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In Memoriam

June 21, 2021


Marc R. Brosseau

January 22, 1952–April 29, 2021

Marc Brosseau passed away too young on April 29, 2021, after a short bout with an aggressive form of lung cancer. For those of us who knew Marc well, his passing is an incredibly sad event, but Marc lived life to the fullest, and it is hard to fathom how he could have squeezed more life out of his time on this earth.

Marc was born and grew up in Downey, California. After graduating from Stanford University, he attended law school, first at UC Hastings and then at the University of Colorado School of Law, where he served as editor-in-chief of the law review and won the Edward C. King Award as the outstanding graduating student in 1976. Upon graduation, Marc went to work for Weller, Friedrich, Hickish, Hazlitt and Ward, where he stayed until that firm dissolved in 1995.  Marc was elected one of the youngest partners ever at that firm, and when it dissolved, he was a founding member of Kerr Friedrich Brosseau Bartlett.

Marc was a preeminent trial attorney throughout his career. He specialized in products liability defense but handled cases far beyond that niche. It’s a good thing Marc loved to travel because he was a true “road warrior.” He was the lead “go-to” trial attorney for many large companies, and clients sent him all over the country to handle their cases.

Marc had an unmatched work ethic and a desire to better the profession. He unfailingly treated opposing counsel and opposing parties with respect and professionalism. He looked for and relished opportunities to mentor young lawyers. He gave freely of his time, including to the University of Colorado School of Law, where he was an adjunct professor and regularly counseled law students and law school applicants. Though an incredibly busy attorney, he always had time for anyone who asked for his help and guidance.

Marc’s approach to life and the practice of law can best be summed up by his personal philosophy. First, he believed in proceeding with confidence in whatever you do. In Marc’s case, that confidence was a product of his innate abilities but more particularly his meticulous planning and hard work.

Second, Marc had a “get it done” attitude that was off the charts. He abhorred procrastination and delay in all its forms and never fell victim to “paralysis by analysis.” One of Marc’s favorite expressions to young attorneys he mentored was: Do not let the quest for perfection get in the way of excellence. Marc would analyze whatever problem he faced, make a recommendation on how it should be handled, and then implement the agreed upon plan.

Third, Marc wanted everyone to have a good time. He loved the practice of law, but he loved his family more. He would inevitably counsel younger attorneys and staff to get their work finished and get out of the office and go do something else. Marc lived that advice. When he left the office, he was 100% devoted to his beloved wife Stacey and their wonderful son Royce. The family traveled as a team all over the world.

In a nutshell, Marc loved to do things, not collect things. Those of us who were fortunate to have known Marc have the memories of those good times—with Marc leading the charge.

 

Judith A. (Pierson) Beggs

December 6, 1940–November 6, 2020

Judith Ann Beggs was born a girl in a boy’s world. As a smart and ambitious young woman, she was constantly frustrated by sexism, but she also was part of the generation of women shattering barriers. Denied admission to hospital administration school because she was a woman, she went to law school instead, starting just months after her daughter was born. The practice of law turned out to be the perfect pry bar to open the doors of her life and those of others she met across the world. Not content to just do a thing, Judy wanted to introduce it to everyone she knew. She was a consummate inviter and orchestrator.

Judy was born in Russell, Kansas, to Elsie Bradshaw and Philip Hamilton Beggs. She was the oldest of three sisters: Mary (Bill) Ritterhouse (both preceded her in death) and Phyllis (Doc) Bieker. The family moved to Rayville, Louisiana, during her high school years, where she learned to “apple-polish and date two boys at once.” She graduated from the College at Northwestern State College of Louisiana (Now Northwestern State University of Louisiana), where she earned a degree in business.

After college, she and best friend Barbara Juneau (who also preceded her in death) moved to Denver, where she met and married Eric Pierson, who coincidentally was born in Natchitoches and threw his father’s tools in the lake Judy would later sit by to study. Judy and Eric divorced after 20 years of marriage but remained friends until her final day, when Judy beat him again at Rummikub.

In her 30s, Judy became a mother to Nicolette Suzanne Pierson (Jim) Richardson and a lawyer (University of Denver). She led the Girl Scouts and made sure adventure was part of life. She worked from home writing unique estate plans and helping women find their bearings after divorce. She never baked cookies; in fact, she wasn’t a cook at all.

In her 40s, Judy discovered the outdoors. She loved pushing her limiting beliefs about her capabilities through backpacking, discovering magical Utah, starting a tour company, teaching climbing, and boating with the raft Eric brought home one day.

In her 50s, when her daughter left for college, having always wanted to work internationally, Judy left for a life-changing two-year Peace Corps tour in Guéoul, Senegal, West Africa.

Upon her return to Denver, she formed a musical duo with John Montaña. She returned to the practice of law, joined the Board of Swallow Hill Music Association, and was instrumental in securing the purchase of their new location on Yale and Broadway. She began canoeing, and true to Judy-form, created musical-themed river trips, which she would market and lead. Sometime in this period, she was invited to be an International Election Monitor in Bosnia after its Civil War. She passed up a long-awaited Grand Canyon rafting permit to do this interesting and important work.

Through extreme tenacity and serendipity, she brought a hard-working and talented boy from Senegal to Englewood who received and embraced his opportunity for education, became a seamless part of a loving Colorado family, and found an exceptional wife who helped him complete the circle back to Senegal.

In 2005, Judy and John got it in their mind that they could help keep girls in school in Guéoul by opening doors to them and their families through education. Friends of Guéoul was formed. She spent the rest of her life traveling back and forth to Guéoul and inviting everyone in her path to “come play” with her there. Many did! In 2017, the people of Guéoul presented her with a key to the town, and a road headed toward the university being built there is named Judy Beggs Boulevard. Her relentless determination and vision helped make this possible.

Judy had ambition and dreamed of a bigger world, and that’s what she got. She wanted you to dream bigger for yourself. And if you didn’t do it for yourself, she’d do it for you! She once said, “Don’t worry about me; when I get knocked down. I always get back up.” And she believed you should, too.