Daniel and Gayle D’Aniello Building also featured his Eisenhower jacket and military memorabilia in an exhibition last year. And on his 103rd birthday, College of Law Dean Craig Boise celebrated the oldest living alumnus of the college with a party at Gang’s home and a proclamation recognizing the day as “Bob Gang Day.”
Dean Boise paid tribute once again to Gang in a message to the College after he died, noting that Gang had practiced law for 50 years and continued to do pro bono work well into his 80s: “His dedication to the legal profession, to country and to service, his palpable commitment to family and community, and his smile were infectious.”
Gang grew up in the Syracuse area and attended Christian Brothers Academy. According to family lore, his attendance at Syracuse University was mandatory—his father gave him no choice (either Syracuse or no college!). He lived at home as an undergraduate and walked 3.5 miles to campus for class! He chose Army ROTC as a gym class alternative, became a cadet in the “Stalwart Battalion” program and joined the Pershing rifle team.
Gang entered the College of Law immediately upon his graduation in 1939, but the completion of his legal education was interrupted by military service. In fact, he was just five credits from completing his degree when he joined the U.S. Army, serving from 1942 to 1951 as an infantry officer. He completed his law degree while on duty and passed the New York State Bar in 1946, using his legal skills to help represent soldiers charged with misconduct. He served in the inspector general’s office in Camp Bowie in Texas and became an inspector general at Fort Hood.
Between World War II and the Korean War, Gang also helped carry on the family funeral home business in Syracuse, which was founded by his great grandfather. After serving his country, Gang started a very successful career in private legal practice, working in the firm Smith, Dolan, Gieselman and Gang. He specialized in real property law and served as the assistant city corporate counsel during his career. Later, he joined the firm of Mackenzie Hughes and retired after more than 50 years, though he continued to practice and serve others in the community.
Gang was a longtime trustee of Christian Brothers Academy, founding member of the Ka-Na-Wa-Ke Canoe Club, an early member of the Onondaga Ski Club, a part owner of the Ironwood Ridge Ski Center and a member of the Angler’s Association of Onondaga; Onondaga Bar Association; Skaneateles American Legion, Post 239; German-American Society of Central New York; Otisco Rod & Gun Club; the Arion Stein Club; Arion Singing Society Men’s Chorus; the Skaneateles YMCA and Community Center; and the Osceola Snowmobile Club.
He is survived by his wife, Holly Gang, eight children, 15 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, 10 nieces and nephews and eight great-nieces and nephews. Gang’s sons-in-law Ed Moses L’68 and Michael P. Williams L’95 and grandson Matt Moses L’97 all attended Syracuse University for their law degrees.