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Carl Michael Brophy

Carl Michael "Mick" Brophy

Carl Brophy, distinguished business and trial attorney, champion of civil rights and equal access to justice, loving husband, father and grandfather passed away in Medford on January 21, 2008, at the age of 84. A leader of the Oregon State Bar, he is the only Rogue Valley lawyer ever to receive the Bar's highest honor, "The Award of Merit," for his outstanding contributions to the bench, bar, and community.

Born in 1923 in Penticton, British Columbia, to American parents Mervyn and Ida Brophy, Carl moved with his family to Portland, in the late 1920's. Upon graduating from Jefferson High School, he began his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University as a chemical engineering major on a basketball scholarship. In 1942, Carl enlisted in the Marine Corps and transferred to the University of Southern California for officer training. After serving as a lieutenant through the War years, he decided to pursue a law careeer and enrolled at the University of Oregon, where he received his Bachelor of Science and Juris Doctor degrees.

In 1946, Carl met the love of his life, Retha, while she was attending O.S.U. They were married in 1948. Carl and Retha moved to Medford in 1949 after Carl graduated from law school and joined the firm of McAllister & Duncan, predecessor of what later became Brophy, Wilson & Duhaime, and is now Brophy, Mills, Schmor, Gerking, Brophy & Paradis. He practiced law with exceptional skill and passion at the firm for 53 years. Carl had a deep and abiding affection for his law partners, associates and staff.

Beyond his service to his clients, Carl provided leadership and service in a wide variety of ways: as a volunteer Pro Tem Circuit Judge, President of the Jackson County Bar, and as a member of the State Bar's Board of Governors, Board of Bar Examiners, Professional Liability Fund, the Archdiocesan School Board, the YMCA Board and the Oregon Law School Board of Visitors. In 1970, he took a leave from his Medford practice to work pro bono on Civil Rights cases in Mississippi for unrepresented minorities. His efforts to bring justice to that region earned him the "E.B. McNaughton Award," the Oregon ACLU's highest honor.

Carl's greatest joy and source of pride were his beautiful wife, Retha, his five children and their spouses, and his twelve grandchildren. He was the inspirational and loving father of Mike, Tim, Pat, Kate, Molly and their spouses, Nancy, Ann, Mary, Bert, and Russ. He was a devoted grandfather to Katie, Ellie, Annie, Carl, Mick, Molly, Kelly, Shannon, Kristie, Alita, Sara and Kevin, all of whom were blessed to be able to know him well.

Carl was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Frances Wellington.

Carl had a boundless enthusiasm for a great many activities and interests, particularly if they could be shared with his family: hunting, fishing, skiing, swimming, tennis, music, poetry, history, crosswords, travel and outdoor adventures. Carl had a marvelously fertile mind and quick wit. He kept fit and active all throughout his life.

Carl will be missed tremendously, but he was a man of deep faith, and we know he is in a better place now, with our Lord.

A funeral mass to celebrate Carl's life will be held Monday, January 28, 2008, at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 517 W. 10th Street, Medford. A reception will follow immediately thereafter at the Sacred Heart Parish Hall. There will be a viewing at Perl Funeral Home, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, January, 27, 2008. A Rosary will be held beginning at 5:00 p.m. after the viewing.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Carl's memory to Providence Community Health Foundation, 940 Royal Ave., Suite 410, Medford, OR 97504; St. Vincent de Paul, P.O. Box 1663, Medford, OR 97501; or Jackson County Legal Aid, 225 W. Main St., P.O. Box 1586, Medford, OR 97501.

Carl Michael Brophy