Robert J. Staal, of Ashland, Ore. died Sunday, April 14, 2013 at his home after a short illness.
Mr. Staal was an attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, working in anti-trust. He was the lead attorney in the government's anti-monopoly suit against IBM, a case that ran from 1978 to 1982.
He was also very active in community affairs both in Ashland, where he had lived since 1989, and before that in San Francisco, Calif. prior to his retirement.
While living in Marin County, he developed a love for the outdoors by backpacking in the High Sierras with his family and hiking Marin trails. This led to his becoming an environmental activist.
Staal fought for the preservation of the Marin Headlands north of San Francisco, and for saving pristine ecosystems from development both in Marin County and Ashland.
After retiring, Staal defended the preservation of old growth forest and farmlands in southern Oregon, supported the Savage Rapids Dam removal, and prostested further development of south Mount Ashland.
He was also an advocate for the Ashland Food Access and he volunteered many years of personal service for Helpline.
Staal was born in Zeeland, Mich. and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College, and an Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan where he won first place Hopwood awards in both poetry and fiction. His law degree came from the University of Miami and a Master of Laws at Georgetown University.
Staal is survived by his wife, Karen; two sons, Mark and Eric; daughter, Lauren; and three grandchildren, Kai Staal, and Brenden and James Scott.