William E. Duhaime
William E. Duhaime, resident of Medford for 48 years, passed away September 20, 2017 with family by his side in Eugene, where he had lived since 2001. He practiced law in Medford for 40 years with the firm of McAllister, Duncan, and Brophy; later Brophy, Wilson and Duhaime, et al. He practiced making pickles for 25 years. He never practiced the piano, though he was prone to burst into song. Born Billy E. Duhaime June 4, 1927 in Portland to Ed "Frenchie" and Gertrude Duhaime, he grew up poor in those Depression years but was doted on by family and two much-older half sisters. He lived and attended schools in both Portland and Burns where his father's family had originally settled. He left high school in 1944 to enlist in the Coast Guard. He was embarrassed to be a civilian at age 17. But he had enough credits to graduate from Beaverton High in 1945 and attended their reunions for the next 70 years. Always a hard worker from junior high school on, after the war he attended the University of Oregon thanks to the G.I. Bill and working. He graduated in 1950, Phi Beta Kappa in liberal arts and Beta Gamma Sigma in business. He lived at Delta Upsilon fraternity and was observed to have a "twin" with differently styled hair who occasionally made a second appearance at meal times.
In 1948 he married June Cowell, whom he had met at the neighborhood grocery store in Northwest Portland where she lived and he worked. June helped put him through law school, from which he graduated in 1953, first in his class, and Order of the Coif. He and June then moved to Medford with their infant daughter, Sally, deeming it a good place to raise a family. He settled into a demanding legal practice where working nights and weekends was expected. He represented clients including school districts, hospitals, manufacturers, and insurance companies. He was active in the Oregon Bar Association, the Board of Bar Examiners, the Legal Ethics Committee, and the Professional Review Board.
Bill was well-regarded for his good nature, fairness, and excellence in the tough practice of trial law. He was renowned for nothing more than his intelligence and wit. After undergoing a quintuple coronary artery bypass graft operation in 1985, he set his sights on retiring, which he was able to do in 1992. After heart surgery, he took up jogging and bicycling, and cycling became a beloved regular activity for the next 20 years. He embarked on bike tours in several states and countries. Bill was endlessly amusing, exceedingly generous, believed in "keeping dollars in circulation," and contributing to the community which he did by service on many boards and donations to many groups, including Britt and the American Red Cross. He donated money to countless organizations, including Bernie Sanders from early on, because he liked supporting someone doing something different. In the election of 2016 he took to wearing an old "I like Ike" button. Always a sports lover, he loved his time coaching Little League. He was long active in St. Mark's Episcopal Parish as lay reader. In Eugene he joined St. Thomas Episcopal Parish where he and June ushered. He was a great reader of newspapers, magazines, and books, and followed his wife June - a life master - into learning to play a respectable game of bridge. Bill savored food, appreciated music, and enjoyed vacations, Duck football, political discussions, occasionally playing the contrarian, and trying new things. He loved the Oregon coast and deep-sea fishing. He disliked being asked his "favorites," because what he favored today might not be what he wanted to try tomorrow. He rarely gave advice unless asked. He worked hard, played exuberantly, and was enormously good company. If he didn't make you laugh five times before breakfast, you didn't get up early enough. He loved life, family, both immediate and extended, and was adored by his wife and children. He had 90 good years and four rough months before his heart finally gave out, though his love never did. He wanted friends to know he had appreciated them more than he had taken the opportunity to tell them. Two children preceded him in death: John Joseph in infancy in 1958 and Mary in 2006. His wife, June died in 2015. He tended her tenderly until then. He is survived by daughter, Sally and husband, David Schott; son, James, his wife, Christi and children, Haley, Hope, and Harrison; granddaughter, Tara Thurston; great-granddaughter, Gabriella Schwartz; and son-in-law Donald Williams (Mary).
A private interment ceremony is planned. In his honor, do anything you like for your country or community.