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Thomas C. Howser

Thomas C. Howser

Thomas C. Howser Passed away peacefully in his sleep on July 22, 2006. He was born on June 14, 1937, in Burns, Oregon, to Darrell and Celia Howser. He attended Burns' schools and graduated Valedictorian of the Burns Senior High School class of 1955. He attended the University of Oregon majoring in history and English and was a member of Phi Beta Sigma scholastic honorary. He then attended the Netherlands Foreign Trade Institute in Holland studying economic and International La Fluency in Dutch and conversational German. He returned to the University of Oregon where he attended the Oregon School of Law and obtained a LL.B Degree and J.D. Degree. He was also an Associated Editor of the Oregon Law Review.

In 1961 Tom worked as a Law Clerk to William G. East, Unitied States District Judge. From 1962-1972 he was an associate, then partner with a law firm of Brophy, Wilson & Duhaime in Medford. In 1972, he became a partner in the firm of Cottle & Howser which later became Thomas C. Howser P.C. From 1974-78 he was the Pro-tem Municipal Judge in Ashland, Oregon.

Tom's professional memberships included: Oregon State Bar, 1961 to present and member of the House of Delegates from 1997-2000; member of the American Bar Association from 1964 to present and a member of the House of Delegates from 1996-2000. In 1962 Tom was admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, District of Oregon, and admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; from 1970 to 1973 he was a member of the Oregon State Bar Committee on Judicial Administration; from 1995-77 a member of the Oregon State Bar Legal Ethics Committee and Chair 1976-77. In 1978 Tom was admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Claims and Federal Circuit Court. He was the president of the Jackson County Bar Association 1977-78 and a member of the Oregon State Bar Committee of Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. From 1978-81 Tom was a member of the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors and its President in 1981. Tom became a Director of the Oregon Law Foundation and was Secretary Treasure 1982-83. From 1981 to present he was a member of various Oregon State Bar Committees including the Professional Liability Fund, Chairman 1985-86; member, Secretary/Treasurer and Chair Executive Committee, litigation Section; member, Executive Committee, Family and Juvenile Section; member, Arbitration Panel, Portland Arbitration Services; member, Jackson County Arbitration Panel and member, Unlawful Practice of Law Committee.

Tom was involved in his community in many ways. He was a member of the Elk's Lodge and the Masonic Lodge. From 1964 to 1974 he was a member, Board of Deacons & Elder in Westminster Presbyterian Church, Medford; 1966-68, Chairman, Jackson County Mental Health Board; 1969, Medford YMCA Board of Directors, 1972-76, member abd Cgaurnab, Ashland Division,, United Way; 1974-present, member Ashland Rotary Club and President 1983-84; 1976-79 member Ashland Community Hospital Advisory Board; 1990-95 member Rogue Valley Chorale; 1991-92 Rogue Valley Opera, Chorus La Elixir de Amore; 1991-96 Executive Board CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocated). He was a volunteer as coach, referee, etc., in Little League and soccer programs in Medford and Ashland. He also wrote articles for the Ashland Daily Tidings.

In addition to his professional accomplishments and passion for law, Tom loved the outdoors. He carried his love of the outdoors to his own family, vacationing and salmon fishing on the Oregon coast, hiking in the Seven Lakes Basin, Skiing on Mount Ashland, fishing on the Rogue River and hunting. Some of his favorite moments were early fall mornings on Klamath Lake, the views of Crater Lake Rim and opening of deer season, as the first rays of dawn began to light up the canyon. He was the self-appointed camp cook, and his favorite saying was, "Don't anybody shoot a deer and mess up this great time."

Tom had a deep love of all music, especially bluegrass and old gospel music and taught himself to play the piano, guitar and mandolin. He "picked and grinned" with his children as well as with "real" bluegrass bands and especially enjoyed playing with the Nelsons and his great nephews.

He had a soft spot for kids who were not getting a fair shake. If his kids brought home a friend who was having difficulty at home, that friend could stay as long as they needed. He loaned them money and cars, co-signed for their first loans and never asked for rent.

Tom was a generous soul who had an unwavering dedication and time for professional organizations. His passion for helping others, for sound advice and stories to pass on to grandkids will be missed and fondly remembered.

Tom is survived by his wife, Val; son, Mark and wife, Ali; daughters, Laura and husband, Tom, and Kate Howser and Jen Daunt; grandson, T. Jordan Howser; granddaughters, Seena and Emma Frantz; step-grandaughters, Jana and Jamie Watson; step children, David and wife, Pam Heard; and Stacy Heard; stepdaughters Monica and Mallory Heard; nephew, David Mundy of Redding, California; nephew, Dan Mundy, wife, Mary and sons, Travis and Zach of Oroville, California; niece, Denise Nealon, husband, Billy; and children, Drew and Kaylee. Tom's sister, Donna Mundy and his parents predeceased him.

Contributions in his honor may be made to the Oregon Health Sciences University, Casey Eye Institute. 3375 SW Trewilliger Blvd, Portland, OR 97239. There will be no services at the present time, by his request. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

Thomas C. Howser