Yesterday I heard that a bankruptcy lawyer I know had passed away. It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity, much to my relief. However, it got me thinking that we have lost several members of our bar in the past months and I wanted to take a moment to remember them. Please feel free to share your memories in the comments section as well as letting me know if I missed anyone.
Gray Byron Jolink: June 23, 2008
Gray was a dear friend and a colleague. For a complete article about Gray, go to In Memory of Gray Byron Jolink.
Garry Offerman: August 2, 2008
Garry Offerman was a witty, urbane bank lawyer from Beaumont. He was unfailingly gracious and offered us the use of his office when we were in Beaumont. He passed away in a motorcycle accident at the age of 52.
David Young: October 5, 2008
The intellectual light of the bankruptcy bar dimmed when David Young passed away on October 5, 2008. David was the ultimate law nerd, a former history professor who became an in-house academic for Austin's McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore. David had a graceful manner and a far-reaching intellect which made him the epitomy of a scholar and a gentleman.
Two anecdotes from his memorial service bear repeating.
One of David's law school professors told of how David completed a curve-busting exam which found and correctly addressed every issue the professor had thought of, as well as a few that he hadn't thought of. Later, David sheepishly admitted that he was unsure about the course, so that he had taken it pass-fail.
David's son recalled his dad laughing hysterically at a scene from the raunchy cartoon South Park. It seems that David had noticed an inscription in Latin over the doorway to the planetarium, which translated to "Beam Me Up Scotty." David was one of the few people who would have caught an inside joke in a dead language in an off-color cartoon.
John Ventura: October 28, 2008
John Ventura was a consumer bankruptcy attorney who practiced in Austin and in the Valley. However, he was best-known for his writing. John was the author of many how-to books on legal topics, including Good Advice for a Bad Economy (2002), Divorce for Dummies (2009) and The Credit Repair Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Maintain, Rebuild and Protect Your Credit (2007). He was also the 2nd place winner in the 2008 Texas Bar Journal Short Story Fiction Contest. He was the executive director of the Texas Consumer Complaint Center at the University of Houston Law Center and was an associate professor at the school.
Michael C. Barrett: January 11, 2009
Michael Barrett founded and served as chairman of the powerhouse Barrett Burke law firm. He served on the Executive Advisory Board of Frost Bank Group and on the Executive Board of the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. He received Safari Club International records, including No. 2 elk in the world in January 2009. He was a philanthropist and supporter of veteran's causes.
Paul N. Buchanan: January 23, 2009
Paul Buchanan was a consumer bankruptcy attorney from Round Rock. He lost a painful battle with cancer this year.
Weldon Grisham: January 24, 2009
Weldon Grisham was a consumer bankruptcy attorney from Fort Worth. He passed away at the age of 62 after practicing bankruptcy law for over 20 years.
Bill Turman: March 6, 2009
Bill Turman was an attorney in Austin for over 40 years. He practiced with McGinnis, Lochridge & Kilgore and for many years with his own firm. He appeared in over 1,000 cases on behalf of individuals, financial institutions and taxing authorities.
They will be missed.