My friend and mentor, George McIntosh died at his Bow, Washington home Sunday November 5, 2023. He leaves his wife Ann and his children. George was 99 years of age, having been born November 22, 1923 and would have been 100 years only seventeen days later on November 22nd. George has been a friend since I became a lawyer and was my mentor in my profession and life.

In 1959, David Welts and I took the oath in front of Judges Charles Stafford and Art Ward  to become new lawyers. I was looking for work when Walter (“Jack”) Deierlein, the prosecuting attorney and later a superior court judge, took mercy on me and hired me as a part-time deputy prosecuting attorney at a salary of what I recall was $250 a month. The other deputy prosecutor was Harry a Follman, later a superior court judge. The prosecutor’s office in Skagit County was a part time one that allowed limited private practice in addition to prosecutor’s work. There was one secretary for all three of us, Mrs. Cook who had years of experience and would just correct my legal dictation to what was correct without asking.  We were located in a building along the viaduct. On the upper floor there were offices for the prosecutor plus George McIntosh, who became a superior court judge, and Ruben Youngquist. There was a shared small conference room as well.  Downstairs the firm of Hammack & Fowler shared an office. The photo above is of  George McIntosh, Paul Luvera, Harry Follman & Walter Deierlein.

At the end of the week, on Friday, Walter, Harry and I would always meet in the conference room with George McIntosh. There was a bottle of whiskey in a filing cabinet, and we would share stories and a drink together. I very often would go to George for advice.  The group photo is of the entire Skagit County Bar in the 1960’s.

He was a mentor to me and others. A couple of memories that involve George are these:

In 1960 I had been a lawyer year and George was enthusiastic about attending the Washington State Bar convention in Spokane. He wanted Harry and I to go with him. He promised we could do it for $100 each. He was going to accomplish this inexpensive trip by having us camp at a city park. Harry and I  agreed because the price was right. We drove to Spokane, pitched our tent in a city park and unloaded our camping gear. From there we drove to downtown Spokane and the Davenport Hotel where the convention was being held.

In Spokane, we would attend any  free convention cocktail party, try to find places where there were  convention free hors d’oeuvres being served and attend social Bar functions whether invited or not plus attend the sessions. Each day, at the end of the convention meetings, we would drive back to the park, change out of our suits, go in the tent and get into our sleeping bags. Each morning we would put coins in the park shower to shower, change back into our suits and  sit at a park picnic table for coffee before driving back to the Davenport Hotel..  To say that the other campers at the park who saw this each mroninmg and evening were mystified would be putting it mildly. But, George was true to his word, and it didn’t cost Harry and I any more than $100. However, but he could never talk us into attending the convention the same way with him again.

Mount Vernon attorney Bill Bannister and later my law partner, was a pilot. He decided to fly to the annual Bar Convention in Tacoma in his float plane. George agreed to go  with him. They landed in the water a short distance from the the float plane dock which slooped down into the water. Bill told George to climb out on the plane  pontoon when he shut the engine down. The plan was to then glide to the dock where George would get off the pontoon and tie up the plane. When  they got there, Geoge jumped from the pontoon to the dock. But it was slippery, and George fell into the water. He was able to swim to a ladder and climb out of the water to the upper dock in his water-soaked suit, shirt and tie. They got the plane tied up and decided they needed to look for a clothing store for George so they could attend that day’s Bar function. So,  Bill and George, still in dripping wet clothes found a clothing store. Explaining the situation to the clerk George bought new clothes from a dumfounded clerk and packed the wet clothes out in a sack. They attended the convention and avoided a repeat of the event when they left.

There are lot of stories and memories about this person who played an important role in my life. God rest your soul George my friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *