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TCL > April 2001 Issue > In Memoriam

April 2001       Vol. 30, No. 4       Page  80
In Memoriam

In Memoriam

The Colorado Bar Association Remembers
The Lives and Contributions of Colorado Attorneys


Joseph T. Callahan passed away February 14, 2001. He was 89. Callahan was born in Sterling, Colorado, and was raised in eastern Nebraska. He graduated from Creighton Law School in Omaha, Nebraska, in June 1939. Until he entered the military service, Callahan was County Attorney in McCook, Nebraska. He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army until 1946. Callahan began practicing law in Wray, Colorado, in 1947. He was active in the Colorado Bar Association, including serving on the CBA Board of Governors, and was a member of the American College of Probate Counsel. Callahan retired from the practice of law in 1987 and was honored with a CBA Life Membership in 1989. He is survived by his wife, Jeanne Callahan, six children, thirteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. The law practice of Callahan & Callahan in Wray, Colorado, is continued by his son and daughter-in-law, Thomas J. and Anne N. Callahan.


Stanley L. Drexler

Denver native Stanley L. Drexler passed away on January 10, 2001. He had just marked his 89th birthday on January 7. Drexler was considered by many to be the "dean of tax litigators"; he had received numerous accolades during his career for his work as a tax attorney. In 1936, Drexler graduated with honors from the University of Denver College of Law, where he had been president of the law school student body. Drexler was admitted to practice law in Colorado in 1936. He became a member of the Colorado Bar Association a year later. Drexler served as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943 to 1945 and was a senior trial attorney for the Internal Revenue Service from 1945 to 1949. He was lead counsel in many significant tax cases, including U.S. v. Empey, the case that recognized the professional corporation. In 1993, Drexler was honored by the Colorado Bar Association and the Greater Denver Tax Counsel Association for fifty-seven years of work in tax litigation. He was a partner in the Denver law firm of Drexler & Wald, PC. Among his hobbies were tennis and reading, and he had been a reader for recordings for the blind for thirty years. Drexler was married for more than fifty years to Paula E. Griffin. She survives him, along with two sons, a daughter, and three grandchildren. Contributions in Drexler’s memory may be made to the Denver Dumb Friends League, 2080 S. Quebec, Denver, CO 80231.

Grand Junction attorney Charles J. "Charlie" Traylor passed away on February 4, 2001. Traylor retired from his law firm, Traylor, Tompkins, Black & Gaty, P.C., and semi -retired from the practice of law, on January 12, 2001, his 85th birthday. Described as "a legendary lawyer in western Colorado," Traylor moved from Mississippi to Colorado in 1946 and was admitted to practice law in Colorado that year. He joined the Colorado Bar Association in 1947. Traylor served in the 71st Infantry in the U.S. Army during WWII as commander of a heavy-weapons company, earning a Bronze Star. He participated in the liberation of Gunkirchen, an Austrian concentration camp holding Jewish and Polish prisoners. Traylor was active in trial lawyer groups, but his public passion was education. He was a strong supporter of Mesa State College, and also participated in School District 51 meetings, encouraging programs that promoted math and science for minorities and women. Additionally, he was a member of a committee that was trying to establish a partnership between Mesa State College and District 51. Traylor is survived by his wife, Helen, seven children, and numerous grandchildren.

Richard W. Wright , formerly a Denver attorney, passed away on March 5, 2001. He was 84. Wright was born in Custer, South Dakota, in 1916. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1941. He was admitted to practice law in Colorado in 1944 and became a CBA member in 1946. Wright was a special agent for the FBI and practiced law with the Denver law firm of Sherman & Howard, LLC. He helped in the planning of the community colleges of Denver and was on the board of directors at the Auraria Higher Education Center. Survivors include his wife, Ruth Drinkwater, two daughters, and three grandchildren.

The Colorado Bar Foundation ("Foundation") is one means of commemorating members of the profession. The Foundation was established in 1953 and functions exclusively for educational and charitable purposes. The Foundation promotes the advancement of jurisprudence and the administration of justice in Colorado through grants to help educate the general public and provide assistance to the state’s legal institutions. All gifts to the Foundation are deductible contributions for federal income tax purposes. For additional details about becoming a Foundation supporter, call Dana Collier Smith in Denver at (303) 824-5318 or (800) 332-6736.

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