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Kenneth Levi (Ken) Schubert Jr.

Kenneth Levi (Ken) Schubert Jr. Obituary
Kenneth (Ken) Levi Schubert, Jr

Kenneth ("Ken") L. Schubert, Jr. passed away on July 20, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Although he was born in Boise on November 26, 1938, Ken's family moved to Seattle during World War II when his father worked as an engineer at Boeing. Other than spending a year living in Olympia while serving as a law clerk to Justice Robert Finley, Ken spent the rest of his life in Seattle, living in the Magnolia neighborhood. He proudly received his Bachelor and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of Washington in 1961 (Phi Beta Kappa) and 1964 (Order of the Coif and Distinguished Alumnus) respectively. Ken is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Lucia, their daughter Jennifer (her son Levon and husband Robert), daughter Melissa (her daughter Ellen and partner Patrick), and son Ken (his wife Karen, and their children Acacia and Tobin). He is also survived by his siblings, Keith (his wife Eleanor) and Kate (her wife Liz). Ken's parents, Ken and Maxine, predeceased him.

During college, Ken married his high school sweetheart, Lucia, whom he had known since he was five years old. Lucia supported the family by working as a teacher while Ken attended law school. After his clerkship and working for one of the largest firms in town, Ken's good friend and a fellow editor of the Law Review, Mike Garvey, convinced Ken and another good friend and editor, Bill Houger, to start their own law firm now known as Garvey Schubert Barer. The forming of that firm and its continued success have always been some of Ken's proudest accomplishments.

The practice of law was a true calling for Ken. He was unflagging in his dedication to the highest ethical standards. His friends became his clients and his clients became his friends. He was a pioneer in advancing diversity in the legal profession and was honored by his firm naming its diversity scholarship after him. He consistently received recognition as a "Top Lawyer", "Super Lawyer," "Lawyer of the Year" and one of "The Best Lawyers in America" in the area of Trusts and Estates.

Ken's additional professional accomplishments are too numerous to list completely here, but he was proud to have been managing partner during the firm's most difficult years and to have chaired the firm's Trust and Estate Planning group for decades. He loved his work as an estate planning attorney and was a proud member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. He chaired the committee that drafted the Washington Trust Act and received the Washington State Bar Association's Award of Merit and Honor for his hard work. Later, he chaired the committee that produced the groundbreaking Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act, which remains the law governing judicial proceedings involving probates, trusts, and guardianships to this day. Ken practiced law for 50 years before retiring in 2012. He loved being a member of the Rotary Club of Seattle and had a perfect attendance record for more than twenty years.

Ken also served his community as president of the Magnolia Community Club, President of the Seattle Opera Foundation, and member of the Board of Trustees at the Bush School, the Seattle Opera, and Children's Hospital Foundation. He was a pillar of his church, the Magnolia United Church of Christ, which included serving as the church moderator and singing in the choir for decades. Ken loved music and was also a founder of the Magnolia Chorale.

Despite not possessing particularly athletic genes, Ken loved to compete and always pushed himself beyond his physical limits. He played competitive racquetball and was masterful at using "hinder" both offensively and defensively. As a true NW native, he was an avid climber, summiting Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Rainier (3X), Mt. Baker, Mt. St. Helens, the Brothers, and Mt. Hood. He began running in his mid-thirties and finished seven marathons in under four hours - all after the age of 40. He also took up cycling, completing Seattle to Portland and Seattle to Vancouver races and commuting to work for many years. Ken was an avid sportsman his entire life - he was an exceptional marksman with his favorite Browning shotgun both in sporting clays and in the field. He bled purple and was a Washington football and basketball season ticket holder for decades.

Ken also loved to travel with his family. In 1976, he took his family around the United States on a three-month tour to celebrate the bicentennial. Four years later, he shipped a camper van to Europe and drove them throughout the continent and Great Britain for three months. He traveled with his wife to Russia, Australia, China, Japan and Egypt.

Ken's family fondly recalls Ken's great sense of humor and willingness to have fun even at his own expense. He was generous with his time and resources, serving as a mentor to many, and knew no limits in his service to clients, colleagues, friends, and family. He valued education above all else and proudly sent his children to schools of their choosing. He was incredibly determined and enthusiastic - he climbed mountains and ran marathons for the achievement; his favorite part of each endeavor was when it was over and he was enjoying a beer and burger with friends. He was kind to and accepting of all he met. Ken also reveled in the success of others and was extremely proud of his wife, children, and grandchildren, not to mention the members of his firm whom he loved like family.

A service will be held at the University Congregational United Church of Christ, 4515 16th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98105-4201, on Saturday, August 5th at 1:00 pm with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Garvey Schubert Barer Endowed Professorship at the University of Washington School of Law, the Rotary Club of Seattle, the Seattle Opera, and to the Magnolia United Church of Christ.
Published in The Seattle Times from July 23 to July 30, 2017
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