Attorney William (Bill) Thayer writes about remembering family in the legal profession, and how they impacted his life.
In México and other Hispanic cultures el Día de los Muertos is a time for celebration and remembrance of loved ones who have passed. Here, I want to pay special tribute to two of my loved ones from the past. My grandfather on my father's side, Wilbur Fenno Thayer, Jr., and my father, Wilbur Brewer Thayer. Both were very special people, wonderful men, and distinguished lawyers in their own right, in their time.
My grandfather Wilbur Fenno Thayer, Jr., was at various times in his career an attorney, judge, and the mayor of a small town. To my brothers and sisters and me when we were little kids, though, he was just “Bepa”, and as kind and sincere of a man as one could ever imagine. After he died, I learned more about him, and how well-loved and respected he was in the business and legal communities in which he lived.
As for my father, much of what I have achieved in my life I owe to the encouragement, guidance, support, and love that he, in particular, gave to me. Our dad, Wilbur Brewer Thayer, became a lawyer in the 1950s, which was also the decade in which I was born. He worked for about fourteen years with the California Attorney General's Office in Sacramento, California, as a deputy attorney general. By 1969, however, he was ready to pursue his life-long dream, so he changed professions and became a cattle rancher. He and Mom moved our family of six kids to a beautiful ranch in southern Oregon. During the years I was in junior high and high school, I was able to spend a great deal of time working on the ranch with Dad. Learning from him about people, law, finance, and life in general shaped my thinking and my values in a very positive way. Ultimately, I chose, as had my brother Steve before me, to go to law school and work in the legal profession.
Dad died five years ago at the age of 86. I think of him often, with many fond memories.