Matthew James Costinett, Anton V. Dworak, and Gordon E. Schieman
Honoring the Lives and Work of Recently Deceased CBA Members
October 2022Download This Article (.pdf)
Matthew James Costinett
May 25, 1971–July 21, 2022
Matthew James Costinett, beloved son, brother, dear friend to many, and a shrewd and meticulous jurist, passed away suddenly on July 21, 2022, far too young. Matt was born in Maryland on May 25, 1971, to Paul Robin Costinett and Jan Rey Granados Costinett. He is survived by his mother Jan and brothers Paul and Chris.
Matt grew up exploring the great outdoors of Southern Maryland, where his love of rocks, minerals, and the natural sciences was born. He went on to earn a bachelor of science in geology from the University of Maryland, College Park. After college, he worked as an environmental and energy consultant in Arlington, Virginia. In his spare time, he enjoyed hiking and going for long bike rides and runs, and even ran (and finished) the Marine Corps Marathon. A voracious learner always yearning for more, he decided to pursue a career in environmental law and moved to Denver, earning his law degree at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 2003.
As a practicing attorney, Matt developed a diverse legal practice, but he became heralded within Denver legal circles for his unparalleled knowledge of oil and gas law, his fastidiously drafted title opinions, and his strong client advocacy skills. Matt was always generous about sharing his time and knowledge with others, and he trained and mentored a fair number of younger attorneys. Matt ultimately transitioned his practice to renewable energies, working at the Polsinelli law firm.
Matt was kind, fiercely loyal to those he loved, always dependable, and selflessly thoughtful of others. He had a clever and witty sense of humor, he loved animals (particularly cats), and his kindness, generosity, and intellectual curiosity will be missed terribly, as will his home-grown pumpkins and annual Christmas cards. Most of all, Matt will be missed by those who loved him dearly and who will always cherish his memory as a blessing.
Donations in Matt’s memory may be made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A memorial fund has been established in his name at www.afsp.org.
—Submitted by Paul Costinett
Anton V. Dworak
August 14, 1967—August 3, 2022
Anton V. Dworak, a shareholder at Lyons Gaddis, passed away suddenly at the young age of 54 from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Anton will be remembered for his quick wit, sharp intellect, and affinity for others.
As a past vice president of the Colorado Bar Association and a past president of the Boulder County Bar Association, Anton spread his unique perspective of the world, whether by providing solid legal advice or by quoting a unique line from one of his favorite movies, perhaps in a passable yet fake British accent.
Anton has been described by many as a true gentleman, a man perhaps from a past generation when his signature sweater vests and bowties were more in vogue. Perhaps it was the influence of his time in the Deep South, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Emory University in Atlanta in 1990.
That true gentleman spent nearly his entire career at Lyons Gaddis. After graduating from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1993 and earning an LLM in Taxation, Anton joined Lyons Gaddis in 1999 and became a shareholder in 2004.
While much of his life was devoted to the law, his pride and joy was his family, both human and canine. Many remember how often he noted how lucky he was to have his wife Jeanne and his children. When asked about his “blended family,” he would cringe. He said it sounded like a cooking show.
Spending time with his clan was his priority, and he immersed himself in their interests and activities. He even experienced the life of a roadie going from gig to gig with his musician son Alfred, also known as Alphonso. Alphonso’s shows took him around Colorado but also to blues and jazz meccas like New Orleans and Memphis.
Anton’s definition of family wasn’t limited. He and his family, through Rotary’s Rocky Mountain Youth Exchange, hosted more than a dozen exchange students from all over the world. He said it was to share the many remarkable places and activities that exist in Colorado. Many suspected it was an excuse to have fun and to stay young by osmosis.
His view of life was embodied in Rotary International’s Four-Way Test: Is it the truth? Is it fair? Does it build good will and better friendship? Will it benefit all concerned? But, Anton would add, is it fun?
Family for Anton included the entire community. He truly never met a stranger. Many people note that, while he seemed somewhat quiet and reserved, his dry sense of humor and his mastery of sarcasm quickly dispelled that notion. With a certain panache, he was able to handle very serious and difficult matters due to his connection with others. He was proud to be a lifetime member of the Longmont Cemetery Board, and he was known to discuss the subtleties associated with cemetery care and its eternal residents at length.
As a fourth-generation Longmont resident, he was committed to the community. Anton’s current membership on the Longmont United Hospital Board of Directors meant a great deal to him, as did his membership on the Board of Directors of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce, Twin Peaks, and numerous other community organizations. He was proud to share his knowledge and expertise, thanks to his strong sense of responsibility to care for others and the community that he loved.
He once said that he would have loved to have been on the panel of Match Game during the seventies. He thought it looked like fun—sipping cocktails and making jokes with Richard Dawson, Brett Sommers, Fanny Flagg, and Charles Nelson Reilly. Perhaps he’s playing with them now, sipping his signature Tanqueray and tonic, waiting for his family and friends to join him.
Anton is survived by his wife Jeanne; children Naomi Cross, Alfred Dworak, and Lela Dworak; and brother Karl Dworak.
—Submitted by Lyons Gaddis, P.C.
Gordon E. Schieman
August 13, 1931–November 21, 2021
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, lawyer, and best friend to many, Gordon Schieman passed away of natural causes in November 2021 while vacationing in Mexico with his wife Corinne and dear friends. He was 90.
Born in the South Side of Chicago to Emil and Linda Schieman, Gordon graduated with a degree in business from the University of Illinois, followed by a law degree and LLM, both from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. He was a member of the Alaska, Colorado, and Nevada Bars.
In 1957 Gordon married Corinne Decker in Tokyo, and the newlyweds climbed Mt. Fuji on their honeymoon. During their 64-year marriage, the couple traveled, bicycled, skied, and hosted friends from all over the world.
Gordon loved education and teaching. During his military career, he was a professor at the US Air Force Academy and later was a member of the JAG Corps, serving in Turkey and at Lowry Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. While teaching at the Air Force Academy, he brought Ved Nanda, newly appointed DU law professor, to the academy as a guest teacher. Ved then had Gordon guest teach at DU law school. The two of them began a long-term close friendship that had Gordon and Corrine taking many overseas trips to wherever Ved was teaching. Upon retiring from the military, Gordon entered into law practice, specializing in trusts and estates, and also served as an adjunct professor of law at DU. Over the years, Gordon shared offices with Bruce Schilken, John Phillips, and Keith Davis.
Gordon was a man of many passions. He excelled at skiing, horseback riding, mountain climbing, and travel. He volunteered for 28 years with the National Ski Patrol Association, serving at Alyeska Resort in Alaska and Monarch Ski Resort in Salida, Colorado. He climbed every fourteener in Colorado and enjoyed them so much that he climbed many of them again.
More than almost anything, Gordon loved horses and being a cowboy. He rode his entire life and had many adventures, including multiple riding trips in Canyon de Chelly (one of his favorites). When he was 75, he completed the ride of a lifetime, the 170-mile Billy the Kid Ride, an adventure he would recall with great fondness. He last rode the “triple by-pass” bicycle ride (120 miles and 11,000 ft. elevation gain from Evergreen to Avon over Juniper Pass, Loveland Pass, and Vail Pass)—when he was 80!
Gordon was an exceedingly warm and generous person who wanted to help make the world a better place. He actively supported numerous causes, volunteered his time, and served on many boards. He loved a spirited discussion of current topics, especially when accompanied with multiple glasses of wine and copious amounts of popcorn.
Gordon is remembered for his exceptionally big heart, robust love of life, penchant for spontaneously breaking into song, dance moves, sourdough pancakes, and love of books and history—and for a life extraordinarily well lived. Many, many people rightly consider Gordon to be their best friend, and all of them would be right.
All of us whose lives were greatly enriched by having known, worked, and played with Gordon will fondly miss him.
—Submitted by John R. Phillips and Ved Nanda