Recent Obituaries
In Memoriam Archive

Michael Moran ’67

October 16, 2020, in Portland.

Mike was born in Portland, and, except for a few years spent in Nebraska during his childhood, was a lifelong resident of Oregon. He was proud to be in the first graduating class at Sunset High School in Beaverton, where he was a member of the National Honor Society. Thus began a lifelong passion for learning. At Reed, he received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He wrote his thesis, “Mercury Photosensitized Reactions of Ethylene at Medium Pressures,” with Prof. Frederick Tabbutt [chemistry 1957–71] advising. He earned an MS in both chemistry and math at UC Berkeley, but before he could continue in the next step of his education, the Vietnam War intervened.

After spending two years in the army in Dugway, Utah, Mike changed his educational direction from chemistry to law, returning to UC Berkeley for a law degree. He was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1976 and spent most of his career as a litigation attorney with the law firm Black Helterline. He represented clients in such diverse matters as banking, heavy equipment, real property development, construction, food product manufacturing, and the computer industry. He retired as a partner at Black Helterline in 2003, remaining counsel to the firm until 2007. Retirement gave Mike more time to pursue his intellectual interests, which ranged from U.S. history, quantum theory, and quarks to the history of religion. His basement bookshelves were filled with notebooks filled with his personal research. He is survived by his wife, Jackie.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2021

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