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Patrick J. LaMoure, 40, lawyer for VA who counseled 9/11 victims

Patrick Judson LaMoure, a trial lawyer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs who counseled injured victims and their families after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, died of colon cancer Saturday at his Elkridge home. He was 40.

Mr. LaMoure was also a judge advocate in the U.S. Army Reserve, where he held the rank of major.

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It was through the Reserve that he advised critically wounded Sept. 11 Pentagon victims on such legal matters as wills and power of attorney. He also worked with their families at the Pentagon Family Assistance Center.

"These were cases where people were severely burned, and he had to take care of their legal and business affairs," said his father, Thomas E. LaMoure of Huntingtown, Calvert County.

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It was an assignment the younger LaMoure was particularly proud of, friends and family members said.

"These families were in a state of shock. There were people not knowing whether they were going to live or die," said Mr. LaMoure's wife, the former Amy F. Lehr, a social worker at the Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. "The lawyers were assigned such an awesome task, with no training in it, and Pat was just so sensitive."

Last year, Mr. LaMoure was legal adviser to the 2290th U.S. Army Hospital Unit at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. Among those he counseled were reservists being deployed to the Mideast.

Two days before he died, Mr. LaMoure was presented at his home with an Army Commendation Medal, his fifth, for his work with the hospital unit. "We did everything but have him stand up. It was pinned on him," said Lt. Col. Philip Luci Jr., acting commander of the Reserve's legal support organization, of which Mr. LaMoure was a member.

Colonel Luci called Mr. LaMoure "the eternal optimist. When we presented him with this award, he started to talk about what are we going to have him do now"

Said Elisabeth W. Brake, a family friend: "Pat didn't just see the glass half-full. For him, it was Waterford crystal and full of champagne. He truly believed good things were in store."

Mr. LaMoure was born in Washington and raised in Clinton, attending parochial and private schools. He received a bachelor's degree from Washington College in Chestertown in 1985.

After graduating from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1988, Mr. LaMoure was accepted into the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps. His assignments included serving as a prosecutor at Fort Dix, N.J., and overseas duty at the Army's European headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany.

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In 1994, he met his future wife while he was assigned to the Army Communications-Electronics Command in Fort Monmouth, N.J.

The couple wed in 1996. By then, Mr. LaMoure had left active duty for a civilian position as a Department of Veterans Affairs lawyer. He worked in the general counsel's office, handling contract litigation from offices in Washington and Linthicum.

Mr. LaMoure was an avid reader, vegetable gardener and fly fisherman. "He'd find a quiet place and always do catch-and-release [fishing]," his wife said. "It was like a religion to him."

He is a past president and board member of the Willowood Homeowners Association in Elkridge. A memorial service will be held at noon Aug. 23 at St. Michael's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Philadelphia.

Besides his wife and father, he is survived by two young children, daughter Grace L. LaMoure and son William J. LaMoure, and his mother, Sally H. LaMoure of Huntingtown. Another son, Jack Thomas LaMoure, died in infancy in 1999.


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