Stuart A. Eisenberg, 80, a Warminster bankruptcy lawyer and a lively, jolly soul despite setbacks in life, died Wednesday, Oct. 9, of complications from amyloidosis at his home in Meadowbrook, where he had lived the last 52 years.
Mr. Eisenberg lost his mother to cancer when he was 17 and his father to the same disease when he was 20. In their stead, he found love and guidance from teachers and administrators at the Hun School of Princeton, where he studied during his junior and senior years.
He maintained ties with the school and was proud to be recognized in 2012 as a distinguished alumnus, his family said.
He began his undergraduate education at Cornell University, but in 1962, before finishing his studies, Mr. Eisenberg enlisted in the Army and served four years as a sergeant in the Signal Corps. He was honorably discharged in 1966.
He resumed his undergraduate education at Temple University School of Business and because of the interruption in his education, graduated with the Class of 1964. He received the President’s Award for being the top student in the class. He earned a law degree in 1967 from Villanova University.
Mr. Eisenberg married Marsha Stillman in 1962. They had four children, whom they raised in Elkins Park and then Meadowbrook. “He kept her laughing for the next 57 years,” his family said in a lighthearted tribute.
Mr. Eisenberg started out practicing law with a small insurance company and then moved on to a solo practice in Center City. Starting in 1998, he and his daughter Carol McCullough formed their own firm, McCullough Eisenberg, with offices on West Street Road in Warminster. They handled cases involving bankruptcy, creditor abuse, real estate fraud, and violations of various consumer statutes.
Mr. Eisenberg was a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys and the Bankruptcy Conference for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, composed of lawyers who practice in eastern Pennsylvania.
He regarded his law practice as a way of helping the underdog. In 1988, five years after her death, he went to bat for Anna C. Bayes, whose assets had been seized by a real estate agent. She had been killed, and a fire was set to hide the murder at her South Philadelphia rowhouse.
The agent produced a will naming himself the sole beneficiary of her $78,000 estate, according to an Aug. 1, 1988, Inquirer article.
Mr. Eisenberg, though, learned that a 1961 will recovered from the ashes showed a female friend and coworker to be the true beneficiary. Mr. Eisenberg went to court and got the woman a substantial settlement, according to his daughter Carol.
On May 16, 1989, Mr. Eisenberg appeared in the press in a different context. The Daily News reported that he was among a growing number of Philadelphians who brought their pets to work.
“Timmy puts clients at ease,” he said of his floppy-eared English setter. “People are nervous when they come to see attorneys, but not when they’re petting him.”
Aside from work, Mr. Eisenberg was happiest during summers at the Jersey Shore. He and his wife filled their second home in Longport with children, grandchildren, and friends. He enjoyed weekly tennis matches and Broadway musicals. “He was able to sing and quote most musicals,” his family said.
He also loved following the Phillies and making people laugh with silly puns and clever poems.
Mr. Eisenberg was diagnosed with prostate cancer 10 years ago. With treatment, he beat back the cancer. But two years ago, he was diagnosed with amyloidosis, a disease that causes a buildup of abnormal proteins on the organs. Despite his illnesses, Mr. Eisenberg embraced life with joy and optimism, his family said.
Besides his wife, Marsha, and daughter Carol, he is survived by children Michael Eisenberg, Kathryn Brady, and Steven Eisenberg; 12 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. A sister died earlier.
Services were Friday, Oct. 11.