The Adams County Bar Association honored one of its own in posthumous fashion on Thursday with a memorial proclamation and ceremony in honor of longtime Berne attorney Bob Biberstein.
Also on hand in Adams Circuit Court to honor the memory of Biberstein, who died last month, were representatives of the bar associations in Jay and Wells counties.
Judge Frederick Schurger said the dozens of attorneys and court employees who gathered in the courtroom were all present "to pay our respects to Bob. We loved him."
Biberstein's widow and two daughters were present for the ceremony.
Fellow attorney and associate Tim Baker read a resolution from the local bar association honor Biberstein's career and life.
"In the end, a man is measured by the body of his lifetime works and how he lived his life," the resolution stated in part. "Few would disagree that Bob should be judged as a man who lived a Christian life, should be judged as a wonderful and loving husband, father and grandfather, should be judged as a man who enjoyed life to the fullest and brought joy to others, should be judged as a man who served his fellow man and community, and should be judged as a man who had a distinguished career as an attorney, zealously advocating for his clients, but doing so in a civil and respectful way. We, his peers, recognize the greatness of such a person and will forever cherish the memories of Bob. Our lives were enriched by him ..."
George Lopez, representing the Jay County bar association, also read a statement from his colleagues. Then, choking back tears, the Jay County attorney said, "Bob had the two greatest qualities any man could possess: He was a man of his word, and he was a gentleman to everybody. I will miss him."
Wells County Bar Association representative Andrew Carnell said Biberstein's "high integrity, character and faith all combined to make him a successful lawyer and person. Bob brought us his smile, a kind word, character and integrity, and most of all his friendship."
Local attorney Susan Zurcher concluded the ceremony by saying that one phrase passed on to her by Biberstein has guided her career. "Bob said the law is an honorable profession. And he practiced that every day."