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Kennedy Remembered for Service to Bar, Law School

August 06, 2008

Jack Kennedy J.D. ‘51, an active law school supporter and benefactor for many years, died March 18 at age 84.

Raised in Astoria, Kennedy served during World War II as a Navy signalman second class throughout the Pacific Theater. He maintained his semaphore skills and his enthusiasm for boating until his death.

Kennedy attended the law school’s evening program, graduating first in his class. He distinguished himself as a trial lawyer, most recently practicing with Kennedy, King & Zimmer and Kennedy, Watts, Arellano & Ricks. Kennedy remained actively engaged in the practice of law until his death. He devoted countless hours of service to the legal profession, including service as president of the Oregon State Bar, founder and director of the Oregon State Bar Professional Liability Fund, delegate to the American Bar Association House of Delegates, and charter fellow of the Oregon Law Foundation. Among his many distinctions, he was a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers.

With all that, Kennedy was proudest of his involvement with the law school. He served as a trustee, participated in the school’s 1965 merger with Lewis & Clark College, and subsequently served as a member of the Board of Overseers and the Law School Committee. He received the law school’s Distinguished Graduate Award in 1983.

He married Clara Hagans, whom he met while applying for a job at Farmers Insurance, in 1948. In addition to Clara, survivors include two sons, Jim and John, and three grandchildren.

Amazed to the end that he had the opportunity to become a lawyer, Kennedy expressed his gratitude through his involvement with the law school. Memorial contributions may be made to the Jack L. Kennedy Fund for Working Evening Law Students at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College.

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