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M. Chapin "Chap" Milbank

June 17, 1933 - February 13, 2020

M. Chapin Morris Chapin "Chap" Milbank passed peacefully at home on February 13th, 2020. Chap, born to Margaret Willey Milbank and Morris Milbank, entered into the world at Mrs. Hillis's lying-in-home, Grants Pass on a sunny day, June 17th, 1933, in the depth of the Great Depression. He is survived by his wife, Edith (Dee) of 62 years, and three children Sam, Karen and Cliff, and four grandchildren, Edward, Jennifer, Maeve and Maren. He was the third sibling, brother to sisters Sally Milbank Thomson and Caroline Milbank.

He attended Grants Pass schools through the 9th grade. His sister, Caroline, taught him how to swim in the Rogue River. After that, he spent many a summer day running the Rogue in a variety of watercraft. He finished high school at Midland School, Los Olivos, California, in 1951. His college education was completed at the University of California, Berkeley, and was commissioned an Ensign, USNR in 1955. He served two years on active duty aboard the USS Plumas County (LST-1083), in the western Pacific. Upon his release from active duty, he completed law school at Willamette University, received his JD degree, and was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in 1960. He continued in the Navy Ready Reserve and attained the rank of Commander. He clerked for one year for the Hon. Harold J. Warner, Oregon Supreme Court. He was a founding partner of the firm of Brown, Schlegel, Bennett, and Milbank. In 1982 he opened his own law office and practiced until 2013. He was a fierce advocate for the “Public Trust Doctrine in Oregon,” protecting the right of free access and use of the beds and banks on all Oregon navigable rivers for everyone.

Chap was past president of the Marion County Bar Association, past president of Capital Kiwanis of Salem, Commanding Officer of Surface Division 13-28M, Salem, past president and long time secretary for the North Santiam River Guides Association. He was a former Senior Warden of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem, past president of the Walton Guest House, a long time member of the Morningside Neighborhood Association, and he served a term as a member of Salem City Budget Committee. He enjoyed fishing in Alaska and drift boating on the rivers of Oregon and Idaho. He and his wife, Dee, built a log cabin on the North Santiam River, where they spent many enjoyable hours in his later years.

A memorial service with military honors and reception to follow, will be at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Salem Oregon, on February 24th at 1:00 PM. Memorial Donations may be sent to St Paul’s Episcopal Church of Salem. 

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