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Edwin Emerick Jr. ’58

October 28, 2018, in Seattle, Washington, following a stroke.

Born in Yakima, Washington, Ed was proud to have come to Reed as a George F. Baker Foundation Scholar. The scholarship, established by one of the richest men in the United States, paid for Ed’s full tuition, his books, fees, and living expenses. Ed had wondrous tales of his life at “Reed’s Rainy Institute,” which included the lifelong friends he made, the Doyle Owl, and his 20 dormmates in the Doyle residence hall, two of whom—Dale Middleton ’57 and Greg Smith ’56—were groomsmen at his wedding. He remembered Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s visit to campus, when the great poet, painter, and social activist slept on a daybed in the common room and surreptitiously autographed a copy of his latest publication found on Ed’s bookshelf.

Ed received a JD from the University of Chicago Law School and was a teaching fellow at New York University School of Law while earning an LLM degree. While studying for the bar exam at the University of Washington law library, he met Patricia Haney, who was working her way through college as a library assistant. The couple married in 1967 and five years later purchased a home in the Bryant neighborhood of Seattle, where they raised a family and established the deep roots of community.

Ed joined the law firm that became McCune Godfrey & Emerick in Seattle’s University District.  (Cal McCune was the father of Reed alumnus Leslie McCune Grace ’59.)  His clients included both the state and Seattle chapters of the AIA, the Washington State Health Facilities Association, and countless developers, corporations, banks, and private individuals. He was considered a pioneer in the field of condominium law and was involved with early efforts to protect Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market, fending off forces that would have replaced the “outdated” market with a parking garage. He was instrumental in the fight to retain and renovate the neighborhood school.

Most of all, Ed was the quintessential family attorney, known for his intellect, integrity, kindness, generosity, sense of humor, and steady spirit. With gentle expertise, he guided numerous families through the finer points of real estate purchases and sales, estate planning and probate, and the legal system generally. He mentored women breaking into the business world and kids breaking into the adult world. “A prince,” one of his colleagues called him. A “gentleman attorney,” said another.  “A man with a moral compass,” remarked a third.

Ed very reluctantly retired from practice at the end of 2016, maintaining his credentials until his death. His practice is continued in the University District by Marisa Broggel, a high school classmate of his daughter Elizabeth whom Ed had known since she was 14.

In large and small ways Ed’s life showed his great love of home, family, friends, and community, as well as his love for Reed College. Throughout his life, he counted Reedies among his most treasured friends. A lifelong, enthusiastic learner, he exemplified Chaucer’s clerk: “Gladly would he learn and gladly teach.”

Ed is survived by Pat, his wife of 52 years, and by his children Ned (Edwin III) and Elizabeth.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2020

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