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In Memoriam

Bill Duval 1945 – 2019

BY G I B L E N T Z illiam LeFils



Talented Attorney, Great Friend

Duval Jr. passed away on Sunday, August 11, 2019, after a three-year battle with leukemia. Bill was born on March 6, 1945, in Santa Monica, the firstborn child of Charlotte Gibson Duval and William LeFils Duval Sr. The family, including Bill’s brothers, Quinton and John, and his sister, Clare, moved frequently during Bill’s childhood to follow his father’s work for the Douglas Aircraft Company in the space program. He attended school in Santa Monica; Las Cruces, NM; and Cocoa Beach, FL; and at Gresham’s School in Norfolk, England, before returning to Southern California to graduate from Santa Monica High School in 1963. En route to the beginning of his college career at Berkeley, Bill stopped off at UCSB to visit a friend and never made it to the Bay Area. Bill graduated from UCSB in 1967 and from the UCLA School of Law in 1970; he MAN OF WORDS: Bill Duval could talk just as easily with a desperado as with a was admitted to the bar in Janufederal judge, said a friend. ary 1971. He worked in the public defender’s offices in both Los Angeles and Santa Bar- kitchen store E. Dehillerin to track down the one item bara until 1978, when he established the firm of Lentz he didn’t already have. All who had the privilege of knowing him would and Duval with Gib Lentz, his longtime law partner and friend. Bill specialized in criminal defense work, agree that if Bill was on your side, you could have no was on the board of the Santa Barbara County Bar more fierce or loyal friend. He had the innate capacity Association, and served as president in 1991. From to be genuinely interested in people, and each of his 1997 to 2018 Bill served on the board of the Downtown connections was unique between him and the many Organization of Santa Barbara, where he was president people he cared about. As a friend said, “Bill could talk from 2006 to 2008. just as easily with a desperado as with a federal judge.” Bill married Barbara Dondero in 1968, and together He was generous with his time for friends, family, and they had three children, Alyssa, William, and Char- clients alike and frequently took alternative forms of lotte. In 1990, he married Kathleen Kirby and was payment for those without the means to pay for his fortunate to also become a stepfather to her children, services. He was elegant, charming, bright, and charismatic, with a wicked sense of humor, and he had a soft Vanessa and Joey. Bill was a man of many talents and interests. He and sentimental side when it came to his family. There collected Navajo rugs, antique tools, copper cookware, was nothing inauthentic about Bill. He knew who he and artwork. He was a skilled cook and was respon- was and lived life in concert with his essence. sible for many epic meals and barbecues for friends, Bill was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and family, and colleagues. He was a red wine connoisseur brother who pushed us all to be our best while being and made his own zinfandel at home in the 1980s. our most passionate advocate. He was immensely He was a voracious reader, a car enthusiast, a formi- proud of his family, and they, in turn, are immensely dable Scrabble opponent, and a curious tinkerer who proud of him. Bill is survived by his wife, Kathi, and his could debate like no one else. Bill enjoyed sports as children, Alyssa (Michael) Edwards of Bellevue, WA, both a participant and a spectator. He played rugby at Will Duval of Ketchum, ID, Charlotte (John) Flanagan Gresham’s and volleyball at UCSB, and was known as of Kirkland, WA, Vanessa (Michael) Bendetti of Pacific a take-no-prisoners racquetball player. He was a fan of Palisades, CA, and Joey Kirby of Honolulu, HI. He also college athletics and was always the most enthusiastic leaves behind his adored grandchildren, Nicholas and supporter of his children and grandchildren in their Lucas Edwards, Cash and Slader Landrum-Duval, Jack and Harper Flanagan, and Sophie and Chloe Bendetti; athletic endeavors. Bill loved the beaches of Santa Barbara, the hills his sister, Clare Duval DeFord of Whidbey Island, WA; of Santa Ynez, and the mountains of Idaho. He also his brother John Duval of North Carolina; and his enjoyed traveling, especially to France, where he and sister-in-law, Nancy Duval of Sacramento, CA. He his beloved Kathi were able to vacation several times. was preceded in death by his best friend and younger They particularly enjoyed Paris in the fall — return- brother, Quinton Duval. There will be a private celebration of Bill’s life at a ing to their favorite restaurants, driving through the countryside, and walking the Île Saint-Louis in the future date. Memorial contributions may be made evenings. Although his kitchen cabinets and shelves to the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara or to the were overflowing, he always stopped in at the Parisian Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. n INDEPENDENT.COM

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Profile for SB Independent

Santa Barbara Independent, 9/5/19  

September 5, 2019, Vol. 33, No. 712

Santa Barbara Independent, 9/5/19  

September 5, 2019, Vol. 33, No. 712