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Gordon Cologne

1924 - 2019
Gordon Cologne Obituary
August 24,1924 - January 4, 2019 Gordon B. Cologne, 94, of Rancho Santa Fe, CA, passed away peacefully on January 4, 2019. Cologne, the son of a small meat market owner and school principal served as Mayor of Indio (1954-56), State Assemblyman and State Senator from Riverside County (1961-1972) and appointed by Governor Ronald Reagan as Associate Justice to the California Fourth District Court of Appeal, Division One in San Diego (1972-1984). As a State Senator, he introduced more bills than the average legislator, with a passage rate of 66 percent. During his tenure in the legislature, he was Chairman of the Senate Water Resources Committee and became recognized for his role in championing water quality issues that culminated in the legislature's passage and Governor Reagan's signing into law the California Porter-Cologne Water Quality Control Act. Enacted in 1970, it was heralded as the nation's strongest anti-pollution law and was used as a model for the federal Clean Water Act. He also was responsible for the legislation to raise 468 million to complete the State Water Project in California. During his tenure in the Senate, Cologne also served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He was widely seen as collegial toward his fellow legislators, regardless of party affiliation for the greater good of the people of Riverside County and California. He was the only legislator appointed to the Court of Appeal by then Gov. Reagan. As an Associate Justice, Cologne authored over 800 opinions. Cologne twice served as member of the California Supreme Court on special assignment by the Judicial Council. Cologne also was Adjunct Professor at the University of San Diego School of Law teaching evening classes in legislation. Among the many awards he has received, Cologne was recognized as one of the five outstanding young men of California by the Junior Chamber of Commerce in 1960. He received the National Wildlife Federation Award for conservation in 1965, Distinguished Eagle Scout by the Boy Scouts and the Freedoms Foundation Award in 1967. Cologne was Coachella Valley's first homegrown legislator. His roots for civic service started with his teen-age years earning the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Coachella Valley High School in 1942. After spending two years in the U.S. Navy, Cologne graduated from the University of Southern California and Southwestern College of Law. He worked briefly as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division before starting his private law practice in Indio, California. He was senior partner of the law firm of Marsh, Moore & Cologne (1952-1972). He focused his law practice on agribusiness, real estate, probate and trust matters. Since retirement from the Court of Appeal, Cologne was counsel to the law firm of Dale & Lloyd, opened his own law firm and then served as counsel to the law firm of Best, Best & Krieger. He represented the California Medical Association from 1986-1989 and many California water districts in legislative matters. He is survived by son Steven Cologne, Managing Partner at the law firm of Higgs Fletcher and Mack in San Diego, daughter Ann Meyer of West Bend, Wisconsin and granddaughter Stevie Meyer who is finishing high school. He was married to Patricia Ruth Cologne and together they raised their children in Indio, California. He was predeceased by his second wife Patricia Radice. Fitzhenry-Wiefels Mortuary Palm Desert, CA 760-568-9481
Published in Press-Enterprise on Jan. 27, 2019
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