Underground Subway Station Seattle


William J. Cruzen: More Than a Good Man, a Good Grinch

Longtime Karr Tuttle Campbell shareholder William J. Cruzen (“Bill”) passed away peacefully on October 29, 2014, after a courageous 6 year battle with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Bill is survived by Steve Catching (his loving husband of 40 years); sons Sean and Darin; grandchildren, Christopher, Rian, and Kaitlin; and brother Glen, of Texas. In the last months of his life, Bill was surrounded by his family and many, many friends – a testament to this truly remarkable man.

Bill graduated from Seattle University with a B.A. in 1964 and from Hastings College of the Law, University of California in 1967, Order of the Coif and Thurston Society. He joined Karr Tuttle Campbell in 1967, and was the chairperson of the Trust and Estates Department from 1993 until he retired. For many years, he published articles and chaired seminars for the legal and accounting professions regarding estate planning, including under the auspices of the Washington State Bar Association, the Estate Planning Council of Seattle, and the Washington Society of Certified Public Accountants. He was a member and president of the board of directors of Senior Services of Seattle/King County; a member of the board of trustees of Community Home Health Care Services and of the board of trustees of Bastyr University. He was also a member of the planned giving advisory board of the American Cancer Society and of the planned giving advisory board of Seattle University. He was elected a Super Lawyer for the years 2002 through 2010.

All of this is a testament to Bill’s superlative qualities as an attorney and active member of our community, but even more important, Bill was a warm, big hearted caring person to everyone he came into contact with, whether attorney or non-attorney; client or non-client. For Bill all people mattered. One memory which will always epitomize Bill for many of us here at Karr Tuttle Campbell was Bill’s clandestine practice of leaving presents under the firm Holiday tree each year without fail for every non-attorney employee listing the Grinch as the gift giver. He never owned up to this practice and his identity was suspected but only now confirmed because, with Bill’s passing, his confederate felt free to identify him as the Grinch: a Grinch who will be sorely missed.

At Bill’s request, no funeral or memorial service will occur, but the family may have a Celebration of His Life to be held in Seattle in February, 2015.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bill’s name to Senior Services of Seattle/King County for the William Cruzen and Steve Catching Endowment Fund.