Bar News - May 18, 2016
In Memoriam: Alfred Catalfo Jr.
Alfred Catalfo Jr.
Longtime Dover attorney Alfred Catalfo Jr., 99, passed away Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Sevierville, Tenn.
Born in Lawrence, Mass., Catalfo’s first language was Italian. Upon completing the eighth grade, he worked in a mill full-time for five years to help support his family. He could not speak English well until he entered high school at the age of 19, but he eventually became editor of the school newspaper. He graduated from Berwick Academy in 1940 and attended the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Catalfo served as a US Navy pilot in World War II, rising to the rank of lieutenant commander. During his service, he was in a plane crash, which left him in critical condition for 11 days, in an arm and body cast for nine months and as a service-connected disabled American veteran. He was a member of the New Hampshire Disabled American Veterans for 72 years where he served as Department Commander and as Judge Advocate, a position he held for over 60 years until his death.
Following World War II, Catalfo graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in history. He attended Boston University School of Law where he completed the three-year curriculum in two years, graduated, and was sworn in to the New Hampshire Bar in 1947. He remained a member of the New Hampshire Bar until his death and was also admitted to the Tennessee Bar at age 91. While practicing law, he obtained a master’s degree in history from UNH, writing “The History of the Town of Rollinsford” as his master’s thesis.
Catalfo was elected Strafford County Attorney for two terms and served as state chairman of the Democratic Party. He was a Kennedy delegate to the 1960 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles. In 1962, he was Democratic nominee for the US Senate.
In 2006, he moved to Gatlinburg, Tenn., where he wrote his autobiography, Undefeated, Scored on Once, published in 2014. He had just completed a second book yet to be published about his legal career.
He practiced law for 59 years, well into his eighties, the last 15 of those with his wife and son. He was well known for his commanding and colorful presence in the courtroom, his trial skills, and his mentorship of other attorneys. He leaves behind his wife and three children, including NH Bar member Alfred T. Catalfo III of Dover, and many other friends and relatives.
In memory of our colleague, the New Hampshire Bar Association Board of Governors has made a contribution to the NH Bar Foundation.