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TCL > July 2004 Issue > In Memoriam

July 2004       Vol. 33, No. 7       Page  52
In Memoriam

In Memoriam

R. Sterling Ambler died May 26, 2004. He was 72. Ambler was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Colorado Day (August 1). He grew up and attended public schools in Denver. Ambler graduated from the University of Colorado–Boulder, with a degree in engineering. He worked as an engineer for ten years before enrolling at the University of Denver ("DU") College of Law. He earned his law degree and became licensed to practice law in Colorado in 1962. He specialized in wills, probate, and real estate issues. Throughout his legal career, Ambler was active in many Colorado Bar Association ("CBA") Sections and Committees, including the Elder Law, Real Estate Law, Taxation Law, and Trust & Estate Sections; and the Statutory Revisions Committee. He was a former chair of the DBA Waterman Fund. He participated in examining and refining language on pending bills that dealt with the state’s probate law. Ambler and his wife Dottie were married for twenty-eight years. Ambler was a life-long skier and belonged to the "Over the Hill Ski Gang." He also was a member of the University Club. In addition to his wife, Ambler is survived by three children and six grandchildren. Contributions in Ambler’s memory may be made to Nature Conservancy of Colorado, 1881 Ninth St., Ste. 200, Boulder, CO 80302.

Retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, Patricia Ann Clark, died May 25, 2004. She was 67. Clark was born in Buffalo, New York. She received her B.A. degree from Goucher College in Maryland, and an LL.B. degree from the University of Colorado ("CU") School of Law in Boulder. In 1956, she married James A. Clark. Patricia Clark was the first woman lawyer hired by the Denver law firm of Holme Roberts and Owen LLP. She went on to become a partner at the firm—the first woman partner at a large Denver law firm. She left the firm in January 1974 to join the bench of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. She was the first woman jurist in the district and served on the Bankruptcy Court until she retired in 2000. Clark was a long-standing director of the Waterman Fund, an active member of the Federal Judicial Committees for Supporting Personnel and Human Resources, and a member of the Tenth Circuit Judicial Council. She was a member of the CBA and El Paso County Bar Association. In 1984, Clark was presented with the CU School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award. She was considered an "intelligent" jurist. She was known for her vitality, her love of large dogs, and for the stories of her world-wide travels.

Hunter D. Hardeman died in 2004. He was 82. Hardeman received a B.A. degree from Texas A & M and an LL.B. degree from the CU School of Law. Hardeman served as a district judge in El Paso County from 1963 to 1985 and as a senior judge from 1985 to 1991. He was known for being a "methodical, firm, and fair" judge. Hardeman was a member of the CBA and El Paso County Bar Association. He was an active supporter of the Salvation Army organization. He was a licensed pilot and was said to enjoy long motorcycle trips. Hardeman is survived by his wife Pat and one daughter.

Eleventh Judicial District Judge Howard E. Purdy died May 20, 2004. He was 82. Purdy was born in Eads, Colorado. He served more than four years in the U.S. Army during World War II, finishing his tour of duty at the rank of Second Lieutenant. When he returned to the United States, Purdy attended the University of Nebraska. He married Mary Frazee in Omaha in 1948. Purdy graduated from DU College of Law and became licensed to practice law in Colorado in 1951. He worked for the Insurance Company of North America until he moved with his family to Cañon City to practice law in the District Attorney’s Office there. Purdy was appointed Fremont County Judge. In 1960, he was elected District Judge in the Eleventh Judicial District. He and his family relocated to Salida, where Judge Purdy heard cases from Park and Chaffee Counties. In 1981, after twenty years as District Judge, Purdy retired from the bench. He served as Of Counsel with the Law Office of Pete Cordova until December 2002. Purdy was a member of the CBA and the Chaffee County Bar Association. He also was a member of the Salida Elks Lodge No. 808. He enjoyed playing golf and was an avid reader of history and outdoor adventure. Purdy is survived by his wife and two sons.


The Colorado Bar Foundation ("Foundation") was established in 1953, and is one means of commemorating members of the profession. The Foundation functions exclusively for educational and charitable purposes, and promotes the advancement of jurisprudence and the administration of justice in Colorado through grants. Gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. For information or to become a Foundation supporter, call Dana Collier Smith, (303) 824-5318 or (800) 332-6736.

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