Press Releases Apr 24, 2020

William R. DeWolfe 1935-2020

The BB&K Partner Emeritus Left a Legacy

It is with great sadness that we share with you the passing of our colleague and friend, Best Best & Krieger LLP Partner Emeritus William R. DeWolfe on April 16 at the age of 84.
 
Bill was born in Maine and moved to Riverside after World War II, during which his father served in the South Pacific. He graduated Polytechnic High School in 1954 and was a member of the University of California, Riverside’s inaugural class. In 1958, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and graduated with honors and was awarded a Phi Beta Kappa Key. He then earned his bachelor of law degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley in 1961. After working as a research clerk for a California Appellate Court justice, Bill returned to Riverside in 1962 and joined BB&K. After 53 years with the firm as a litigator, he retired from practice and remained connected to the firm by becoming partner emeritus in 2014.
 
His colleagues fondly remember him as “Mr. BB&K,” and credit him for helping build the firm culture of mentorship, community and client service.
 
“Bill was a true icon both within the firm and in the Riverside community. As a litigator, his work ethic and tenacity, and that word doesn’t do him justice, were legendary,” said Managing Partner Eric Garner. “He was generous, had a great sense of humor and it is also impossible not to chuckle when remembering some of his fierce discovery battles with certain opposing counsel. Bill was simply unforgettable to any of us fortunate enough to know him.”
 
While at BB&K, Bill handled a variety of litigation matters related to trusts and estates, business and real property disputes. He also served for many years as co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. He earned accolades from his peers in the legal industry by being named to the Southern California Super Lawyers and Corporate Counsel lists for business litigation, estate planning and probate.
 
Bill was truly committed to the Riverside community. He served as president of the Riverside Symphony Orchestra for two terms. He was a member on the Board of the Riverside Community Foundation. For many years, he enjoyed being part of the Riverside Men’s Breakfast Forum. The monthly gatherings of a men’s group that call themselves “Ship, Captain and Crew” provided him with friendly comradeship. He and his wife, Ann, were members of the Victoria Club since 1967. He served as a member of the Board of Trustees, Governors and Executive Board of Idyllwild Arts for a total of 32 years.
 
Bill was a devoted, proud and loyal advocate of UCR. He was a life member of the UCR Alumni Association and served two terms as president of the Alumni Association Board. He was president of the Citizens University Committee. In 2001, he received the Alumni University Service Award. He traveled to Sacramento almost every year for the annual advocacy trips. In 2006 he became a member of the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees and ultimately was a member of the Executive Committee. In 2018, Bill was recognized as a Distinguished Emeritus Trustee.
 
Bill and Ann were married in 1967 and have two children: John and Amy. Bill enjoyed spending weekends with his family and traveling with Ann to many foreign destinations. They also enjoyed spending time with their friends and philanthropic activities in the community.
 
Bill is survived by his wife, Ann; his son, John (wife Michelle Ventura, and grandson, Alexander) and daughter, Amy Mears (husband David, and grandson, Andrew). Also, his sister-in-law Susan and her husband, Michael Adams, and brother in-law, Donald Blackman. There will be a Celebration of Life Service to be scheduled at a later date.
 
In lieu of flowers the family kindly requests that, in the spirit of Bill’s memory, donations be made to the University of California, Riverside Foundation. Address: UCR Foundation, 1136 Hinderaker Hall, Riverside, CA 92521

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