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CAL Member Brooke Wunnicke Passes Away at 96

Posted on September 28, 2014 | in Member News | by

brooke wunnickeLong time CAL member Brooke Wunnicke slept away peacefully at home on the sunny afternoon of September 20, 2014. Born May 9, 1918 to parents Rudolph and Lula Le Nora (nee Brooke) von Falkenstein, she was raised in Los Angeles and in 1940 met and married her late husband, James M. Wunnicke of Cheyenne, when they were attending Stanford University. Their only child is current CAL member Diane B. Wunnicke (Denver) for whom “Brookie” was both a dear mother and delightful friend, as they shared many interests and humor.

Brooke von Falkenstein Wunnicke exemplified the pioneering spirit of the West. After her undergraduate education at Stanford University, B.A. (1939) Phi Beta Kappa, she moved to Wyoming with her husband. When he left for WWII, she attended the University of Colorado Law School, where she graduated J.D. (1945) Order of the Coif. She opened her Cheyenne practice in 1946, representing clients in front of juries when women in Wyoming (the first state to allow women to vote) were not allowed to be jurors. She had years of substantial experience in a broad range of legal areas: trials and appeals in state and federal courts (over 250 appeals, many being referrals); business law; general law, including probate, wills, and taxes; real estate; and, securities law. Moving to Colorado in 1969 with her husband, she gave twelve years of public service as Chief Deputy of Appeals in the Denver District Attorney’s office where she mentored many “children” who excel in service as lawyers, judges, and a Governor. From 1978-1997, she was Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Denver College of Law, teaching oil and gas law and the law of future interests, and received its first honorary adjunct professorship. She was an active member of the Business Law Section, American Bar Association. In 1986, Brooke affiliated Of Counsel to Hall & Evans and also was a consultant, expert witness, and a frequent lecturer in the United States about legal ethics and professionalism.

Brooke was the recipient of many honors, including: Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation; 2004 Denver Bar Association Award of Merit; 2003 a D.U. Law Star, Excellence in Teaching, University of Denver College of Law; 1999 Defense Research Institute’s national Louis B. Potter Lifetime Professional Service Award; 1999 Colorado Bar Association’s highest honor Award of Merit and in 2010 its first Colorado Legal Legends speaker; William Lee Knous Award, 1997, University of Colorado School of Law (School’s highest alumnus annual award), distinguished alumnus awards, and the Hall & Evans scholarship in Brooke’s name; honorary member, American Judicature Society Honorary Life Fellow, Colorado Bar Foundation; honorable life member, Denver and Colorado Bar Associations; Wyoming State Bar certificates of recognition for distinguished service. Brooke Wunnicke is listed in six different Marquis Who’s Who. 

Brooke co-authored annually supplemented Legal Opinion Letters Formbook (3d ed. 2010) and Standby and Commercial Letters of Credit (1989-2013, 3d ed. 2002)(both Wolters Kluwer); Corporate Financial Risk Management (John Wiley & Sons, 1992); and, author, Ethics Compliance for Business Lawyers (Wiley Law, 1987). She was the author of many articles for business and professional periodicals and received the Defense Research Institute’s G. Duffield Smith Outstanding Publication Award.

Please, no flowers but consider a gift to these memorials or as you prefer: at the University of Colorado Foundation, 1800 Grant St., Denver 80203, either for the endowed Wunnicke Library Fund for placement of the family’s special collection at the Auraria Library or the Brooke Wunnicke Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Law School; or at the University of Denver, 2190 E. Asbury Ave., Denver 80208, for the Brooke Wunnicke Endowed Scholarship Fund for the College of Law; or at St. John’s Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., Denver 80203, for the new Brooke Wunnicke Memorial for the Cathedral of The St. John’s Bible Heritage Edition, the first handwritten illuminated Bible in the modern era, limited edition, in seven 2’x3’ volumes.

We share our sincere gratitude for the compassionate and continuous pastoral and medical care, for very few days and with no notice, by personnel of St. John’s Cathedral, The Denver Hospice, and 24/7 by a qualified nurse and friend.

Private interment will be at the family’s crypt in All Soul’s Walk.at the Cathedral. Friends are invited to the memorial service for Brooke Wunnicke at St. John’s Cathedral, 1350 Washington St., on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at 3:00pm, sharing memories thereafter with refreshments at the Cathedral’s adjacent Dagwell Hall

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