In Memoriam

Honoring alumni, faculty, staff, and friends who have recently passed.

Includes news received from December 1, 2010  – June 1, 2011.

Raphael L. Cooke ’50 was born in St. Paul, Oregon on October 9, 1915 and passed away on April 8, 2011. He continued to farm all of his life, practiced law, and also served in World War II. He is survived by his spouse JoAnn, sons Mark and Joe, daughters Mary, Meg and Bridget, five grandchildren,  and one great grandchild.


Honorable H. J. Belton Hamilton ’53 passed away on April 15, 2011 at the age of 86 from natural causes. Hamilton was born in the Deep South in 1925,the grandson of a slave, yet he became part of a small group of influential black professionals in Portland in the 1950s and 1960s who broke racial barriers in medicine, law, politics and journalism. Hamilton himself was the first African American to graduate from Stanford University in 1949 and went on to become the first black assistant state attorney general, the first black federal administrative law judge in Oregon, and board president of the Urban League of Portland, all while mentoring future lawyers and judges, serving as a leader in his church and various civic groups, and integrating his interracial family into the fabric of his suburban neighborhood and schools. Drafted into the Army as a medic, he served in Europe during World War II and wound up receiving a Purple Heart and three battle stars. Overseas, he saw a world where black and white people could co-exist, not segregated by race, and that revelation became his compass. As a lawyer, Hamilton believed he had an opportunity to fundamentally change people’s lives and he advocated for workers who hadn’t been paid or tenants who’d been discriminated against. And because he worked for the state, he was glad he didn’t have to charge the disenfranchised for his services. Later, as an administrative law judge for the Social Security Administration, he saw to it that people received the benefits they were entitled to. Hamilton’s passionate belief in an open and integrated society, where people were free to make their own choices, and his fearlessness in being a social pioneer, extended famously to his personal life.  In 1957 he married a fellow UO student, Midori Minamoto, whose Japanese American family was sent to an internment camp in Idaho during WWII. The young couple bought a home in West Linn, then more of a rural refuge than affluent suburb, and raised their two children to celebrate their dual heritage at a time when were often the only students of color in their public school classrooms.

Garth Ford Steltenpohl ’54 passed away on February 3,2011 at age 83. He was the oldest child and only son born to Cornelia Barrett and Charles George Steltenpohl on May 13, 1927 in Baker, Oregon. His father died when he was still a boy and he was raised in Richland, Oregon, by his mother and step-father, John Sass. He joined the Army right out of high school and was a paratrooper in the 181st Airborne Division. While a student at Lewis & Clark Northwestern College of Law he met and married Doretha Mae Waters. They settled in the Portland area where they started their family and he began his 34-year career. He retired in 1988 and they built their dream house in Central Oregon. Steltenpohl loved being outdoors and his favorite pastimes included camping, hunting and fishing with his family and friends. During retirement, he and his wife enjoyed trips to various destinations around the world. He is predeceased by his younger sister, Dawn. He is survived by his wife, Doretha; son, Charles of Pasco, WA; and daughters, Barbara Fahrenholz of Sabine Pass, TX, Becky Larson of Vancouver, WA, and Karla Thompson of Scappoose, OR. He has 14 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

 Bruce Whitney Towsley ’56 passed away on March 8, 2011, at age 85. Towsley was born March 25, 1925, in Gorman, Texas, to Phillip and Louise Towsley and was raised and educated in Desdemona, Texas, and in Vermont. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he graduated from Whitman College, and received his law degree from Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. Towsley moved to Portland in the 1950s, resided in Corbett from 1970 to 1981, and in Troutdale since 1981. In 1991, he married Helen Redden at Cherry Park Presbyterian Church. He offered pro bono legal aid to seniors and was involved with the Oregon Lions Blindsight Foundation. He coached baseball and soccer. Towsley attended Cherry Park Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder. He was preceded in death by his wife in 2005; and by his brother, Phil Towsley Jr. Survivors include his son, Doug Towsley of Estacada; daughter, Gail Towsley of Philadelphia; stepsons, Kevin Moore of Portland, Jim Redden of Corbett and Tom Redden of Lewiston, Idaho; stepdaughters, Susan Moore of Portland and Christy Redden of Corbett; and three grandchildren


Millard “Mac” Becker ’57 passed away March 26, 2011, at age 82. Born and raised in Tigard, Becker attended Oregon State University and the Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 before founding and running a successful law practice in Portland for over 40 years. He had a passion for competitive trap shooting, camping, hunting and fishing, and he was a skilled cook. Most importantly, he was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who loved his family above all else. In his later years, he especially enjoyed many adventures with his grandchildren. He was very much loved, respected and appreciated by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed, but has gone to join his beloved wife, Evelyn, who passed in 2003. Mr. Becker is survived by his brother, Orlien Becker; children, James Becker, Teresa Curdy, Mark Becker and Mary Becker; grandchildren, Christian, Siena and Maika; and a large extended family in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.


Allan D. Sobel ’77 passed away at the Sun Home Hospice Care Center on November 23, 2010, at age 63. Sobel was born on March 1, 1947, in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest son of Belle Sapstein and David I. Sobel. He practiced law from 1977 to 1997 in Oregon and Michigan, primarily representing defendants in criminal proceedings and parties in professional malpractice actions. From 1997 to 2000, he served as executive director and general counsel of the Michigan Judicial Tenure commission, an organization responsible for enforcement of the Code of Judicial Conduct in Michigan. From 2000 to 2006, Sobel held the position of executive director of the American Judicature Society (AJS) which is an independent, national, nonpartisan organization of judges, lawyers, and other members of the public who seek to improve the justice system. Sobel also served as the first full-time director of the Arlin M. Adams Center for Law and Society at Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania. He married Elayne (Weiss) Sobel on Nov. 25, 1977 and in their 33 years together, they lived in five states and found life-long friends in each of those communities. He is survived by two daughters, Rebecca Cornish, of Lewisburg, and Lee Portwood, of Northumberland. In addition to his mother, wife and two daughters, Al leaves behind his son-in-law, Michael Portwood and two grandsons, Tyler Cornish and Ethan Portwood.” He will also be missed by his best canine buddy, Manny. He is also survived by brothers and sisters-in-law Arnold and Barbara Korne of Toronto, Canada and Samuel and Carole Sobel, of Boca Raton, Fla. He will also be remembered by his mother-in-law and father-in-law, Blanche and Frank Weiss, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-laws, Janet Weiss, Aurora, Ind., Douglas and Peggy Weiss, Cincinnati, and Peggie and Gregg Johnson, of Dallas, Ore.  Besides his father, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, Roger Weiss, and nephew, Daniel Sobel, as well as one of his favorite doting aunts, Fan Nevins. In the months preceding his death, he helped create the Central Susquehanna Valley Mediation Center, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, so that members of the community might attempt to resolve child custody and other conflicts through mediation rather than litigation.

Kurt L. Maul ’85 passed away on March 18, 2001 at age 59. Maul was born and raised in the Portland metropolitan area where he attended local schools, and graduated from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Upon graduation from law school, he joined the Oregon State Bar and initiated his legal career as a sole practitioner who focused on business law. Maul was a history aficionado who enjoyed traveling. Friends and associates knew him as witty and kind. He was a lover of plants and animals, and was an especially avid fan of the Oregon Ducks. Maul is survived by his wife, Sharon Stroheker; his father Dale Maul; his sisters Karen Coulter (John) and Karyl Miller (John); aunts Florence Nelson and Vera Martin and several nieces and nephews.  

Jason Hale Eaton ’95 passed away February 25, 2011, at the age of 41, following a brief illness. He is survived by his mother, Mary Eaton; his sister Meghan Eaton Aragon; brother-in-law Desi Aragon; a nephew; and his daughters, Lauren, Madison and Hannah of Portland, OR. He was preceded in death by his father, William Lee Eaton, and his brother Joshua Eaton. Eaton was a long-time Prescott, Arizona resident and earned his high school diploma at Prescott High School where he served as student body president and earned the Merit Cup Award. Eaton graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude; he received the Don Bolles Fellow award and the William Hattich Award for professionalism; and was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Eton attended the Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College, receiving his Juris Doctor with certificate in environmental law in 1995. His honors included Outstanding Oral Advocacy in the first-year Moot Court program, associate editor for the Environmental Law Review, a tax research fellow, and published “Creating Confusion: The Tenth Circuit’s Rocky Mountain Arsenal Decision.” He was admitted to the Georgia State Bar Association in 1995 and the Oregon State Bar in 1998. He served as a Lt. JAG in the Navy from 1995-98. Jason continued his legal career in the state of Oregon. He was a member of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Former Faculty

Robert Lee Myers passed away March 13, 2011at age 84. Myers was born in Beaverton on October 10, 1926,  graduated from Beaverton High School, and served in the U.S. Army Air Force before graduating cum laude from Lewis & Clark College in Portland. He received his law degree from University of Oregon School of Law and was a member of the prestigious honor society, the Order of the Coif. In 1953, Myers married the love of his life, Annette Kirkpatrick, in Portland, where they raised their three children. He practiced law in Portland for 22 years and was a partner in the firm of Schuler, Rankin, Myers & Walsh. He taught at Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College for another 18 years, where he received the Leo Levenson Award for Teaching Excellence, before retiring in 1990. He was a member of the Oregon State Board of Bar Examiners for three years, was the board’s chairperson in 1968 and served as secretary and chairperson of the Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Rules Committee. He was former president of the Lewis & Clark Alumni Association, former member of the college’s Board of Trustees and a former executive secretary of the Oregon Commission on Judicial Fitness. Myers loved the Pacific Northwest and enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, sailing, golf and spending time with his family. He is survived by his wife; son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Lynne Myers; son, Eric Myers; daughter and son-in-law, Enid and Tim Nielsen; grandsons, Stefan Myers (wife, Jen) and Kit Myers; great-grandson, Ryland Myers; and sister, Mary Myers.