(Thomas) Graham Walker died Dec. 12, 2003 at the age of 82. A member of the OSB since 1950, Walker was known as a 'lawyer’s lawyer' who specialized in advising and assisting other lawyers in complex litigation. His early practice was notable, among other reasons, for hiring Mercedes Deiz as his legal secretary. She was the first black woman hired as a legal secretary in Oregon. Walker encouraged her to advance her legal career by supporting her law school studies. Deiz ultimately became the Oregon’s first black state court judge.
Walker was born in Walla Walla, Wash. in 1921 and moved to Portland when he began high school. The Washington High School graduate attended Reed College until World War II interrupted his studies. He enlisted in the Army in May 1942, was selected for officers’ training and became a second lieutenant less than a year later. He served two years in the Philippines in the Artillery, where he was involved in the early use of radar. After his honorable discharge as captain in 1946, Walker returned to Reed College and finished his undergraduate degree in 1947. He then entered the University of Oregon Law School, graduating in 1950.
Survivors include his former wife, Betty Catlin Rogers Walker, a son and two daughters.
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Larry (Lawrence L.) Clark died Dec. 17, 2003 in Hillsboro at the age of 95. Born in 1908 in Huntsburg, Ohio, he moved to Portland in 1928 and began a 48-year career with First National Bank of Oregon. He attended night law school at Northwestern School of Law and graduated in 1934. Clark remained an honored law school alumnus, attending their annual luncheons regularly until his death.
In 1936, he married Mae Feroglia. The Clarks moved to Medford in 1953 with their three children. They enjoyed golf and their many friends in the Rogue Valley during a retirement that began in 1976. In 1997, they relocated to a retirement community in Hillsboro. Mae died in 2000. Clark is survived by a son Larry Jr,. and two daughters, Sandra Vandergaw and Gini Vaughan, in addition to 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
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Tillamook’s long time district attorney, John W. Hathaway, died Dec. 31, 2003. He was 84. He was born in Tillamook in 1919 to a pioneer family who settled there in the mid-1800s. He graduated from Tillamook High School in 1938. He and Virginia Hammer married in 1942, and together they had six children.
Hathaway attended Willamette University, where he majored in political science and served as president of his senior class. He played saxophone in dance bands to help pay for college. He attended the University of Oregon Law School, clerking in Sen. Wayne Morse’s Eugene law firm while a law student. He graduated in 1945 and went to work in Klamath Falls for two years with his uncle, John Erbinger, before ultimately returning to Tillamook and forming a partnership with H.T. Botts. In 1948 Hathaway was elected district attorney, a position he held for more than 25 years. He also served as city attorney for Rockaway Beach and municipal judge for the city of Tillamook for many years. In his 'retirement,' he continued to practice privately until his death. Hathaway regularly provided legal services (and other advice) to those who could not afford to pay.
In the latter part of his life, Hathaway became an expert caregiver for his wife, Virginia, until her death in 1999. He died one day before their 62nd wedding anniversary. Hathaway is survived by five of his six children, including OSB member Greg Hathaway, other sons John and Robert, and daughters Nancy Pickett and Candice Preston. He also leaves 10 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
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Pendleton lawyer Leeroy O. Ehlers, 78, died Jan. 1, 2004. He was a general practitioner, spending the first two years in Hermiston working with John Walker, and the next 37 years in Pendleton.
Ehlers was especially proud of the opportunity to clerk for Judge James Brand (a Nuremburg trial judge) as one of three of the first clerks serving in the justice’s chambers at the Oregon Supreme Court.
Ehlers was born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho. After high school he joined the military in 1944. In 1945 he was scheduled to go to Europe, but the war was nearly over, so he was ultimately sent to the Philippine Islands, headquartered in Luzon Island. He served with the 32nd Infantry Division and was slated to participate in the invasion of Japan, until the war was ended there as well — by the dropping of the atomic bombs. Ehlers then served as a military policeman along the geisha strip in Yokohama, Japan. In 1946 he left the service and attended the College of Idaho under the G.I. Bill. He then received his J.D. from the University of Oregon in 1953.
Ehlers actively practiced law until 1993 when he retired due to illness. He was especially pleased and proud to be honored as a 50-year member of the Oregon State Bar shortly before his death.
Survivors include his wife, Betty, a son, and two daughters, as well as two grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
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Willamette University College of Law professor Robert C. Art died unexpectedly Jan. 8, 2004, following a brief illness. He was 56. Law school dean Symeon Symeonides noted the devastating loss to the Willamette family: 'Bob Art was a person of admirable qualities who, throughout his life, had only admirers and not even a single critic.'
A mainstay of the Willamette law faculty for 24 years, Art was recently nominated for this year’s president’s award for teaching excellence. He was known as a solid scholar who was active in the OSB’s business law section, serving on the executive committee and on legislative drafting committees that produced Oregon’s current corporations and partnership acts.
Prior to joining the Willamette faculty in 1981, he practiced commercial real estate law at the Chicago law firm of Jenner and Block. He then spent a year practicing with DNA-Peoples Legal Services on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Chinle, Ariz. A Chicago native and Beloit College undergraduate, Art received an M.A. in political science from the University of Wisconsin before going to law school. He received his J.D. from DePaul University where he served as editor in-chief of the law review. He then earned an LL.M. from Columbia University.
He wrote and lectured widely on many matters of interest to business clients and their lawyers. In 1995 he was a Fulbright Scholar in Bulgaria, teaching corporate law at the University of Sophia. Twice he co-directed Willamette University’s annual summer program in Chinese law for English-speaking law students, traveling to Shanghai during the summers of 1991 and 1999.
In 2000, he was awarded the OSB President’s Membership Service Award for his decade of significant contributions to the bar’s business law section. The section credited Prof. Art’s skillful leadership and high standards of professionalism for the section’s many accomplishments.