|The Colorado Lawyer|
Vol. 42, No. 1 [Page 91]
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James T. (Jim) Bayer
October 21, 1925–October 26, 2012
R. Jerold Gerome
d. November 11, 2012
Christine Rothe Hoth
November 5, 1953–December 2, 2012
John E. (Koch) Kochenburger
February 14, 1931–November 22, 2012
R. Jerold Gerome
It is with deep sadness that our legal community learned that Jerry Gerome passed away on November 11, 2012. Jerry was a longtime member of the First Judicial District Bar Association. His areas of practice were estate planning, probate, real estate, and business law. He graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1967 in the same class as Gary Polidori, one of Jerry’s law partners during the 1980s and 1990s.
Jerry grew up in North Denver and was very much a native of Colorado. He had many interests in life outside the practice of law. These included, first and foremost, his family. His wife Marion and their six children and grandchildren formed the focal point of his life. Jerry also had many extended family members and friends. One example was an old family friend, who was an elderly woman without family; Jerry cared for her for many years. He helped her get disability benefits and housing and ran errands for her and visited her weekly. Jerry loved baseball (his father was a semi-pro player); golf; music (Jerry was known to play the electric guitar from time to time); and all things Italian—especially food and wine. My favorite memory of Jerry will always be the rides he gave me in his vintage 1962 Corvette convertible that he kept in immaculate condition. That was the definition of "cool."
For those of you who had the privilege of knowing Jerry, you are well aware of his sterling qualities. For those of you who never met Jerry, his professional legacy is well worth reflection.
I first met Jerry in 1989 in the job interview that eventually landed me an associate position at Polidori, Gerome, Rasmussen and Jacobson and, ultimately, a career partnership. When I was hired as an associate by the firm, Jerry acted as one of my mentors. I sat in on client interviews for estate planning cases and drafted wills with Jerry. This included travel to see elderly or infirm clients whom Jerry represented. It was in this context that I learned about Jerry’s humanity. Jerry exemplified the attributes of a "gentleman" lawyer. He truly cared about the people he represented, often going above and beyond the call of duty relative to following up with cases and families in a manner that is rarely mirrored by practitioners in today’s "hustle-bustle" style of practice. Often, his devotion to his clients resulted in waived or reduced fees.
The lesson to be learned, for all of us, was that he was a consummate professional devoted to his calling as an attorney and "counselor" at law. He would spend countless hours speaking to clients about their problems and giving advice that often went far beyond the technicalities of drafting a will, incorporating a business, or closing on a real estate transaction. He was cut from the old school cloth, where lawyers were trusted family advisors. Jerry rarely lost his temper or raised his voice. He was an honorable and decent man and he enhanced the lives of all who came into contact with him. I learned so much from him beyond just the nuts and bolts of private practice and firm management. For example, he always considered a typographical error in a document to be unacceptable. He explained that such aspects of building a professional image were essential in demonstrating the meticulousness that clients deserve and expect. Most important, Jerry taught those around him how important it is to be human and have a heart when it comes to understanding a client’s needs.
In his daughter’s words, "We have all lost a loving, kind, smart, generous, helpful, great giant of a man." We should feel blessed for having known him as we celebrate his life and contributions to the practice of law in Jefferson County. Arrivederci amico mio.
—Submitted by Lesleigh W. Monahan
Christine Rothe Hoth
Christine Rothe Hoth, 59, of Denver, died December 2, 2012, surrounded by family and friends. She was born November 5, 1953, in North Island, San Diego, California, the daughter of Mary and Jack Rothe. She was one of four siblings and the proud mother of three amazing children, Kevin, Greg, and Katy.
Chris graduated with honors from Raymond College at the University of the Pacific and was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar graduate from the Columbia University Law School. She was a member of the New York and Colorado bars. In 2011, she was included in the Martindale-Hubbell® Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers for her practice in real estate law. She was a founding member of the Senn Visciano Canges Law Firm, where she actively practiced.
Although her professional achievements were exceptional, she is best remembered for her kindness, her wisdom, and her quintessential decency. Contributions in her honor can be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation or the Novato United Methodist Church in Novato, California.
—Submitted by Kristi River
The In Memoriam section lists the name, date of birth where available, and date of death of deceased attorneys, JDs, judges, and legal professionals. Reader-submitted tributes of deceased attorneys and legal professionals, including those listed at the top of the In Memoriam section, are welcomed. Tributes should provide information about the deceased’s legal career. Photographs are encouraged. Tributes will be published as space is available and as the publication schedule allows. Send tributes and notices about recently deceased attorneys to Tracy Rackauskas at email@example.com.
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