Oregon State Bar Bulletin — MAY 2007
In Memoriam

Keith Burns, a former legislator, Oregon State Bar president, political adviser and longtime civil rights advocate, died March 6, 2007, of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 80.

Burns was born Feb. 3, 1927, in Shoshone, Idaho, to a tax assessor and a teacher. He dropped out of high school after his sophomore year and hitchhiked to Portland, where his first job was unloading cherries from Hood River. He served in the U.S. merchant marine during World War II. Later, while serving as an intelligence sergeant for the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he earned a political science degree at Lewis & Clark College. He married Molly Sammons on April 6, 1957, in Wilsonville.

Burns was widely known for his progressive politics and civil rights advocacy. He led a successful effort to abolish the death penalty in Oregon in 1964 (which was later restored). He served as pro bono legal counsel for the Portland chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and fought for workers’ rights and religious freedom.

He was a deputy district attorney in Multnomah County, then served as chief clerk of the U.S. District Court in Portland during Judge Gus Solomon’s tenure. Burns entered private law practice in 1965 and was long active in his own law firm.

He was appointed to fill a vacant seat in the Oregon House in 1971, then elected as a state senator in 1973. In 1975, he became chief of staff to Gov. Straub.

He was president of the Oregon State Bar in 1987-88 and delegate to the American Bar Association in 1990. He was distinguished alumni winner at Northwestern School of Law in 1975 and distinguished alumni at Lewis & Clark College in 1995.

He was Multnomah County deputy district attorney in 1958-60 and administrator of the U.S. District Court in 1961. He was court bailiff for Judge Gus Solomon in 1956. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War.

He was chairman of the Hanford Waste Advisory Committee in 1988-89. He also chaired the committee that prevented Highway 101 from being located on sand spits on the Oregon beaches. He was chair of the campaign that created Metro in 1978. He was a life member and received the NAACP Freedom Citation Award in 1978. He was on the board of trustees of the First Unitarian Church in 1962-63 and on the search committee for Ira Blalock, first minister of the West Hills Unitarian Fellowship. He received the Certificate of Appreciation in 1969 from the Portland Council of Churches. In 1969 he received the Liberty Award from the Oregon Conference of Seventh- day Adventists.

Besides his wife, Burns is survived by three daughters, Sarah Burns, Emily Heston and Elizabeth Burns; a sister and five grandchildren.

James Augustus "Jim" Pearson died Feb. 14, 2007, of heart failure in Eugene. He was 75.

Pearson was born in Elma, Wash., on Sept. 30, 1931. He moved with his family to Eugene in 1942 and graduated from Eugene High School in 1949. While attending the University of Oregon, Jim met his future wife, classmate Twila Kevin, whom he married on June 28, 1952. After graduating in 1963, he moved to Washington, D.C., to attend Georgetown University Law School. Upon his graduation there in 1957, he returned to Eugene, where he maintained a practice until 2002. For most of his career, he was a sole practitioner, representing small businesses throughout Lane County. He also did appellate work in a variety of cases, including State v. Chilton, In re Application of Strobel and Buell v. State Industrial Accident Commission.

His civic interests included service on the Eugene Planning Commission from 1969 through 1982 and as a volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul Society and Catholic Charities. In his younger years, he played tennis and golf and enjoyed cooking, reading (especially World War II era history), genealogical research and the company of friends.

Jim was preceded in death by his wife. He is survived by a sister, two daughters and their husbands, two granddaughters and many other friends and relatives.

Former OSB Board of Governor public member Richard "Dick" E. Gervais, died March 5, 2007, in Bend. He was 73.

Gervais was in the first class of three non-lawyers to serve as public members of the Board of Governors, serving from 1981 to 1984. He also served as a liaison from the board to the International Law Section from 1984 to 1985 and as chair of the Professionalism Task Force from 1990 to 1991. OSB member Ron Bailey, Portland (and also a board member from 1982 through 1984), recalls that Gervais’ service on the BOG "established the value of adding non-lawyer public members to the board, bringing us a business and public perspective."

Gervais was born in Burns. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1952 and Oregon State University in 1956. He married Paula Helweg on Aug. 5, 1956, in Roseburg.

A resident of Bend since 1956, Gervais began his career in the forest products industry with Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Co. He founded KICE radio and owned Mahoney Office Equipment in Bend. He was an owner and president of Chiloquin Forest Products Co.

Gervais was mayor of Bend in the 1970s and served on the following boards in Bend: Cascades Music Festival, Oregon State University-Cascades Campus Foundation, St. Charles Medical Center and Sacred Art of Living Center. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, where he served as elder and deacon.

Gervais was one of the first class of seven members of the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission. He served on the commission from 1974 through 1980, and from 1978 through 1980 he served as the commission’s chair. He was a board member of the Oregon State University Alumni Association and president of Western Wood Products Association. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and fishing.

He is survived by his wife, a son and two daughters, eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Theodore W. de Looze, a 50-year member of the Oregon State Bar, died on Feb. 11, 2007. He was 83.

De Looze was born April 2, 1923, in Chicago. He attended Hyde Park High School in Chicago and went on to undergraduate studies at the University of Chicago. His attendance at the University of Chicago was interrupted by World War II, when de Looze was drafted into the Army. After the war, he returned to school, attending the University of Chicago, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree, and then in 1949, his law degree.

After graduation, he ventured west to Oregon. In 1952 he began a distinguished 32-year career with the Oregon attorney general’s office, where he specialized in state taxation. In 1966, de Looze helped establish the Multistate Tax Commission, a national organization dedicated to uniformity in state tax administration. He served as chief tax counsel for the state of Oregon from 1970 until his retirement in 1985.

De Looze served on the Taxation and Administrative Law committees of the OSB, and on the Board of Bar Examiners. He was an active member of Downtown Rotary from 1980 to 2006, serving as chair of the Get Well Committee, the Music Committee and the Mentoring Committee. He mentored children in grade schools for several years.

Music was one of de Looze’s passions, and he participated in many choral groups over the years. In 1955, he and Dean Brooks were instrumental in bringing the Portland Symphony to Salem. This later evolved into the Oregon Symphony Association of Salem. He also served on the Oregon Committee for the Humanities for seven years and was the chair for two years.

He is survived by a sister, his four children and four grandchildren.

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