Obituary: William Schoeberlein

William Schoeberlein
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William Schoeberlein November 23, 1932 ~ April 25, 2020 William Francis Schoeberlein died at age 87 on April 25, 2020 of natural causes at his home in Louisville, Colorado. Bill was known for his love of outdoor adventures, travel and family, and his amiability and generosity. He was a distinguished Denver-based attorney practicing labor and employment law for more than 50 years.

Born in Watertown, NY, on November 23, 1932 to George Adam and Clara (Benarwic) Schoeberlein, Bill was raised in Rochester, NY. The first in his family to complete high school, he earned a BA and a law degree from Harvard, graduating cum laude from both. He moved to Denver in 1958 to begin his law career. One of the first attorneys in Colorado predominantly practicing labor and employment law, he represented public and private sector employers.

Bill began spending time in the Roaring Fork Valley in the early 1960’s as he handled western slope cases for his firm and eventually became a part-time Woody Creek resident. Much of Bill’s work was in representing mining companies in labor issues, including in the Leadville, Redstone and Paonia areas. He also represented several prominent Aspen area residents, including author Leon Uris.

Deeply committed to pro-bono legal practice, Bill was proud to work as part of the legal team representing Hispanic ranchers in southern Colorado fighting to restore their right to use the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant in Lobato vs. Taylor (1981-2018). His team took the case all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court and prevailed.

An avid outdoorsman, rafter and world traveler, Bill became a member of the Colorado Mountain Club in 1959. He climbed all the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, as well as Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro in Kenya and Tanzania and the highest volcanoes in Mexico.

Bill was married to Elizabeth (Coleman) Schoeberlein 1953-1967, with whom he had three children, Elizabeth Dirth, Joseph and John. He was married to Janet (Southworth) Schoeberlein 1968-2008, with whom he had one child, Lara Beaulieu. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, his brother James, and his grandson George Dirth. He is survived by his four children and their partners (Brian Bevirt, Judy Margolis, Jeanne Feaux de la Croix and Lenny Beaulieu) and six grandchildren-Elizabeth Dirth and Raphael, Mirelle, Mahru, Kanat and Sitora Schoeberlein. He is also survived by his partner Roz Squires, brother Raymond Schoeberlein (Nancy), sister Carolyn Rittenhouse and three nieces and three nephews.

A memorial will be planned in the coming months. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in his memory to his favorite charities, Colorado Mountain Club and Colorado Public Radio.