Oregon State Bar Bulletin — JANUARY 2006

In Memoriam

Madras attorney and community leader Sumner C. Rodriguez died Sept. 28, 2005, from complications of a stroke. He was 84.

Rodriguez was born Dec. 15, 1920, and lived in several U.S. cities and overseas, as his father was an executive of the Standard Oil Co.

After attending Reed College, Rodriguez served in the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II. After he was discharged, he attended law school at Stanford University and graduated in 1949.

Rodriguez established his practice in Madras and became an important community leader. He served as city attorney for more than 30 years and was the driving force in forming the Mt. View Hospital District. He formed the Jefferson County Development Corp., which evolved into the Bright Wood Corp., one of the county’s major employers. In addition, Rodriguez worked successfully with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in a cooperative effort that allowed the tribes to join in the Jefferson County 509-J School District.

Rodriguez was active in the local Kiwanis Club and formed a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, donating the lot behind his house and the money to build one of the area’s first Habitat homes. Rodriguez also established the Jefferson County Scholarship Fund, which has grown to exceed millions of dollars and provides scholarships for local students attending college. He and his wife, Adala, set up their own scholarship to benefit Jefferson County graduates.

• • • • •

Orval O. Hager has died at the age of 87. Hager was a partner at Miller Nash, which was known as Miller Nash Wiener Hager and Carlson from 1983 to 1999.

Hager was born in Lincoln, Neb., on Nov. 18, 1918. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Nebraska. During World War II, he served as an officer for five years, retiring as a major. He initiated a scholarship fund with the University of Nebraska Foundation to recognize future recipients of the Gen. John J. Pershing Medal, given annually to the "best soldier-student" in the Nebraska ROTC.

After the war, Hager moved to Portland and earned his law degree at Willamette University. He joined Miller Nash in 1949 and became a partner in 1953. His practice was divided between business and property law and estate planning and administration. During his career Hager served on several corporate boards. He retired in 1992.

Hager was active in a variety of community and social organizations. He was president of the Portland Golf Club, the Waverley Country Club, the Arlington Club and Portland Downtown Rotary Club. During his tenure in 1990, the Rotary Club hosted an international convention that welcomed about 22,000 attendees.

In addition, Hager was president of the Oregon Heart Association; a member and secretary of the University of Portland’s Board of Regents; and a life member of Willamette University’s Board of Trustees. He served on the boards of the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette and the Oregon Independent College Foundation. Hager also helped serve meals for Loaves & Fishes Centers and the Salvation Army’s Greenhouse Drop-In Center.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret Anne Ambrose Hager; two stepsons and three step-grandchildren. Hager had a daughter, Nancy Ellen Hager, from his prior marriage to Claudine Hager. (Nancy died at the age of 20 in 1963 and Claudine died in 1983.)

• • • • •

Miller Nash also recently lost founding partner Frank E. Nash, a pillar of the state’s legal profession for more than 60 years. He was 89.

Nash was born and raised in Pendleton. He attended the University of Oregon, where he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees. While in law school, he was student body president and editor of The Oregon Law Review. The Depression disrupted his plans to practice law in a small town and be a part-time farmer. Nash moved to Portland and joined Miller Nash, then known as McCamant, Thompson, King & Wood, in 1939 to practice law full time.

His first years with the firm were spent working on the bankruptcy reorganization of the old Portland Electric Power Co., now Portland General Electric. His work on the case ended when World War II interrupted his law practice. Because of his reserve officer’s commission Nash was called to active duty by the U.S. Army, where he spent four years as an officer in the Army Counterintelligence Corps. He commanded the Fourth Counterintelligence Region in the occupation of Japan, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel.

He returned to Miller Nash in 1946 and became a partner two years later. Some of his most significant accomplishments include: the growth of Ore-Ida Foods and its later acquisition by Heinz Foods; his representation of Native American tribes and his service to the Sisters of Providence, which owns and operates more than 20 hospitals along the West Coast.

In addition, Nash committed time and leadership to: the Tri-County United Good Neighbors; the Oregon Symphony Association; the Board of Visitors of the University of Oregon Law School; the University of Oregon Foundation; the Medical Research Foundation of Oregon and the Library Association of Portland. He was an emeritus member of the St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center Advisory Board.

In 1980, Nash received the Oregon Pioneer Award from the University of Oregon. He also received the university’s Law Meritorious Service Award in 1992. In 1993, he funded a professorship for the law school. In addition to his community activities, Nash was past-president of the Multnomah Bar Association and a fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He also served as a member of the ABA House of Delegates.

Nash married Elizabeth "Betty" Anne Kibbe on April 20, 1943. She died on July 26, 2005. Nash is survived by his four children and eight grandchildren.

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