Donald W. Bounds

donald bounds

Donald Wayne Bounds, JD 3/23/48 - 6/17/15 A Man of Peace...A Warrior for Justice On Wednesday, June 17, my husband, Don Bounds died, at home, of a massive heart attack. The word "beloved" doesn't even scratch the surface of the depth of my love for Don, my respect for the way he lived his life, my appreciation of the love and care he gave me for 38 years, and my amazement at the wonderful, diverse people he brought into our lives. Writing an obituary for someone like Don is a task I never imagined undertaking-I realize that we all have our own expiration dates, but given Don's long-lived family history, I was counting on at least another 20 years with him. So I'll ask you to sit back, drink a glass of wine, and take a few minutes to read about the lovely man who was my husband, my partner, my love... Don was born in Ft. Worth, Texas, the oldest child of O.D. (Orrin Davis) and Maurice Bounds. He spent his first three years of life in faculty housing on the Texas Wesleyan College campus (now TW University). The family moved to 616 Court Street, just blocks away from the college, and into a neighborhood populated mostly by grandparents, including his own next door. Don remembered going from house to house in the neighborhood, where grannies would plie him with iced tea and ice cream. It was a "Leave it to Beaver" childhood. Texas was segregated in the 50's, and Don became aware of the idiocy of discrimination in the 2nd grade, when he tried to drink from a nearby "Colored Only" water fountain and was quickly shepherded away by his mother, who tried to explain why that water wasn't for him. It made no sense to a very practical little boy, and that single event had an impact that helped form his character and contributed to his life's work. Don was big brother to Kenneth (Ken), two years younger, and Beverly (Bev), eight years younger. (Please see Ken Bounds tribute.) The close-knit family was very active at Polytechnic Baptist Church, and Don said that he'd attended more church services in the first 19 years of his life than most people do in a lifetime. Because Don's accounting professor Dad, O.D., only taught for half the summer, the family went on weeks long camping adventures, visiting all of the 48 contiguous states and Canada. "We saw every historical marker in every state," Don would say about the escapades that usually included his aunt and uncle, Nona and Mac Lattimore, and cousins Danny Lattimore and Nonette Lattimore Terry, and on occasion cousin Paul Bounds. Don graduated with honors from Polytechnic High School (home of the Poly Parrots) in 1966, where he lettered in tennis and basketball (other life-long passions), attended Texas Boys State and was King of Saturnalia, a Latin Club celebration in honor of a Roman Deity, of which he was weirdly proud. Because his dad was a professor at TWC, Don was able to attend college there at no cost to the family, majoring in Political Science and History. At TWC he was awarded All Intramural Player of the Year, made a delegate to the Model United Nations, and was Sophomore Class Senator. He was one of a few radicals on the small campus, made even more recognizable by shoulder length flaming red hair (hair!). One of his fondest memories was wearing his 6th grade Daughters of the American Revolution Citizenship Award medal to demonstrate at a George Wallace rally. College and Viet Nam "opened a window and I slipped through," Don often said, leaving organized religion behind and embracing a personal philosophy that valued peace, justice and equality. . Married during his junior year in college, Don and his ex-wife Jacklynn decided after graduation the next year to leave Ft. Worth for grad school in Denver, where Don had every intention of pursuing a master's degree in Public Administration and becoming a city planner. When a paid internship fell through, Don found work in construction, and began a 32 year career that spanned digging ditches to managing multi-million dollar commercial projects. Don and Jacklynn divorced "sometime, I can't remember..." and we met in March of 1977. Don built the offices for the company I worked for, and we held an open house. He overheard a conversation I had with his boss, a 6'4" two-hundred fifty pound behemoth of a man (I was all of 110 pounds, 5'2", with my head thrown back to make eye contact). Boss: "Where did you work before this?" Suzanne: "I worked for XXX Construction Company." Boss: "Oh, that's a great company-I'm a personal friend of Mr. X, the president." Suzanne: "Well, I sued them for sex discrimination and named Mr. X personally." Don called me the next day and invited me to lunch. The rest is history... We moved into a house in Denver's Bonnie Brae neighborhood, and Don encouraged me to complete my undergraduate degree. He cheered me through undergrad and post graduate work, and inspired me to pursue a career in non-profits, where he was my "go-to" volunteer for everything from taking blind seniors to baseball games to collecting food for our food bank to managing the construction of a remodel at my last agency. No one gets rich working in non-profits, and I was only able to fulfill my life's work because I had a totally supportive and generous partner. We moved to The Ranch, 5,000 acres of rolling pasture, creeks and bluffs in Lone Tree, Colorado in April, 1979, when our friends Susan Lyon and Dennis Heflick moved to a more child-appropriate home. We were married there on July 15, 1979. Except for a year in San Diego, where Don built an addition to a hotel, we spent our lives in this magical place-one that we were happy to share with our friends, family and a long list of pets. Each year, Don attended the O.D. Bounds Golf Classic in Ft. Worth, which honored his father and mother, and raised funds for the TWU Men's Golf Team. When in Texas, Don loved the opportunity to reconnect with old friends, visit with his aunts, uncles and cousins, always making time to eat lots of bar-b-que at Angelo's with Ken and cousin Paul. Inspired by our dear friend, Cheryl Eastburn, who changed careers to become a massage therapist and was deliriously happy, Don began to consider a major life change. His passion was justice, and most of his interests were in law. He was a dedicated volunteer at Colorado ACLU, and was a founding member of Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CADP). (Please see David Miller's wonderful tribute to Don.) He was accepted to the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver in 2004, received the Civil Rights Student Clinic Award, and graduated with a JD in 2007. At D.U., Don participated in the Civil Rights Clinic during his third year of law school. According to his favorite professor, Laura Rovner, "Consistent with his values of ensuring access to justice and protecting First Amendment freedoms, Don volunteered to represent Mark Jordan, a federal prisoner who had received a disciplinary sanction for writing an article about prison life that was published in Off! magazine. Don, along with two other students, Michelle Young Berge and Jack Hobaugh, won the case after they conducted a three-day trial in federal court. Because of Don's work, the court ruled that the Federal Bureau of Prisons' regulation prohibiting prisoners from publishing stories in the news media violated the First Amendment rights of prisoners and the press, and struck it as unconstitutional." Don passed the Colorado Bar on the first try, and began a solo practice in 2007. He worked out of our little house, so sometimes I heard half of a conversation with new clients. He was generous with advice, particularly if he was able to save someone money, and his sense of humor always came through. Typical of Don, several of his clients became good friends. I retired from full-time work at the end of December, and we hoped to have many years of good food, good friends and good travel. Fortunately, we were able to take a wonderful trip to Charleston, S.C. just two weeks ago, staying with Don's brother Ken and our sister-in-law Linda Gorton. We had a chance to visit with cousins Danny and Bonnie Lattimore, their daughter Laurie Lattimore Volkman and husband Mark. We also saw Bill and Susan Milner, whom Don had not seen in 40 years, while in Charleston. We traveled to the Chesapeake Bay to visit our dear friend (and wonderful artist) Alane Ortega and her husband, John; to Forty Fort, PA to see my mother, aunt and uncle, and our friend, Marjie; to Washington DC, where we stood in awe of the MLK memorial; to Virginia to visit Don's great friend and fellow lawyer Jack Hobaugh and his lovely new wife, Diana; to Fredricksburg, VA to visit with my brother Doug, sister-in-law Karen and nephew Andrew, then back to Myrtle Beach for a few more days with Ken and Linda. It was such a great trip-we saw so many people and laughed so much. During the last week of his life, Don played tennis, mowed our huge front lawn, had lunch with his best friend, Don Eastburn, walked a mile to our mailbox every day with our black lab, Teddy, attended a meeting of the Rampart Range Metropolitan Special District, for which he served as Commissioner and Treasurer, had telephone calls with clients, attended an ACLU Legal Panel meeting, had three dinners with friends, and saw a movie that made us laugh and made us cry. In a eulogy that Don delivered at the funeral of his father, he spoke of the lessons he learned from that great man: responsibility, patience, tolerance, love of purposeful occupation, a sense of competition fortified with fun, and love of family. Don's parents taught him how to live a principled life-one of integrity, honesty and fairness. He was the most ethical man I ever knew. And the kindest. And the most loving. Don is survived by his brother, Ken Bounds, sister-in-law Linda Gorton, sister Beverly Bounds Savage and brother-in-law Bob, nieces Michelle Bounds, Joy, Grace and Faith Savage, and nephew Aubrey Savage. His second cousin, Nancy Bounds Williams and her son, Tom were kindred spirits. On the Greene side of the family, Don leaves his mother-in-law, Ruth Hess, sister-in-law, Debbi Greene and her daughters, Christine Todd Murphy, Erin Todd Lemmond and Jennifer Todd Francis, brother and sister-in-law Doug and Karen Greene, and nephew, Andrew Greene. Don was godfather to Jessica Heflick Costiblanco, Cooper Heflick and Jasmine Gunderson. He leaves a host of first and second cousins and one remaining aunt, Jonnie Medina, plus very dear friends, too numerous to mention, whom he cherished. Although we had no children, he was always delighted to hold the new babies, play with the kids, and attend concerts, ballet performances, art shows and graduations. Our friend's children were his friends, too. On June 17, 2015, Don left his home at The Ranch, his cat, Chester, black lab Teddy and me. We miss him desperately. Suzanne Greene Don would be pleased if donations in his memory were made to: Coloradans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (CADP) PO Box 46123 Denver, CO 80201 If you wish to make a donation via credit card, please call Carla Turner, Executive Director 720-854-8548

Saturday, June 27, 2015
10:00 AM 6/27/2015 10:00:00 AM
Sturm College of Law

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208

Celebration of life of a Man of Peace; A Warrior for Justice. Please share your favorite Don story. PARKING at D.U.--L GARAGE, near the law school

Sturm College of Law
2255 E. Evans Avenue Denver 80208 CO
United States

View current weather.

Memories Timeline

Sign the Guestbook, Light a Candle