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TCL > February 2008 Issue > In Memoriam

February 2008       Vol. 37, No. 2       Page  78
Notices, Products, and Services
In Memoriam

In Memoriam

The Colorado Bar Association remembers
the lives and contributions of Colorado attorneys.

Phillip S. Figa

U.S. District Court Judge and former CBA President Phillip S. Figa died on January 4, 2008. He was 56.

Figa was born in Skokie, Illinois. He attended Northwestern University on an Evans Scholarship, a program that he supported throughout his life. He earned a law degree from Cornell University Law School and was admitted to practice in 1976.

After a successful career at the Denver law firm of Sherman & Howard LLC, in 1980, Figa co-founded the Englewood law firm of Burns, Figa and Will, P.C. His wife Candace Figa is a senior partner at the firm.

Figa was an active member of the CBA. He participated in the Litigation Section, the Antitrust Subsection of the Business Law Section, and the Colorado Bar Foundation. During 1995–96, he served as CBA President. He was a proponent of pro bono as a "training ground" for new lawyers and strongly supported ethics and professionalism training and attorney mentoring.

In 2003, Figa was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. More than 1,000 colleagues and friends attended the swearing-in ceremony in Denver, which was an indication of his widespread appeal and likeability among the legal profession and community. He was a dedicated jurist until 2006, when his illness interrupted his service on the Bench. Approximately 11,000 people visited the family’s website to offer well wishes when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Figa enjoyed participating in outdoor sports. He was a very competent skier and took great pleasure in biking over mountain passes.

Figa is survived by his wife Candy and two children, Ben and Lizzie. Contributions in Figa’s memory may be made to: (1) the Rose Community Foundation, 600 S. Cherry St., Glendale, CO 80246—; (2) the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center, 4500 E. 9th Ave., Denver, CO 80220; or (3) the Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3624, Durham, NC 27710—

Garth C. Grissom

Former Denver Bar Association (DBA) President and DBA Award of Merit Recipient Garth Grissom died on December 27, 2007. He was 77.

Grissom was born in Syracuse, Kansas and was a graduate of Kansas State University. He attended Harvard Law School in Massachusetts and Cambridge University in England. He earned his law degree from Harvard in 1957, after serving in the U.S. Army.

Grissom joined the Colorado Bar in 1957 and spent his entire fifty-year career with the Denver firm of Sherman & Howard LLC. He retired at the age of 75. Considered an innovative managing partner, Grissom lead the firm’s adoption of PC-based technologies in the 1980s while serving as the firm’s executive committee chair.

During his CBA membership, Grissom participated in the Colorado Bar Foundation, as well as the Business Law Section and the Corporate Counsel and Securities Subsections. He also participated in the Transitions Committee.

In 1985–86, Grissom served as DBA President and was an active supporter of pro bono legal assistance to the Denver community. He participated in the founding of the Metro Volunteer Lawyers organization. In 1994, he was presented the DBA Award of Merit, the DBA’s most prestigious recognition for service to the legal profession and community.

Among his numerous civic affiliations were his thirty-four-year membership in the Denver Rotary Club (for which he served as President) and his active participation in the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity (for which he served as National President). Grissom also enjoyed outdoor activities such as hiking, hunting, and fishing.

Grissom and Elena Joyce Kerst were married in 1958. They had four sons: Colin, Grady, Cole, and Kent. His wife and sons survive him, along with six grandchildren.

Contributions in Grissom’s name may be made to: (1) the Denver Bar Foundation, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 900, Denver, CO 80203 (contributions to be allocated to Metro Volunteer Lawyers); or (2) the Denver Rotary Club Foundation, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 850, Denver, CO 80203, (contributions to be allocated to youth programs).

Robert W. Hite

Attorney Robert W. Hite died on December 4, 2007. He was 71.

Born in Kansas in 1936, Hite attended Colorado College and New York University School of Law. He was admitted to practice law in Colorado in 1961 and was a CBA member from 1990 to 1993.

Hite served in the U.S. Navy as a Judge Advocate General. He also worked for Mr. Steak, Inc. as general counsel.

In 1988, Hite was appointed District Manager of the Metro Wastewater Reclamation District; he served on the board of directors for seventeen years. He also participated in many clean water associations on a national level. He served as chair of Mountain States Employers Council; was a board member of the Water for People organization; and was a member of the Denver Mile High Rotary Club and the University Club.

Contributions in Hite’s name may be made to: (1) Water for People, 6666 W. Quincy St., Denver, CO 80235—; or (2) the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers Foundation, 1161 S. Vivian St., Lakewood, CO 80228—

Robert B. Holt

Attorney Robert B. Holt died on December 16, 2007. He was 50.

Holt was born and raised in Hicksville, Ohio. In high school, he studied abroad through the American Institute for Foreign Study. He attended undergraduate school at the University of Denver (DU), graduating with honors in 1979. He received his law degree in 1982 from Temple University School of Law in Philadelphia.

A fondness for Colorado mountains and the sport of skiing brought Holt back to the state in 1987. He had a private practice in Denver for twenty years.

Holt joined the CBA in 1990. He was a member of the CBA Law Practice Management and Technology, Attorney Regulation, and Interprofessional Committees, and the CBA Solo/Small Firm Practice Section. He also was active in the American Bar Association, for whom he contributed articles.

Among Holt’s emphases during his career were health-care and discrimination matters, as well as law practice management and marketing. He also was an expert in interstate transactions between Colorado and Texas. In addition, he was an ardent supporter of mentoring new attorneys.

Holt traveled extensively during his lifetime, primarily between the United States and Europe. He collected railroad antiques and railroad-related art, as well as dining car, airline, and ocean liner memorabilia. He is survived by his mother and his miniature Dalmatian, Dixie.

Stacey A. Klein-Reed

Stacey A. Klein-Reed died on December 31, 2007. She was 41.

Klein-Reed was born in New York City and was raised in Connecticut. She attended the University of Rochester, majoring in Spanish and political science. She also attended the University of Madrid in Spain, where she studied Spanish language, culture, and law.

After returning to the United States, she attended the University of South Dakota, earning her law degree in 1994. She received the Young Professional Attorney award from the state of South Dakota.

Klein-Reed was licensed to practice law in New Mexico, Florida, and Colorado. She became licensed in Colorado and joined the CBA in 1996. She was an active CBA member, participating in the Colorado Bar Foundation and the CBA Board of Governors and Executive Council, as well as the CBA Real Estate Law and Solo/Small Firm Practice Sections.

Among the many recreational activities she enjoyed were skiing, swimming, and bicycling. She is survived by her husband Curtis Reed and two sons, Jacob and Max. Contributions in Klein-Reed’s name may be made to: (1) Avow Hospice, 1095 Whippoorwill Ln., Naples, FL 34105—; or (2) the Stacey A. Klein Foundation, c/o Eagle Valley Child Care Center, Attn. Amy Drumm, Director, P.O. Box 1700, Vail, CO 81658. (The latter is a scholarship foundation for mothers suffering from breast cancer who cannot afford to send their children to daycare.)

Carole Salamaha

Carole Salamaha died on January 4, 2008. She was 66.

Salamaha was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her first career was in the field of nursing, which she practiced for approximately thirty years. She received an RN degree in 1962 and a BS degree in Nursing in 1971. After relocating to Colorado, she attended the University of Colorado Medical Center, earning an MSN in 1972.

Salamaha’s second career was in law. She joined the CBA and DBA as a student in 1990, and earned a JD degree from the University of Denver in 1991. She worked for the law firm of Martin Conklin PC.

Salamaha was married to Rick Salamaha in 1977. They had homes in Centennial and Winter Park. Her interests included gardening, skiing, and scrapbooking.

Among her survivors are her husband and two siblings. Contributions in Salamaha’s name—to go toward a memorial in the NICU/Pediatrics area—may be made to the Denver Health Foundation MC0278, 777 Bannock St., Denver, CO 80204—

James A. Windholz

James A. Windholz died on January 1, 2008. He was 65.

Windholz was admitted to practice law in 1971. He was a member of the Colorado and Boulder County Bar Associations, and participated in the CBA Government Counsel Section.

A specialist in municipal and urban renewal law, Windholz practiced law in Boulder. He also served as City Attorney for Golden since January 1990; Sheridan since October 2002; and Lafayette since May 2004. Previously, he also served as Edgewater City Attorney. He participated in writing Sheridan’s home rule charter and was integral in economic and urban development agreements there. He also was an active participant in the recent development of Santa Fe Drive in Denver, and represented the Estes Park Urban Renewal Authority and the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.

Windholz is survived by friend and partner Martha "Dru" Dunham, three children, and four grandchildren. Contributions in Windholz’s name may be made to: (1) Recycled Racers Inc., 6200 Dahlia St., Commerce City, CO 80222— (greyhound rescue organization); or (2) the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado, 7951 E. Maplewood Ave., Ste. 126, Greenwood Village, CO 80111— Cards may be sent to: City of Golden, City Attorney’s Office, 911 10th St., Golden, CO 80401.


The Colorado Bar Foundation (CBF) was established in 1953 and is one means of commemorating members of the legal profession. The CBF 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 CBF are tax-deductible. For complete information and to become a CBF supporter, contact Dana Collier Smith in Denver at (303) 824-5318, (800) 332-6736, or

Send In Memoriam information to: Mail to: Tracy Rackauskas, The Colorado Lawyer, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 900, Denver, CO 80203. Call (303) 824-5326 with questions. Print or electronic photographs also may be sent. In Memoriam items are printed as production deadlines and space permit.


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