Douglas Durgan McBroom|
Douglas Durgan McBroom, 73, died Saturday, November 16th. He was a husband, dad, lawyer, judge, hydroplane driver and big-hearted friend to many.
Doug was raised in Spokane by his parents, Mildred D. McBroom and Richard G. McBroom. His childhood was shaped by his love and allegiance to his little brother, Dick McBroom, who died in 1971. A committed Lewis and Clark High School Tiger, Doug carried his friendships from that time throughout his life.
Doug began college at the University of Washington. He transferred to the University of Chicago where he received both his bachelor's degree and his law degree. He earned a Masters of Criminal Law from Northwestern University. He was nonetheless a devoted WSU Cougar football fan, and never tired of being disappointed by the team's ability to lose a game in the final seconds.
Doug spent his life fighting for the underdog (perhaps explaining his Cougar allegiance). He began his career in 1966 as one of the nation's first police legal advisors, teaching officers in Pittsburgh to comply with newly-minted civil rights laws. After a short stint in the US Attorney's office in the Western District of Pennsylvania, he moved to the US Attorney's office in the Western District of Washington where he and his brother Dick worked as prosecutors ferreting out government corruption and organized crime.
After his brother's death, Doug became the Chief Criminal Prosecutor for Pierce County where he again fought white collar crime and corruption. In 1975, he entered private practice as a partner at the law firm of Schroeter, Goldmark and Bender where he practiced for many years. He was a hero to many clients -- representing people who had been hurt or wronged and helping them rebuild their lives.
In 2000, Doug was elected to the King County Superior Court, where he served as a judge until his retirement in 2009. Doug loved being a judge - he was smart, fair, and unassuming, and had no patience with slick lawyers spouting mumbo jumbo.
Doug nurtured a loving and tight-knit family. He married Judith Hall McBroom (Judy) in 1966 and raised two daughters, Kathleen Kellet McBroom (Kelly) and Maurin Kay McBroom (Mo) in the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle. Doug was fiercely proud of his daughters and he always sought to protect them from life's bumps and bruises, even as he encouraged their professional successes and crazy adventures.
In addition to his wife and daughters, Doug is survived by his mother, Mildred (age 102), sons -in-law Kevin Wood (Kelly) and Will Hughes (Mo), grandsons Durgan McBroom, Ryan Wood, and Galen Wood, sister-in-law Maureen McBroom Jenner, niece Elizabeth McBroom Gibson and nephew Chad McBroom Jenner.
While an excellent lawyer and jurist, Doug never quite got the hang of retirement. His early death leaves many hills un-skied, trips not taken, and late-night dinner-parties without his funny stories and loving presence.
A celebration of Doug's life will be held on December 8 at 3:00 p.m. at the Mount Baker Community Club. Doug did not like fancy floral arrangements, but he was deeply committed to the Martin Luther King Scholarship program - please consider making a donation in his name. Those can be addressed in care of the Mount Baker Community Club, 2811 Mount Rainier Drive South, Seattle, WA 98144.
Published in The Seattle Times on Nov. 24, 2013