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The Chronicle Magazine

In Memoriam

1930s

Esther Fixsen Simmons ’39, December 13, 2013, age 96.

1940s

The Hon. Samuel Alphonso Hall J.D., December 18, 2013, age 98. A native of California, Sam moved to Portland in 1935 and began attending law school at night two years later. He was admitted to the Oregon Bar in 1941 but closed his practice to join the army at the start of World War II. After the war, Sam and his wife, Jeanie Margaret Trice, settled in Portland, where he worked with the city attorney’s office and in private practice.

In 1948, Sam joined the Oregon attorney general’s office and the family moved to Salem. Assigned to litigation, he tried cases in nearly every Oregon county. He was then appointed statutory counsel for the State Highway Commission. In early 1951, Sam moved to Brookings, Oregon, and opened a private practice. In 1960, he was elected a district court judge and served for 20 years before retiring. He practiced law one last year in Eugene, Oregon, with son Samuel Hall Jr. J.D. ’76 before fully retiring in 1982.

Sam was a role model for his family, friends, and community. In addition to being an attorney, trial lawyer, and judge, he stayed active into his 90s, taking courses and serving as a volunteer firefighter, among other interests. In 2000, Sam and Jeanie were honored as Pioneer Citizens at the annual Brookings-Harbor Azalea Festival.

Sam was devoted to Jeanie, who preceded him in death in 2002. They were married 58 years. He was an equally devoted father. He is survived by his six sons and their families (Samuel Hall Jr. J.D. ’76, William Hall, Arthur Hall, Nelson Hall J.D. ’85, Edward Hall, and Richard Hall); 17 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; and 12 great-great grandchildren.

Virginia S. Wales ’41, November 14, 2012, age 92.

Harold Litsey B.S. ’47, September 13, 1913, age 91.

Plez E. Martin B.S. ’47, September 27, 1913, age 93.

Evelyn Metzger ’47, September 18, 2013, age 85.

Shirley Haga Zumwalt B.M. ’47, November 21, 2013, age 87.

Nancy Holden Brunquist B.S. ’49, August 17, 2012, age 85.

1950s

Dale Burkland B.S. ’50, M.A.T. ’50, May 31, 2013, age 85.

Elbert P. Fredricks B.S. ’50, July 15, 2013, age 88.

Herbert E. Williamson B.S. ’50, November 23, 2013, age 88. Williamson had a long career in the hardware business and was a retired major in the Air Force.

Desmond “Des” Connall B.A. ’52, J.D. ’57, December 5, 2013, age 83, from complications of heart surgery.

Walter John Eames B.S. ’52, July 7, 2013, age 91.

Denzel Galyean B.S. ’52, August 3, 2013, age 89.

Robert Tabor B.S. ’52, August 16, 2013, age 84.

Martin Walt B.S. ’52, July 5, 2013, age 92.

Audre M. Butler B.S. ’53, April 22, 2013, age 71.

Babette Horenstein B.S. ’53, November 26, 2013, age 81.

Mary Louise Jones Kearns B.S. ’53, November 22, 2013, age 83.

Austin R. Matteson ’53, December 25, 2012.

John H. Bennett B.S. ’54, January 1, 2013, age 90.

Douglas L. Van Fleet B.A. ’54, September 28, 2013, age 80.

James F. Steele B.S. ’55, September 16, 2013, age 86.

Hal Swafford B.S. ’55, M.A.T. ’75, October 15, 2013, age 87. After graduation from Los Angeles High School, Swafford enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps, where he served in the Pacific theater. He enlisted again for the Korean Conflict, serving as an instructor at Fort Ord. Swafford settled in Oregon, where he taught history for more than 50 years in the Battle Ground and Beaverton school districts and later at Portland Community College. He also played in various bands from the 1940s until 2008. Swafford was active in the Lewis & Clark alumni association.

Thomas R. Hartley B.S. ’56, December 19, 2013, age 80.

Diane L. Haight B.S. ’57, September 28, 2013.

1960s

Lester L. Rawls J.D. ’62, September 12, 2013, age 85, in Lewiston, Idaho. After serving in World War II, Lester attended Willamette University, Pacific University, and Lewis & Clark, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in accounting before attending law school. He entered private practice in 1963.

Governor Tom McCall appointed him to be Oregon’s insurance commissioner in 1972, and he served in that capacity until 1977. While commissioner, he was appointed to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ (NAIC’s) committee on malpractice and served on the American Bar Association Special Committee on Professional Liability. He was elected chair of the executive committee of the NAIC in 1976, and in 1977 he was elected president.

In 1978, Rawls was hired by the Oregon State Bar to organize and administer the Professional Liability Fund (PLF). At the same time, he was the interim executive director for the Oregon State Bar. While at the PLF, he pioneered a program addressing alcohol/drug dependency through rehabilitation services, which has become a national model for other state bar associations.

Rawls married Jean Stephenson in 1951. They had three children and divorced after 29 years of marriage. In 1983, he wed Elizabeth “Libby” Johnson. After retirement, Rawls and his wife moved to Lewiston, where he was active in politics and community affairs. Rawls is survived by his wife, Libby; two sons; two daughters; and grandchildren.

Sidney Herbert Smither B.S. ’66, November 28, 2013, age 70.

William O. Bassett J.D. ’68, October 24, 2013, age 83. Bassett graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1948 and the University of Oregon in 1953, joining the U.S. Marine Corps in 1954. That same year, he married Barbara Hawkins. Together they had five children: Shelby, Lisa, Mark, Darcy, and Bryn Marie, who died in infancy. In 1973, he married Carolyn Jean Flink, who passed away in 1997, leaving Bassett a stepdaughter, MK Menard. He married Betty Kehoe in 1999, and she cared for him until the end. Bassett enjoyed practicing law until his retirement in 2008. He loved laughter, sports, music, and good company. In his final days, he faced his short illness with dignity, heart, and wicked humor.

1970s

John P. Gustafson B.A. ’70, March 1, 2013, age 65.

Jean K. Strachan B.S. ’71, July 31, 2013, age 64, from a rapidly progressing neurological illness at home in Redmond, Washington. Strachan attended Beaverton High School and Lewis & Clark College. She later earned a degree in medical technology at the University of Oregon Medical School and had a long career working at the American Red Cross and various private and hospital laboratories.

Strachan enjoyed the outdoors and was initially active with the Portland-based Mazamas and the Oregon Nordic Ski Club. She met her husband, Glen Charles Strachan, skiing at Bennett Pass on Mount Hood, and they married in 1977. In the late 1980s, they briefly lived near Sacramento, where their son Brennen was born. They returned to the Seattle area to raise him. Strachan enjoyed sewing and quilting with friends and quilt groups as well as traveling and camping with family, and had a passion for raising parakeets. She is survived by her husband and son Brennen Charles Strachan. Her mother, Ila Johnson, who was a nurse at Lewis & Clark for many years, is 99.

Walter “Wally” Whitcomb Jr. B.S. ’71, October 23, 2013, age 65.

Curley Massey Jr. B.S. ’76, October 26, 2013, age 79.

Yvonne Stevenson Osredkar J.D. ’79, September 5, 2013, age 62. Osredkar was born March 4, 1951, in Portland. She graduated from Marshall High School in 1969 and Portland State University in 1974. Osredkar practiced family law with Herb Trubo for several years after law school, but worked for State Farm in Oregon, Hawaii, and Washington for the majority of her career. After retiring from State Farm, she found a job she loved with the state of Oregon, first helping the Occupational Therapy Licensing Board and then as an investigator for the Veterinary Medical Examining Board.

Osredkar enjoyed discussing literature and opera and had many artistic hobbies. She is survived by her husband, Tom; a brother; five stepdaughters; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

1980s

Wayne Gordon “Kelly” Clark III B.A. ’80, J.D. ’83, December 17, 2013, age 56, at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Clark served as a Republican state representative in Oregon from 1989 to 1993. In his law practice, Clark fought for childhood victims of sexual abuse, bringing and winning cases against the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Boy Scouts of America. His biggest victory came in 2010 while representing an Oregon man who was molested by a Scout leader in the 1980s. He filed a lawsuit alleging that the Boy Scouts of America knew of sex abuse within the organization and had done little to stop it.

Clark’s wife, the former Sabine Moyer, died October 21, 2013, from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. He is survived by a daughter from a previous marriage, Katherine McDougall; a stepdaughter, Olivia Moyer; and a sister and brother.

Robert J. Neuberger J.D. ’80, November 30, 2013, age 60, after a four-year battle with cancer. A native Oregonian, Neuberger graduated from Colorado College and Lewis & Clark. During his career, he practiced with plaintiff firms Green, Griswold & Neuberger and Pozzi Wilson Atchison. He is survived by his son, Stuart Neuberger, and his two sisters.

David C. Slade J.D. ’81, December 7, 2013, age xx, in Bowie, Maryland. Slade was a leading lawyer in the field of environmental law. He authored several books on the law of navigable waters and was involved in many key constitutional law cases relating to the Public Trust Doctrine decisions. Slade served as chief counsel to the National Advisory Committee on Oceans and Atmosphere and as general counsel and director of the Coastal States Organization in Washington, D.C. He testified before Congress on topics ranging from fisheries, environmental law, and constitutional law to international law and affairs. Lewis & Clark Law School honored him with a Distinguished Graduate Award in 1999.

Slade was an accomplished lecturer, author, jazz pianist, and sailor. He founded and served as chair for 30 years for the SladeChild Foundation Charitable Trust. 

Monica Smith J.D. ’82, October 9, 2013, age 62, after living well with cancer for four years. After earning a B.A. in English from the University of Chicago, she spent several years working at a variety of jobs, including packing crabs in Alaska, waiting tables, keeping bees, counseling migrant workers, and teaching English as a second language. She also studied Spanish and traveled extensively in Latin America. Experience with a bad employer convinced Smith to take her father’s advice to become a lawyer. At Lewis & Clark, she served as an associate editor of Environmental Law, was named a member of the Cornelius Honor Society, and graduated cum laude.

Smith joined the firm of Kulongoski, Heid, Durham & Drummonds, a leading public-sector labor law firm in Oregon. She represented unions of all sizes and employees in a wide range of fields. Smith continued in private practice for 26 years and formed the firm of Smith, Gamson, Diamond & Olney. In 2008 she left private practice and joined the staff of the Oregon Education Association (OEA). She served as OEA’s statewide collective bargaining coordinator until her death, proudly supporting the cause of public education through the empowerment of education employees.

Smith received a lifetime achievement award from Lewis & Clark Law School in 2013. An active member of the community, she served for 20-plus years as a board member of Willamette Valley Law Project, which supports farm worker education and service programs. She was also a board member of the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization and was an active volunteer in Portland Public Schools. Survivors include her husband of 28 years, Jeremy Sarant J.D. ’82, and her children, Melibea and Mateo Sarant.

Joelle C. Rudin B.A. ’89, November 6, 2013, age 46.

Krista Irene Koehl J.D. ’99, September 6, 2013, age 40, while on vacation in Italy. She spent her last days in a place that she loved, doing what she loved, with the love of her life, husband Ray Hendricks. She was an accomplished attorney and advocate for balancing the environment, the economy, and the arts. Koehl graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in environmental policy from Ohio University and went on to earn her J.D. magna cum laude.

Koehl served as an associate attorney at Stoel Rives before joining the Port of Portland in 2004 as assistant general counsel. There, she led the critical Portland Harbor  Superfund efforts, becoming the first general manager of Portland harbor environmental issues, before being promoted to general counsel in December 2012. Koehl was widely recognized as a rising star and leader both at the Port of Portland and in larger legal communities. She founded Women in Environment and served on its board, as well as on the boards of the Freshwater Trust and the Classroom Law Project. She was also a member of the Lewis & Clark Law School Alumni Board of Directors. A talented watercolor painter who served on the governance committee for the Right Brain Initiative, Koehl prided herself on being down-to-earth, hardworking, organized, fun loving, and passionate about life. Survivors include husband Ray, son Cortland, and a loving extended family.

2000s

Timothy Morsman B.A. ’00, November 25, 2013, age 38, in Portland. Morsman graduated from the Blake School in Hopkins, Minnesota, in 1994. He is survived by his parents, Edgar and Elizabeth Morsman; two brothers; and one niece and three nephews.

Nina L. Whitaker B.A. ’09, November 18, 2013, age 52. She is survived by her two children, Grace, 20, and Adam, 24.

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