J. Paul Bright Jr., partner in Baltimore law firm

The Baltimore Sun

J. Paul Bright Jr., a former partner in the Baltimore law firm of Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver and a World War II veteran, died Dec. 31 of complications of a stroke at Roland Park Place. He was 86.

Mr. Bright was born in Ventnor, N.J., and raised in Wilmington, Del. He was a 1941 graduate of McDonogh School and attended Dickinson College for two years before enlisting in the Army in 1943.

A cryptographer, he served in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands. He was discharged in 1945 with the rank of staff sergeant.

Mr. Bright attended Princeton University on the G.I. Bill, earning a bachelor's degree in public and international affairs in 1947.

After earning a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1949, he went to work for Cross & Shriver, the firm which eventually became Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver.

Mr. Bright, who was an expert in probate and estate law, retired in 1991.

He was a former member of the Baltimore City Bar Association and a former fellow and Maryland state chairman of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Mr. Bright, a former longtime resident of Club Road in Ruxton, had lived at Roland Park Place since 2008. In his retirement, he led fundraising efforts for the Legal Aid Bureau, McDonogh School, the Baltimore Museum of Art and Roland Park Place.

He was former president of the board of the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Baltimore Junior Chamber of Commerce, McDonogh School Alumni Association and St. Paul's School for Girls.

Mr. Bright had served on the boards of the Prisoners Aid Association, McDonogh School, Bryn Mawr School and the Legal Aid Bureau.

He was a communicant and former vestryman at the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ruxton.

His wife of 59 years, the former Marjorie Humphreys, died in 2006.

Plans for a memorial service were incomplete.

Surviving are a son, J. Paul Bright III of Arnold; three daughters, Priscilla D. Bright of Bryn Mawr, Pa., Barbara B. Clawson of Portland, Ore., and Dena H. Bright of Amsterdam, the Netherlands; 11 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

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