December 4, 2008 - Bend's Jim Noteboom: Lawyer, Veteran, Father

Dec 04, 2008

December 4, 2008 - Bend's Jim Noteboom: Lawyer, Veteran, Father Bend’s Jim Noteboom: lawyer, veteran, father

Published: December 04. 2008 4:00AM PST

Jim Noteboom, it’s safe to say, was one of the most personable lawyers in Central Oregon. While the bulk of his practice involved the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs, that did not prevent him from being an involved citizen of Bend.

Noteboom, who died unexpectedly last week, came to Bend 31 years ago, fresh out of law school at the University of Oregon. He was slightly older than the average law school graduate — there was a nearly 10-year gap between his graduation from Oregon State University and his first classes at the University of Oregon — but it wasn’t because he was out “finding himself” in the traditional sense of the word.

No, Noteboom spent the intervening years first earning a master’s degree and then doing a stint with the U.S. Marines, including a tour in Vietnam. He continued his military service with a long stint in the Oregon National Guard, was married and had three children, all now grown.

The things he got involved with in the area reflected his own interests, which were reflected in his professional life. His work for the tribes focused on natural resources, from water to fish to land issues and the environment. He was one of the region’s experts on water law, no small feat in Oregon, which has a rich and complex history.

Not surprisingly, given all that, he was one of the founders and served as an officer of the Deschutes River Conservancy, which was formed as a joint project of the tribes and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Noteboom spent a dozen years as an adjunct professor at the International Institute of Defense Studies — and, on the private side, reflected his interest in the world beyond the U.S. borders as a trustee of the World Affairs Council. A long career with the National Guard led him to become an adviser to the Oregon Youth ChalleNGe program, which aims to provide “opportunities for personal growth, self-improvement and academic achievement” for at-risk youth in the state. The program is the work of the Oregon National Guard and is free to participants.

His stint in the Marines led to something else, as well, a purely social relationship with a large group of Vietnam veterans living in the area who meet for lunch each year on Veterans Day for companionship and a pleasant meal. Noteboom was at this year’s gathering, friends say,

Noteboom was known around his office as “Boomer,” a natural nickname for a man with a voice that could be heard across a crowded office. He was also known as a good lawyer, a good father, a good friend and a good citizen. He will be missed.


Published Daily in Bend Oregon by Western Communications, Inc. © 2008

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