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Lowell Rothschild, Tucson attorney and father of mayor, dies at 90

Lowell Rothschild

Tucson attorney Lowell Rothschild died Dec. 29, 2017.

Mr. Rothschild, a founding partner of Mesch Clark Rothschild, received his J.D. in 1952 from the University of Arizona College of Law and had recently celebrated his 65th year in the profession. He was listed in the Best Lawyers in America for more than 20 years.

A Chicago native, Mr. Rothschild moved to Tucson in 1942 and served in the U.S. Navy before attending the UA on the G.I. Bill, according to the Arizona Daily Star.

Honored by the UA with a 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Rothschild gained national recognition as an expert in bankruptcy, business reorganization, and estate planning. He lectured in Arizona and nationally on those topics as well as law practice management. He was a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. He served as a judge pro tempore, special master and mediator for the Pima County Superior Court for the State of Arizona.

Rothschild was also a civic and Jewish community leader who served as president of the Tucson Airport Authority and Temple Emanu-El and on numerous boards, including the UA Foundation, Arizona Board of Medical Examiners and the Jewish Community Foundation. He also was a member of the American Bowling Congress Hall of Fame.

“My father was a fiercely proud Jew,” says his son, Tucson Mayor Jonathan Rothschild, who adds, “I did not know, until I was going through some of his papers, that as a young man he thought he was going to be a rabbi. His mother told him that would be a bad choice because he would not want to live in a glass house. She was probably right, but it explains a lot about how he lived his life and what he was passionate about.” 

For the past several years, Mr. Rothschild served on the board of the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.

“Like so many, I will miss Lowell dearly,” says JFSA President and CEO Stuart Mellan. “As much as I will miss his keen intellect, which was always evident, I was miss his soft heart and compassionate soul, which as the years went on he seemed to more and more unabashedly reveal. His pride and love for his family, his deep concern for his professional responsibilities and his community were always front and center. What a blessing it was to know him.” 

In April, Mr. Rothschild reminisced in the Arizona Daily Star about some of his high-profile cases, which included helping the City of South Tucson keep operating as its debts were restructured to pay a multi-million-dollar judgment.

Mark Rubin, a longtime friend and colleague, wrote in his blog that in law, Mr. Rothschild “found his true self: problem-solver, counselor, and friend,” someone who believed “every one of us deserves a fresh start, if we need it. That Mr. R had skills which allowed him to help people and businesses — and, in one instance, a municipality — start over empowered him.”

Mr. Rothschild was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Anne.

Survivors include his children, Jonathan (Karen Spiegel) Rothschild of Tucson and Jennifer (Julian Izbiky) Rothschild of Denver, Colorado; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Services were held at Temple Emanu-El with Rabbi Stephanie Aaron of Congregation Chaverim and Rabbi Batsheva Appel of Temple Emanu-El officiating, followed by interment in the Temple Emanu-El section of Evergreen Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Southern Arizona Legal Aid or the Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona.