Pine Creek Journal
(March 14, 2007 Edition)
2007 – Citizen of the Year
Local attorney recognized for contributions
By Aaron T. Bruckart
Hampton resident Hal English jokes that his tombstone should read: “He tried. He cared. He loved life. Semper Fidelis (always faithful).” While he says that jokingly, the Pine Creek Journal’s 2007 Citizen of the Year wouldn’t be too far off with that epitaph. He was chosen for the award thanks in large part to his long list of community involvement.
English, an attorney with offices in Hampton and Ross Township, practices elder law, which means he deals with things like estates,wills and trusts. He and his wife, Sue, and their two sons, Garrett and Jayson, have lived in Hampton Township for seven years. The family was in Shaler for 10 years before that. So he’s well acquainted with the North Hills area. “I’m very proud to say I chose to live in this community,” English says. “I just love the area. It’s just the right, perfect-sized community.” English’s sons attend schools in the Hampton Township School District, and he says he’s very happy with that. Garrett is a seventh grader at Hampton Middle School and Jayson is a third grader at Central Elementary. It’s partially due to his sons’ school activities that makes English so active in the community, but it’s also simply a way of life for him. “I like being a participant in things that matter to me, which include my family, church and our community,” English says. “My parents fostered a volunteer spirit by demonstrating that their entire lives.”
English says his childhood in Maryland rarely had times where the entire family was sitting at the dinner table at 6 p.m. His father was active in the church, was president of a volunteer fire department, and helped found their local boys’ club. His mother also spent many hours volunteering with the church. English definitely caught their volunteer bug. He coaches hockey and soccer, teaches Sunday School, volunteers with the North Side Food Shelter Feeding program, is a member of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Partnership for Aging, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars along with a host of other activities. English is also in the Marine Corps Reserves. He signed up for the Marines as a freshman at the University of Baltimore, and got his first experience practicing law in the Corps.
Kathleen Weigand, a Hampton resident and English’s bookkeeper for the past 10 years, says English is the ultimate Hampton man. “He is just involved in everything,” Weigand says. “All this Hampton stuff he does is all voluntary” She’s impressed that English takes the time out of his schedule for all his activities because he doesn’t do it for any personal benefit. “There’s no gain for him,” Weigand says of his participation. “It’s just because he feels like this is important. He loves it.” English says love isn’t the only reason he participates. It’s also so he has a better understanding of what’s going on in the community. He feels that if he knows all the details, it’ll help him be more comfortable with any big decisions made by community leaders. “I like to have confidence in those making decisions,” he says. “I like to participate so I have comfort in what they’re about. It gives me a better understanding of why they do what they do.”
English says even though he participates in many activities, he still has to say “no” sometimes. He only participates if he can be fully committed to a group, which can be hard given his already packed schedule. Either way, English is happy when he can help out. He says it gives him a stronger connection to his fellow residents.”Being a part of the community that’s the way I was raised,” English says. “I was always taught to help others.”
Pine Creek Journal
A Gateway Newspaper
– 2007 –