Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Tim Haslach B.S ’83, J.D. ’88 will always be remembered for being big in both heart and stature. A consummate storyteller, he had a quick wit and winning smile, easily making a friend of anyone he met. He was a proud father—when he was with or talked about his two children, Caroline and Peter, his joy was contagious. Tim was also a loving husband, having married his true love, Sara Burton, on December 27th, 2014, just four months after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was not going to let anything stop the life they dreamed of together, certainly not cancer and that is how they lived.
Always the optimist, Tim made the best of every situation. Even while battling cancer, he traveled frequently with his family and friends. In the spring of 2015, Tim and Sara traveled to Ireland for his sister Pat’s wedding. Later that year, Tim and Sara spent their first wedding anniversary with Caroline and Peter in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Even when his pain became more difficult in May 2016, he was able to travel to see Caroline graduate from Belmont University in Tennessee.
Tim’s sharp mind and tenacious demeanor helped him fight every challenge cancer threw at him, but ultimately he lost the battle on July 6th at the Kaiser West Side Hospital. That weekend, he had enjoyed the ocean view from his beloved deck in Gearhart, Oregon. Gearhart was his place of peace, relaxation, healing, and family. He showed grace until the end, surrounded by his wife, children, mother Pat, and sister Mary.
Tim was born in Toledo, Ohio—the fourth of Patricia and Frank Haslach’s five children and their only son. When Tim was four, the family moved to Syosset, New York where he attended St. Edward The Confessor Grade School along with several of his cousins. In 1971, at the age of 10, the family moved to Oregon and Tim attended Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School in Lake Oswego and then Jesuit High School in Beaverton. Tim spent two years swimming for the US Naval Academy where he had great adventures followed by earning his Bachelor’s in Political Theory from Santa Clara University in 1983. H
He loved Northern California and stayed on to complete his Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara Law School in 1988. The next years were filled with sailing in the San Francisco Bay and clerking in the city during the very beginning of the technology industry. After the 1989 San Francisco earthquake, Tim decided it was time to move back to Oregon. He loved to joke that the only part of California he brought with him was his love for the Giants and the 49er’s. After passing the Oregon Bar, Tim found his place at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt. He appreciated the rich history of the firm and the integrity of his partners. He loved that the University Club of Portland was right across the street where he was a regular at the "orphan’s table" for lunch and often enjoyed an after work drink with a quick game of pitch. The friendships he made there were numerous and special.
After joining Schwabe, Tim pioneered the development of the consortia model, which became the primary mechanism for creating and "policing" information technology standards, crucial to modern technology and thus society. Along with only a handful of other attorneys in the nation, he engaged in groundbreaking, highly innovative lawyering, developing a set of legal frameworks that have become precedents for others in the field. There were numerous standard bodies Tim was involved in creating, but the crown jewel of his career was the formation of the Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), the guiding standard body for the "internet of things." His legal work will live on in new technologies created for decades to come. Tim became a shareholder at Schwabe and was included in the Oregon Super Lawyers directory for intellectual property, nonprofit organizations, and business/corporate (2006-2016), as well as in the The Best Lawyers in America for intellectual property (2014-2016). He was also an AV rated lawyer with Martindale-Hubbell, a testament to the fact that his peers considered him at the highest level of professional excellence. He was a pioneer and giant in his field, known and respected internationally. Equally important to him was his work for nonprofits such as The Black Parent Initiative, Oregon Sports Authority, and Jamii Moja. The week before he passed, Tim helped Paws Assisting Veterans get legal representation at Schwabe.
Just this year, Tim was asked to step up and become the Practice Leader of the Business Group; he did so with great joy and enthusiasm. He loved the opportunity to encourage his partners and to make a difference to the firm.
Tim was an accomplished athlete, having been an Oregon High School State Swimming Champion, an All-American Swimmer, United States Masters Swimmer, and a rugby player at Santa Clara. After graduating law school, Tim added sailing, skiing, body boarding, and golfing to his athletic pursuits. In 1991, Tim found his way back to the pool and was part of a successful English Channel Relay Swim. He crossed the channel again in 2001 as part of the Team Gaffney Relay, which raised money for The Karen Gaffney Foundation, a non-profit organization headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and dedicated to championing the full inclusion of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.
Tim was always appreciative of the parochial education his family received, and was a regular supporter of Our Lady of the Lake, Jesuit High School, Saint Mary’s Academy, Cathedral School, and Santa Clara University.
Tim is survived by his wife, Sara Burton; his two children, Caroline and Peter Haslach; his mother, Patricia Haslach; his four sisters, Ambassador Patricia Haslach (serving in Ethiopia), Mary Powers (Lake Oswego, OR), Peggy Haslach (Sumner, WA), and Maureen Rankin (Phoenix, AZ); as well as their children and several cousins.