Ronald Budd Hildreth

June 24, 1933 - June 21, 2016
Ronald Budd Hildreth - June 24, 1933 - June 21, 2016

Ronald Budd Hildreth, a retired international patent lawyer and law school lecturer, died at home in Montauk on Tuesday. He was 82 and had a stroke, his family said.

Mr. Hildreth was in the 11th generation of Southampton Hildreths. He was born on June 24, 1933, in Bay Shore to Joshua Budd Hildreth and the former Jane Haag and grew up in Blue Point.

He was the valedictorian of Bayport High School in 1950 and then went to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, from which he received at degree in chemical engineering in 1954. He was the first of his family to graduate from college.

While serving in the Army at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, Mr. Hildreth went on to Rutgers University, receiving a master’s degree in business administration in 1957. He got his law degree in 1961 from the Georgetown University School of Law, where he finished third in his class.

In 1969, when he was 35, he became a partner in the Brumbaugh, Graves, Donohue, and Raymond firm in New York City. He retired in 2003 from Baker Botts, also in Manhattan, which had merged with his previous firm.

Mr. Hildreth was a professor of patent law at Long Island University from 1968 through 1977 and an adjunct professor of patent, trademark, and copyright law at the St. John’s University School of Law beginning in 1972. He won elected office as a Garden City committeeman.

  He was the author of “Patent Law: A Practitioner s Guide,” a textbook in use in classrooms today. He was formerly a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, the Virginia Bar, and the New York Industrial Property Law Association.

Mr. Hildreth is survived by his wife, the former Joan Cashman, to whom he was married for 57 years, and their children, Steven Ronald Hildreth of Floral Park, Bradley Budd Hildreth of Garden City, Jane O’Keeffe, also of Garden City, Elizabeth Anne Hildreth of Lake Forest, Ill., and Jeffrey Cashman Hildreth of Montauk. He leaves 15 grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs. Hildreth and their children first rented a house in Montauk for two weeks in 1964 and then bought a parcel of land on Old Montauk Highway, where they had a house built, moving in around Labor Day of 1966. In the summers they divided their time between Garden City and the Montauk house, with Mr. Hildreth working three long days at the law firm to be able to relax for more time with his family.

As an international patent lawyer, he traveled widely, Mrs. Hildreth said, visiting 103 countries and all 50 states, some for pleasure, most for work. “He was a real go-getter,” she said. While the couple were very social while in Garden City, Montauk was all about relaxation. “He was extremely devoted to his family,” Mrs. Hildreth said.

Mr. Hildreth was president of the Hildreth Family Association for 30 years. He was an active member of the Cherry Valley Club in Garden City and a member of the University Club in Manhattan.

Visiting hours are today at the Yardley and Pino Funeral Home in East Hampton from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

A funeral Mass will be said for him at 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church in Montauk. Burial will be at Fort Hill Cemetery in that hamlet. Memorial donations have been suggested to St. Therese, 67 South Essex Street, Montauk 11954.