In Memoriam is a tribute to California Western friends and alumni who have recently passed away. In sharing their stories and contributions, we honor their memory and the ways in which each of these individuals impacted the life of the law school. Please send suggestions for an In Memoriam feature to Pam Hardy.
Kelsey J. Blevings '10
California Western mourns the loss of alumnus Kelsey J. Blevings '10, who passed away unexpectedly at his home in Los Angeles in December 2013.
After graduating and passing the California Bar Exam, Blevings worked as a deputy district attorney for Monterey County. At the time of his death, he was working as Deputy Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California in Los Angeles.
While in law school, Blevings distinguished himself as a member of the Dean’s Honor Roll and the Pro Bono Honors Society. He competed in several trial competitions and served as president of the Moot Court Honors Board in 2009.
A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Blevings is survived by his mother Shirley Blevings, his brother Scott and sister-in-law Allison, and grandmother Violet Blevings. The thoughts of the California Western community are with the Blevings family at this difficult time.
Terrance P. Marren '77
Terrance P. "Terry" Marren '77 passed away on August 14, 2013 after a courageous battle with diabetes. After graduating from California Western, Terry served as deputy attorney for the Attorney General of Las Vegas, and was Nevada's first domestic relations referee for the Eighth Judicial Court of Las Vegas. Prior to attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and California Western, Terry enlisted in the U.S. Army and was a proud member of the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War.
Terry was a passionate advocate for children. He served on the Board of Directors for the Boy Scouts of America, Las Vegas Area Council, and the Board of Directors for the Sunshine Children's Hospital Foundation. He loved to camp, fish, travel, and spend time with his family.
He is survived by his loving wife, Teresa Marren; son, Jim Marren; daughter, Heather Austin, and a large extended family.
William G. "Bill" Gillies '77
William G. "Bill" Gillies '77 passed away on Friday April 5, 2013 in Davenport, Iowa. Following his graduation from California Western, Bill moved to Rock Island, Ill. where he practiced law.
Bill enjoyed the outdoors, watching classic movies, and photography. His most cherished time was spent with family, as he and his daughters participated in the YMCA Indian Princess Program. Bill was a founding member of the Quad Cities Celtic Highland Games and a member of Scott County Pheasants Forever.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Eliza Gillies; his daughters, Meredith Jeanne Gillies, Ki Seung Rhee, and Caitlin Gillies; his sisters, Doreen Passmore and Allison Gillies; his brother Paul Herbert; and his sister-in-law Eda Herbert.
Gary B. Naughton '80
Gary B. Naughton '80 passed away on April 25, 2013 after a battle with lung cancer. After attending Villanova University, Gary moved west to attend California Western. Following his graduation, he practiced law for 33 years in San Diego.
In addition to working at his private practice, the Law Office of Gary Naughton, he also served a stint as the North County attorney for Senior Citizens Legal Services, and helped to found the Bicycle Law Center. Gary believed in mediation and compromise, and encouraged his client to avoid long, costly legal battles. He was also an inventor, a bicycle enthusiast, and an avid sailor who enjoyed spending time out on the water.
He is survived by his mother, Emma Naughton; his wife of 30 years, Laura Kruger Naughton; his son, Brendan Naughton, daughter, Tara Naughton, and son-in-law, Victor Gamboa; his granddaughter, Lily Lou Seraphina Gamboa; and his brothers, James and Shaun, and sister Bernadette Dearmond.
Raymond J. Ciantar '73
Raymond J. Ciantar '73 passed away on September 7, 2012 in Colonia, N.J. Following his graduation from California Western, Raymond worked as an attorney for various law firms in New York City for more than 30 years before retiring in 2009. He also owned the Tuscan Oil Co. and the Tuscan House Restaurant in Port Reading, N.J., and worked as a financial adviser for American Express. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Michele Ciantar; his sons, Matthew, Christopher, and Adam Ciantar; his mother, Jennie Ciantar; and his sister, Christina Murphy.
William G. Wilhelm '78
William G. "Bill" Wilhelm '78 passed away on March 11, 2013. Originally from La Jolla, Bill's law practice specialized in Business Licensing and Technology startups. Aside from his legal interests, Bill worked on the research and development of several of his father's inventions as well as his own, most notable the navigational software Micro Mariner. In 2009, he was named president of AquaLogix, a company that manufactures fitness equipment used by many gyms to help rehabilitate Wounded Warriors. Bill is survived by his wife, Judy Wilhelm, his brothers and sisters, Diana Carter, Jack Wilhelm, Michele Perry, and Rick Wilhelm, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Mark E. Johnston '91
Mark E. Johnston '91 passed away on March 1, 2013 in Sarasota, Fla. A longtime resident of southeastern Pennsylvania, Mark practiced law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey until he relocated to Florida in 2004. He is survived by his parents, Harry E. and Nancy R. Johnston; his sister, Michelle Irving; his two brothers, Robert K. Johnston and Brian C. Johnston; and eight nieces and nephews.
Kathleen E. Wilcox '88
Kathleen E. Wilcox '88 passed away on February 1, 2013 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Wilcox worked as a Senior Associate in the Los Angeles office of Ericksen Arbuthnot focusing her practice on Civil Litigation, Professional Liability, and Product Liability. As a California Western student, Wilcox was honored with the American Jurisprudence award for her work in Criminal Procedure. She will be fondly remembered by her family, friends, and colleagues at Ericksen Arbuthnot.
The Honorable David I. Rupp '80
Former District Court Judge David I. Rupp '80, age 65, passed away in December 2012. He considered his appointment to New Mexico's 12th Judicial District Court to be his greatest professional accomplishment. Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson cited Judge Rupp's 30 years of legal experience as one of the key reasons for the appointment. After passing the New Mexico Bar in 1980, Judge Rupp opened a general law practice in Alamogordo, N.M. Prior to attending the University of New Mexico and California Western School of Law, Judge Rupp served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and was awarded the Purple Heart for his service. Judge Rupp is survived by his daughter Heather Dollins, son Benjamin Rupp, daughter Katie Rupp, ex-wife Dawn Rupp, and many grandchildren.
William H. (Bill) Swan '75
William H. (Bill) Swan '75, age 63, passed away on December 26, 2012 in Phoenix, Ariz. after a courageous fight against complications of leukemia. Bill specialized in water resource law and negotiated several major water rights agreements during his legal career. He worked as a Field Solicitor in the Phoenix regional office of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and later became the office's Regional Solicitor. In 1996, he started his own private legal practice, working primarily on issues affecting the seven Colorado River Basin states. Bill also provided legal counsel to several of Arizona’s Indian tribes, and was often invited to lecture on Indian law and water rights topics. Bill is survived by his children, Ryan and Karyn, his former wife, Adele, his brothers Bob (Dixie) and Jim Swan, and a nephew, nieces, and cousins.
Former Professor and Trustee Murray Galinson
Former California Western professor and longtime trustee Murray Galinson passed away on January 3, 2013 after complications from surgery.
Galinson came to San Diego in 1972 to join the faculty of California Western, then located at its Point Loma campus. He taught at the law school for more than 13 years before leaving San Diego to serve as deputy director of fellow Minnesotan Walter Mondale’s presidential campaign. He later served as CEO and president of San Diego National Bank and led numerous local charities, including the Galinson Family Trust.
"His leadership, vision, and genuine kindness will be missed by his many friends and colleagues here," said President and Dean Niels B. Schaumann.
Galinson joined the California Western Board of Trustees in 1986, serving two terms as chairman in the late 1990s, and continued as a trustee until his death. His generous financial support of the law school was recognized in numerous ways, including the dedication of the Galinson Family Creative Problem Solving Collection and Reading Area.
Galinson is survived by his wife, Elaine, three children, and eight grandchildren.
James W. Hamilton '51
James W. Hamilton ’51 passed away on November 7 in Sacramento. Hamilton attended the law school when it was known as Balboa Law College. He was a longtime member of the California Franchise Tax Board’s legal division. He enjoyed gardening, fishing, and taking his family camping. Following his retirement, Hamilton traveled the world and took up golf. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Charlene, his sons Jim and David, and his brother John.
James N. (Jim) Skeens '87
Alumnus James N. (Jim) Skeens ’87 passed away on September 10. A native Arizonan, Jim enjoyed spending time with his family and being an active member of the Glendale community. He started working as a paralegal for his father’s law practice in 1979. Following his graduation from California Western, Jim practiced personal injury law at Skeens & Anderson. He is survived by his wife Lyndia Anne, his children Steven, Micheil, Michelle, Melissa, his father Norman, and his sister Jeanann.
Former Dean of Students Jack C. Reynolds
Jack C. Reynolds, age 89, passed away on April 29, 2012 in San Diego. Born into a prominent Nebraska cattle ranching family, Reynolds lived a full life as a member of the U.S. Navy, a local journalist and magazine publisher, and later as Director of Public Affairs and Dean of Students at California Western School of Law. Jack is remembered fondly by many California Western students who attended law school during his time as dean.
In his personal life, Jack enjoyed painting, the theater, and traveling the world with his partner Jacques Caussin. Jack moved to Palm Springs in 2002, and was considered one of the desert community's "notable bon vivants."
He is survived by his partner Jacques, his younger brother Scott Reynolds, his three children Ann, Reede, and Susan, and five grandchildren, Eddie, Tom, Harry, Kendall, and Delaney.
Dennis S. Avery '70
Dennis S. Avery '70, passed July 23, 2012 after a brief illness. As an alumnus, Avery remained a vital part of the law school community long after his graduation from the Point Loma campus. He served as Assistant and Associate Dean from 1979 to 1985 and was a lifetime patron of the California Western Law Review
, for which he wrote and served on the editorial board as a student.
He was a loyal, engaged, and passionate philanthropist. With California Western School of Law as a major philanthropic focus, Avery contributed more than $2 million to the law school. His support and dedication ranged from specific campus programs, such as Proyecto ACCESO
, to the support for student scholarship endowments.
Together with his wife Sally Wong-Avery '83, Avery contributed to numerous causes in the U.S. and abroad, including the Chinese School of San Diego, the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at Cambridge University, and numerous social and educational causes through their Avery-Tsui Foundation.
Avery will be remembered as one of California Western's greatest treasures. He will be greatly missed.
to read more about Dennis S. Avery '70.
John D. Jackson '82
John D. Jackson '82 passed away on November 24, 2009. Jackson's natural ability to mediate and solve problems, combined with the skills he learned at California Western, led him to help many clients and friends reach satisfactory solutions to complicated business and financial transactions. Regarded as "a true Renaissance man," Jackson was an avid hunter, fisherman and scuba diver, as well as a gourmet cook and wine enthusiast. He was an active and generous supporter of The San Diego Shell Club, and many of the projects he worked on reflected his great love of the ocean. He also served on the board of the Hubbs Sea World Institute and Odyssey Publishing. Jackson is survived by his daughter Adrienne; his son Andy; grandchildren Tyler, Nevin, and Annabelle; brother Chris; and many friends in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
Jenny Twyford '92
Jenny Twyford '92 passed away on August 8, 2011. She passionately advocated for the rights of veterans in her own law practice, and through her work at the Board of Veterans Affairs and the Office of General Counsel of the Department of Veterans Affairs. She immigrated to the United States from Hebei Province, China to pursue her law degree at California Western. Following her graduation, she clerked at the Minnesota Court of Appeals before moving to the Washington, D.C. area to advocate for veterans’ causes. She is survived by her loving husband Robert Twyford, Jr. and her children, Audrey and Maxwell.
Anthony S. Beccarelli '73
Anthony S. Beccarelli '73 passed away on April 26, 2012. Beccarelli was a Certified Family Law Specialist with nearly 40 years in practice. A longtime San Diego resident, Beccarelli was a proud graduate of Kearney High School and San Diego State University. He was an avid reader, western movie enthusiast, and a San Diego sports fan who never missed his sons' athletic events. Beccarelli is survived by his wife, Michele, and sons Andrew, Brian, and Mike.
R. Michael Walters '71
R. Michael Walters '71 recently passed away. Walters worked with more than 20,000 clients during his 40 years of practice specializing in wills and trusts. Walters shared his expertise in wills and trusts law by frequently conducting workshops and hosting the radio show Law Talk with R. Michael Walters on KSDO 1130 AM. For many years, Walters also acted as a Judge Pro-Tem of the Superior Court of California for the County of San Diego, and as a California State Bar Ethics Judge and Fee Arbitrator for both the California State Bar and San Diego County Bar. Walters was active in many local civic, religious, and fraternal organizations, including: the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, the Rancho Bernardo Chamber of Commerce, and the Poway Jaycees.
Brian P. McGloin '01
Brian P. McGloin '01, age 41, passed away on March 27, 2012. McGloin worked as an Assistant Chief Counsel for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division of the Department of Homeland Security in Miami. While attending California Western, McGloin was a member of the student Trial Teams, received the American Jurisprudence Award in 1998 for his work in Immigration Law, and volunteered as a recruiter for the Admissions Department. McGloin received his received his M.A. from University of California, San Diego, and his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University, where he was an Academic All-American and Captain of the Men’s Swim Team. He is survived by his parents Tom and Ethel, brothers Bill and Kevin, sister Jean, sisters-in-law Linda and Stacy, nieces Melissa, Jessica, Cailey and Madison, and nephew Billy.
Susan L. Wertz '07
Susan L. Wertz '07, age 60, passed away on March 20, 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer. Following her graduation with honors, Wertz’ practice focused on Trusts and Estate Planning. While at California Western, Wertz was a member of the Pro Bono Honors Society and recipient of the State Bar of California’s Wiley M. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Service. Wertz served as a member of the Editorial Board of the California Western Law Review, and Executive Notes and Comments Editor. In addition to being an exceptional law student and attorney, Wertz was a devoted mother, wife, daughter, community volunteer, dietician, and military service member. Wertz is survived by her husband, local attorney John L. Wertz, son, John Ross Wertz, and two daughters, Jamie L. Wertz and Margaret J. Wertz.
Professor James E. Leahy
James E. Leahy, age 92, passed away on November 21, 2011. Leahy served as a beloved Constitutional Law Professor at California Western for 25 years.
Originally from Bristol, S.D., Leahy served as a Navy Quartermaster during World War II. Following WWII, Leahy obtained his first law degree from the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks. He successfully practiced law for seven years in Fargo, N.D. starting in 1949. In the late 1950s, he also served as a member of the North Dakota State House of Representatives.
In the early 1960s, Leahy realized that his true passion in life was teaching. In 1964, he moved his family to San Diego to join the California Western faculty. Professor Leahy taught constitutional law and a seminar on civil rights. He remained active by teaching courses part-time for several years after his retirement.
He moved back to Fargo in 1990 and published extensively on the concepts of liberty and justice. In 2005, after the passing of his second wife Laverne, Leahy moved back to San Diego to live out his remaining years near family.
Nancy E. Quon '96
Nancy E. Quon '96, age 51, of Henderson, Nev. passed away on March 20, 2012. Specializing in construction defect litigation, Quon was a partner in Quon Bruce Christensen of Las Vegas, a firm servicing homeowners associations. While a student at California Western, Quon received two American Jurisprudence awards. (Photo courtesy of KLAS-TV)
Elon A. Place '74
Elon A. Place, age 70, passed away on January 16, 2012. Place practiced law in his beloved community of Ocean Beach for many years. He served as U.S. Attorney General on the island of Yap, Micronesia for five years after the conclusion of his service as an U.S. Army Special Forces officer in Vietnam. Place is survived by his sister Ruth, six nieces and nephews, and a collection of friends around the world.
Ihab T. Omar '04
Ihab T. Omar, age 34, recently passed away after a courageous battle with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. He established his own law office in Las Vegas to help represent people dealing with foreclosures, bankruptcy, and personal injury matters. Earlier, Omar worked for Christensen Law Offices and Murchison & Cummings, LLP. While at California Western, Omar was a member of the Advocacy Honors Board, the Student Bar Association, the Entertainment and Sports Law Society, and honored for his academic achievement in Civil Pro I. Omar was loved and respected by his family, friends, and classmates. The thoughts of the CWSL community are with his wife, Dounia, and his two children, Seena and Mohammed.
Christopher B. Carneal '06
Christopher B. Carneal, age 33, passed away on May 6, 2011. A resident of Spanaway, Washington, Chris owned and operated his own law firm. Prior to that, he was an associate at Naumann, Levine & Silldorf, LLP, and an Associate Attorney at the law firm of Guerrero, Jacobs & Schlesinger, LLP. While at California Western, served on the staff of the California Western Law Review and the International Law Journal, earned an American Jurisprudence Award in Legal Research & Writing, and spent a semester abroad interning for the Office of the Public Defender in Santiago, Chile.
Michael P. Golden '77
Michael P. Golden, age 64, passed away on March 24, 2011. Golden began his law practice in 1979. He was well-respected in the Las Vegas legal community, taking a case before the Nevada Supreme Court that established the right to jury trials in Justice Court cases. Golden served as Deputy District Attorney with the Clark County District Attorney’s Office and as Referee for the Nevada Workers Compensation System. Following his public career, Golden worked for private firms, including David L. Riddle and Associates where he practiced for the past 15 years.
Henry W. Tom '84
Henry W. Tom, age 58, passed away on March 1, 2011. Tom was a partner at Chaplin and Tom, Ltd. where he specialized in tax law. He worked for the IRS prior to attending California Western School of Law. After graduation, Tom returned to the IRS before entering private practice in 1988. As a Certified Tax Law Specialist, he served as Chairman of the Tax Law Section of the State Bar of Arizona from 2002 to 2003. Tom served as President of the Arizona Forum for Improvement of Taxation.
Douglas J. Goldstein '82
Douglas J. Goldstein, age 54, passed away on February 16, 2011 from Lou Gehrig’s disease. Goldstein was a public defender in Los Angeles County. He attended Queens College and earned his law degree from California Western School of Law. Throughout his career, Goldstein defended high-profile cases, advocating for those otherwise unable to access legal representation.
E. Donald Shapiro
E. Donald Shapiro, age 79, passed away December 27, 2010, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Shapiro served as Dean of New York Law School from 1973-1983, expanding classes, launching new joint programs, and establishing the law school’s campus. A pioneer in health law, Shapiro served on many corporate and nonprofit boards, joining the California Western Council of Visitors in 2002. The E. Donald Shapiro Distinguished Professorship at California Western is named in his honor. California Western presented him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2010.
Judge Franklin B. Orfield '48
Judge Franklin B. Orfield, age 89, passed away December 23, 2010. A dedicated member of San Diego’s legal community for more than 50 years, Orfield attended law school following his service in the U.S. Marine Corps. He was elected president of the San Diego County Bar Association in 1961. In 1968, Orfield was appointed to the San Diego County Superior Court by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan and elected as presiding judge in 1977. Four years later, Orfield presided over the long-running San Diego school desegregation lawsuit. His son, Michael B. Orfield ’77 is a graduate of California Western.
William A. Yale '49
Retired Superior Court Judge William A. Yale, age 83, passed away on May 19, 2010. In 1969, Yale was elected president of the San Diego County Bar Association. A year later, he was appointed by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan to the San Diego County Superior Court. Yale was one of San Diego's most popular and highly respected judges during his 11 years on the bench, which included serving as presiding judge from 1979 to 1980. In 1977, he was named Judge of the Year by the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association.
Thomas C. Adler '71
Thomas C. Adler, age 71, passed away August 23, 2010, after a 14-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was a founding member of the Criminal Defense Bar Association of San Diego and its first president. Adler was an active member of the Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Club of San Diego, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the ACLU of San Diego. His career as a principled advocate was honored with the Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the San Diego Trial Lawyers Association and is celebrated each year with three scholarships that are given in his name.
Marjorie "Marge" F. Ahern '67
Marjorie "Marge" F. Ahern, age 86, passed away August 15, 2010, after a brief battle with cancer. She began her law career at California Western in 1964, as she sent the last of her six children to first grade. Ahern was a pioneering female attorney in San Diego, initially practicing in La Jolla before moving her office to Downtown San Diego. Her passion for the law kept her going to her office until the age of 84.
Richard G. Fehrenbacher '77
Richard G. Fehrenbacher, age 58, passed away August 9, 2010. While attending California Western, Fehrenbacher served on the editorial board of Law Review. After graduating from California Western, he earned his LL.M. from Georgetown in Estate Planning. He began his career in trusts and estates, practicing law in Washington, D.C. In 1995, Fehrenbacher returned to his home state of Illinois and opened a private practice with his brother.
Roger "Alex" Franklin '84
Roger "Alex" Franklin, age 53, passed away April 5, 2010. He ran a private practice in Philadelphia with the help of his wife, Michelle. While attending California Western, Franklin was a member of Phi Alpha Delta, the largest international legal fraternity, and the Student Bar Association. He also participated in the California Western Law Review. Following graduation, Franklin gave back to the law school by volunteering as a Class Reunion Co-Chair. A regular attendee of California Western's Alumni Weekend, his presence will be missed at this fall's event.
Michael D. Stevenson '93
Michael D. Stevenson, age 43, passed away April 9, 2010. He was employed with Gordon & Rees, L.L.P. in Las Vegas. Prior to that, Stevenson was with the Law Offices of Anthony T. Case in Henderson, Nevada. The Southern Nevada native graduated from California Western in 1993. Friends and classmates remember his witty sense of humor and diehard sports fanaticism. Stevenson attended multiple sporting events for California Western alumni the Las Vegas area. He is survived by his sons, brother, and parents.
Dwight E. Stanford
Dwight E. Stanford, age 94, passed away from complications of heart failure on March 8, 2010. He served as president of Balboa Law School from 1939 to 1951, moving the school from the Hillcrest area to its Point Loma location and paving the way for what would become California Western School of Law. After his tenure as president, Stanford served on the Balboa Law School board of trustees and received from the school an honorary degree in 1975. In 1994, the Stanford Reading Room at California Western School of Law was named in his honor.
Julie J. Bethune '91
Julie J. Bethune, age 44, passed away in early February. Following graduation from California Western, Bethune worked in legal sales for LexisNexis, a subsidiary of Reed Elsevier, Inc. Her interests in labor and employment law led Bethune to transition careers to Chase Legal Professionals, Inc., a national legal placement company. As vice president of Chase, she specialized in permanent placements of attorneys in lateral and vertical positions. Bethune also worked as a freelance film critic with bi-monthly reviews in several local San Diego, North County, and Rancho Santa Fe publications.
Michael V. Sage '06
Michael Sage, age 29, passed away suddenly on February 5, 2010. He was working on his LL.M. at University of Connecticut and was employed with Suisman Shapiro Wool Brennan Gray & Greenberg in New London, Conn. Sage graduated from California Western in 2006, where he was a member of the Law Review and the International Law Journal, the Dean's List, and Pro Bono Honors Society. He also volunteered as a "face of California Western" and is featured in the law school’s promotional material.
Josiane "Josi" M. Dixon '06
Josianne "Josi" M. Dixon, age 33, passed away on December 24, 2009, following a courageous battle with leukemia. While attending California Western, Dixon was a Trial Team member, the president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, and involved in Moot Court competitions. Perhaps Dixon’s most noteworthy impact on California Western was her pivotal role in establishing the Adrianne Baker Fellowship, California Western's loan repayment assistance program. In her honor, the PILF has named its scholarship after Dixon.