Attorney A. Arthur Giddon of Bloomfield and West Hartford, age 101 ½, died peacefully on November 24, 2010. As a boy, he was the bat boy for the Boston Braves but on April 25, 2009, for his 100th birthday celebration, he was invited by the Red Sox, his beloved team, to be their honorary bat boy, “Big Pappy 100”. The story went global, from front page New York Times and Hartford Courant to an invitation from “The Tonight Show”. As bat boy, the top players welcomed him including Big Papi/David Ortiz and Kevin Youkilis. He also met the owners and President Larry Lucchino whom he respected very much.
Born in Boston on April 26, 1909, he lived most of his early life in Brookline, a town he dearly loved. He graduated from Tufts and earned his law degree from Harvard Law. Atty. Giddon was very active in politics in Brookline, as President of the Republican Club and other committees. Atty. Giddon was Co-Chairman of the Young Republicans of MA during the successful campaign of Governor Saltonstall when he served as legislative assistant. He joined the U.S. Navy when World War II broke out and served for 4 years, most of the time in Europe and attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
He was admitted to the Connecticut Bar in 1948 without examination. Atty. Giddon was admitted to the practice of law before the state and federal courts of both CT and MA including the US Supreme Court and the US District Court of CT. He was a member of the Hartford County Bar Association and the CT Bar Association. He was among the original group of lawyers who founded National Association of Claimant Compensation Attorneys in CT, an organization of attorneys who represented claimants, now the CT Trial Lawyers Association where he served as VP.
Atty. Giddon served as a member of the 10th District Republican Committee in West Hartford and served as a delegate to the Republican State Convention of 1970 which nominated Weicker and Meskill. He had been on the West Hartford Development Commission and the War Memorial Committee which proposed the Veterans’ Rink. He also served on the Zoning Board of Appeals.
He was in private practice for many years including as counsel with Cole & Cole until Chief Justice House of the CT Supreme Court appointed him Chief Public Defender for the Hartford County Superior Court. He retired in August, 1985, and since retirement, had served as a magistrate in the Superior Court.
During his private practice, Atty. Giddon had extensive experience in appellate procedure and frequently assisted fellow attorneys with their appeals to the Supreme Court in CT. He enjoyed speaking in public whether it was an argument before the CT Supreme Court or at legislative hearings. He had an amazingly keen sense of humor which he frequently brought into court. His favorite foreign language was Latin and he never hesitated to quote it when an opportunity presented itself, especially in court.
Mr. Giddon was very fond of children and delighted in entertaining them with stories, card and magic tricks. He was a beloved volunteer for Miles of Smiles Day at Connecticut Children’s. He belonged to the American Legion, Post #96 and to the West Hartford Regents. He served on the Tufts Alumni Council. His family were long time members of Congregation Beth Israel. He and his wife were former Presidents of the Braeburn School PTA in West Hartford.
On October 28, 2001, Fort Adams in Newport, RI awarded him the rank of Honorary Colonel. Atty. Giddon donated to the trustees historic papers and old photographs of the Fort where he went to military camp as a teenager.
He loved history, especially political history, and considered Lincoln the greatest president, fascinated by his cabinet/team. He also was self-taught in Spanish which assisted him in the courts. Even after his retirement, Atty. Giddon continued to read the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and the CT Supreme Court until his eyesight failed him. He enjoyed reading biographies of the U.S. presidents and other historical figures.
He was an avid believer in physical exercise and used to jump rope 1200-1400 times every other day in his early 70s. Arthur Giddon did exercises until this month which included daily stretches and using his exercise bike.
He is survived by his wife, Harriet, a daughter, Pamela G. Freedman and her husband Roger of Farmington; a son Dr. Richard Giddon and his wife Audrey, of King’s Point, New York and three grandchildren, Sloane, Devon and Derek; step-grandchildren Dara and Ross Dyer and Landon Freedman; nephew Professor Donald and Phoebe Giddon of Newton, MA; nephew Merritt and Beth Cole of Cherry Hill, N.J.; nephew Matthew Cole of Philadelphia; and many grand and great grand nephews and nieces.
In 2008, the Giddons moved to Duncaster after almost 60 years in West Hartford where they loved their home, their gardens and their friendships. The Duncaster staff including Dr. Robert Dicks have been remarkable.
Funeral services will be held on Sunday, Nov. 28 at 1 PM in the Chapel of the Weinstein Mortuary, 640 Farmington Ave., Hartford, with Rabbi Stephen Fuchs officiating. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford. A memorial period will be held at the home of Roger & Pamela Freedman, 181 Mountain Spring Rd, Farmington, on Sun. following the funeral and Mon, Nov. 29 from 1 PM on. Contributions may be given to Macular Degeneration Association, 420 Beach Road, Suite 701, Sarasota, Florida 34242. For further information, directions, or to sign the guest book for Arthur, please visit online at www.weinsteinmortuary.com/funerals.cfm