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TCL > June 2009 Issue > In Memoriam

June 2009       Vol. 38, No. 6       Page  102
Notices, Products, and Services

In Memoriam

Recognizing recently deceased Colorado attorneys
and members of the legal community.

Erik Bluemel

Erik Bluemel died on May 6, 2009. He was 32.

Bluemel earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley. He also earned a JD from New York University and an LLM from Georgetown University Law Center.

He served as a law clerk for Hon. Barefoot Sanders in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas and Hon. Kermit Edward Bye in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then was a staff attorney and teaching fellow at the Georgetown University Law Center Institute for Public Representation, where he handled administrative, environmental, and public land law matters. His most recent position was as an assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he taught administrative, environmental, and indigenous peoples law. He focused his research on environmental federalism, climate governance, international administrative law, and environmental rights.

Bluemel enjoyed biking and playing pool. He is survived by his parents.

Michael Curran

Mike Curran died on April 13, 2009. He was 67.

He practiced law in Jefferson County and Gilpin County and was a member of the CBA since 1977. Contributions in Curran’s memory may be made to Fr. Maguire and Br. Joe Scholarship Fund at Regis High School, 16300 E. Weaver Pl., Aurora, CO 80016.

Abram A. DeHerrera

Abram DeHerrera died on February 9, 2009. He was 94.

After serving in the U.S. Army during World War II, DeHerrera obtained a BA from Adams State College and a JD from the University of Denver. He worked as a high school teacher and principal and taught law. He also worked for Martin Marietta Corp. as an aerospace engineer. He is survived by four children and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Robert Michael Howard

Bob Howard died on April 29, 2009. He was 60.

Howard was a graduate of College of the Holy Cross and the University of Connecticut School of Law. He worked for the VISTA Volunteer Program, Colorado Rural Legal Services, and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. He was a former member of the CBA.

He is survived by his wife Annie McCullough and a daughter. Contributions in Howard’s memory may be made to the National Sports Center for the Disabled (Winter Park Ski Program), P.O. Box 1290, Winter Park, CO 80482; or the Legal Aid Foundation, 1900 Grant St., Ste. 900, Denver, CO 80203.

Clifton B. Kruse, Jr.


Clif Kruse died on December 30, 2008.

Kruse obtained a BA and a JD from Washburn University and a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from Boston University. Before practicing law, Kruse was an ordained Methodist minister and served as chaplain at Walpole Prison in Massachusetts.

Kruse founded the law firm Kruse & Lynch and practiced in Colorado Springs until he retired in 2006. Kruse was a president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He had served that organization as a board member, committee chair, and officer, and also was named a Fellow, the organization’s highest honor. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He authored several books, including Third-Party and Self-Created Trusts, and Selma’s Cat and Other Things That Matter (A Lawyer’s Intimate Conversations With His Elder Clients). He also wrote numerous articles and was a frequent speaker at conferences, law schools, and bar associations. Kruse was a member of the CBA for forty-five years and an active member of the Trust and Estate Section. He received the CBA’s highest honor, the Award of Merit, in 1995. He also was a member of the El Paso County and American Bar Associations.

Kruse is survived by his wife Carolyn. Contributions in Kruse’s memory may be made to Pikes Peak Hospice, 825 E. Pikes Peak Ave., Ste. 600, Colorado Springs, CO 80903; or the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, 610 Abbott Ln., Colorado Springs, CO 80905.

Ernest W. Lohf

Ernie Lohf died in March 2009.

During World War II, he served with the U.S. Army as a regimental organist and organizer. He also located and diffused land mines and bombs. Lohf was a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. During his legal career, he practiced securities, corporate, and bankruptcy law. He began his legal career with Keller & Bloomenthal, eventually becoming a partner in Keller, Bloomenthal & Lohf. He later formed Lohf, Murphy & Moran with R. Lauren Moran and C. J. Murphy. The firm became Lohf & Barnhill (now known as Lohf, Shaiman, Jacobs & Hyman, P.C.). He was a member of the CBA for fifty-three years.

Lohf is survived by his wife Ruth and a son.

Katelin R. Oakley


Katelin Oakley died on April 1, 2009.

Oakley graduated from Duke University School of Law in 2004. While at Duke, she worked as a legal intern in the Children’s Education Law Clinic, which serves underprivileged students in North Carolina. She also was the Managing Editor of Law and Contemporary Problems, a quarterly interdisciplinary publication of Duke Law School.

Until shortly before her death, Oakley had been an associate at Davis Graham & Stubbs LLP (DGS), where she emphasized corporate and securities matters and worked closely with a number of natural resources companies. While at DGS, she took a special interest in advising nonprofit entities on a pro bono basis and mentoring junior corporate associates. She also frequently wrote and spoke on new developments in securities law. Oakley was a member of the CBA since 2004.

Oakley was an avid horsewoman, specializing in hunter-jumper equestrian events. She enticed her close network of friends to join her newfound interest in long-distance running, and was training for the Horsetooth Half Marathon. An English major in college, she was a voracious reader.

Oakley is survived by two sons, Tyler (age 6) and Jason (age 3). She also loved sharing the outdoors with her boys and was introducing them to Colorado’s ski slopes, which she mastered as a high school student in Steamboat.

Michael E. Reidy


Mike Reidy died on April 12, 2009. He was 90.

He obtained an AB degree from Pittsburg Kansas Teachers College and a JD from the University of Denver.

Reidy practiced real estate and finance law in Colorado for sixty years. After working with the firm of Pershing, Bosworth, Dick & Dawson (now Sherman & Howard), he joined the law firm of Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw & Harring in 1979. The firm named the Mike Reidy Conference Room in his honor in 2008.

He was a member of the CBA and DBA since 1943 and was an HonorLife member since 1993. He was a former member of the CBA Agriculture Law, Natural Resources and Energy Law, Real Estate Law, and Trust and Estate Law Sections.

Reidy was a supporter of the Democratic party and served as a precinct captain. He was an active leader of the Denver Serra Club, which he helped found. He also was an avid tennis player well into his 80s.

Reidy is survived by his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, as well as numerous nieces and nephews, great nieces and grand nephews, and great-grand nieces and nephews. Contributions in his memory may be made to the Sisters of Loretto, Development Office, 4000 S. Wadsworth, Littleton, CO 80123.

William F. Schenkein

Bill Schenkein died on April 7, 2009. He was 79.

Schenkein was a graduate of East High School. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago and his law degree from the University of Colorado. He served in the military (Army Counterintelligence) from 1954 to 1956. He was in private practice for many years, and concluded his career as counsel for GEFCO, a subsidiary of GEICO insurance. (GEFCO is no longer in existence.) He also taught business law at the University of Colorado Denver and taught law to prospective real estate brokers at Red Rocks Community College. He was a member of the CBA for fifty-five years.

Schenkein is survived by his wife Pam, two children, and four grandchildren.

Willard Strong Snyder

Willard Snyder died on May 1, 2009. He was 89.

After graduating from Hastings College, Snyder served as a lead navigator with the Mighty Eighth during World War II. He then earned a JD degree from the University of Michigan Law School.

Snyder worked for the Denver Water Legal Department and later formed the law firm of Saunders, Snyder, Ross and Dickson. He was a member of the CBA for forty-five years.

In his spare time, Snyder enjoyed traveling, gardening, and playing piano. Snyder is survived by his wife Cora, two sons, and two grandchildren. Contributions in Snyder’s memory may be made to the American Red Cross,


Send In Memoriam information and photos 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.

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 at (303) 824-5318, (800) 332-6736, or

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