Legal 02

Bruce MacGregor Hall

December 4, 1924 ~ October 1, 2020 (age 95)


Bruce died peacefully at his home in Portland, Oregon, at the age of 95, with his family close at hand. He was a well known Portland attorney, with an unusually active mind and colorful personality. He spent nearly all of his years in Portland, living a long and interesting life, entertaining family and friends with his quick wit, limericks, and song.

Bruce was born in Hollywood, California, to William Hall of West Virginia and Marguerite Wheeler of Portland. Bruce attended Ainsworth School, prep school at Choate, and Princeton University. Like many other Americans of this time period, his early years were defined by military service. In 1942, Bruce left Princeton and enlisted in the 10th Mountain Division, reporting to Camp Hale in Leadville, Colorado, where he spent the next few years training for mountain warfare. He then attended Officer Candidate School, and joined up with the 1st Calvary. 2nd Lieutenant Hall shipped off to Japan in 1945 as part of the occupation forces. Along with his fellow countrymen, Bruce became part of America's "Greatest Generation."

After the war, he returned to Princeton, was a captain of the wrestling team, and graduated with Honors in the class of 1950 before attending UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law. He began his career with Standard Oil and thereafter returned to his beloved Portland, where he practiced law for the remainder of his 50-year career. As a lawyer, Bruce was known for his strong litigation skills, honed by long hours spent in State and Federal courts. A career highlight was presenting a case before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1998. Bruce took great pride in helping smaller businesses prevail against unlawful trade practices imposed by large corporate interests. One example of many was his ultimate victory of judgment reinstatement by the U.S. Supreme Court for local transportation company Mount Hood Stages against the Greyhound Corporation. Over the years, he developed many good friends and colleagues throughout Oregon's legal profession.

Bruce had a wide range of interests, high energy and commitment to service. He served on the boards of numerous civic organizations, including OMSI, Japan Society of Oregon, 10th Mountain Division, Princeton Alumni, St. Andrews Society, Planned Parenthood, Arlington Club, Highland Racquet Club, and the Oregon High Desert Museum. His WWII affiliation with skiing influenced his becoming one of the founding partners of Mt. Hood Meadows ski area, where the family spent many years on the slopes. He was a member of the Multnomah Athletic Club and Skyline Trail Riders, which provided the opportunity to ride his horse each summer with two of his sons. But most importantly, he was involved in farming and forestry at his beloved Willamette Farms in Newberg, Oregon, where he spent countless weekends tending to farm projects with family members and friends. He produced Christmas trees, apples, filberts and later on, Pinot Noir wine.

Bruce married Marie Vial in 1953, with whom he had four children. Bruce remarried twice, first to Beverly Bates of California (son James K. Hall) and then Janice Hansen of Washington, with whom he lived in Portland and Orcas Island until Bruce returned to Portland to be closer to his children and grandchildren.

To keep his active and civic mind busy, he dedicated a great deal of time and energy on a mission to relocate the Portlandia statue from relative obscurity at the Graves-Portland Building to a more prominent position at Waterfront Park to be appropriately admired by the citizens of Portland.

Bruce is survived by his former wives and five children. Daughters, Victoria (Bruce Byerly), Caroline (Walt McMonies); and sons, MacGregor (former wife Lisa), Peter (Susan), and James (Michael). Bruce had 11 grandchildren, Matt and Bryant Patton, Emily, Lindsay and Mac Hall, Hayden Hall, Robert McMonies, Emma Hall, Nellie Maher, Robert Maher and Liam Maher; and five great-grandchildren.

Remembrances may be made in his name to the High Desert Museum or a charity of your choice.

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