Leonard B. Sokolove, jurist, attorney, soldier, father, and husband, passed away on Monday, November 3 at age 88. He was remembered this week by close friends, colleagues, and family.

As reported in The Inquirer, Sokolove had a passion for the law, and it was evident in his life’s work. His commitment to fairness, family, Philadelphia, and country was defined and displayed by his character throughout his life.

Sokolove served his country bravely in World War II, earning the Bronze Star for bravery during the Battle of the Bulge. Sokolove risked his life in the face of enemy fire to retrieve a wounded soldier and return him to safety. Serving as a radioman in the 63rd Infantry, Sokolove would also receive a Purple Heart for being wounded in battle.

A lifetime resident of the City of Brotherly Love, Sokolove returned home from the war and enrolled at Temple University, where he received an undergraduate degree and attended law school. He had a private practice in Philadelphia and also served as solicitor to Bristol Township for 17 years. It was in 1981 that Sokolove discovered his passion, legally speaking, when he was appointed to the County Court by Governor Dick Thornburgh.

According to Sokolove’s son, Michael, his father loved being a judge. The business aspect of private practice was of little interest to Sokolove. It was on the bench he could explore and enjoy the intellectual challenge of the law. Many of his decisions set new precedents in the area of family law, even surviving challenges that went all the way to the state’s Supreme Court.

Sokolove’s impact on Philadelphia’s legal community lives on. For friends, family, and colleagues, his influence and legacy will be a point of pride for many years to come.

In lieu of flowers, the Sokolove family has asked that in memoriam donations be made to Temple University, the ACLU, and the Jewish National Fund.