April 29th, 2014 – It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our great friend and partner Mark Prothero on April 19, 2014. Mark valiantly battled lung cancer for the past two years. An open house to celebrate Mark’s life will occur on May 10, 2014, at Kentwood High School from 1pm – 5 pm.
Mark’s life was extraordinary. He was a standout swimmer at Renton High School and then as a captain of the swim team at the University of Washington in 1977 and 1978. He represented the United States in international competitions. He coached the Kentwood High School swim team from 1997 through 2007 and was the Washington State coach of the year in 2003. He was active on Kent School District committees, the Kent Parks Foundation, and lead efforts to enhance swimming in Kent and throughout the region. He taught thousands of kids to swim and served as a role model to each of them.
He was an excellent attorney focusing solely on criminal defense work since 1983 while working as a public defender until 2004, when he joined Hanis Irvine Prothero with his good friend and law partner, Greg Girard. Mark was respected by all in the legal profession and was called upon often to share his expertise, which he freely gave. He was on the Washington State Supreme Courts panel to defend individuals faced with the death penalty. He lectured at many legal education seminars regarding scientific evidence, forensic DNA, mental state defenses and the death penalty. He assisted the Kentwood High School mock trial team, taught the law merit badge to Boy Scouts, served on many boards such as the Innocence Project and Associated Counsel for the Accused (ACA), and as a Judge Pro Tem. He and Greg Girard were Trial Lawyers of the year in 2006, and Mark was named a SuperLawyer by Washington Law & Politics magazine from 2006-2013. Mark was successful in advocating for his clients and forged lasting relationships with other criminal defense counsel, prosecutors, police officers and judges. The high level of respect and admiration shown to Mark by those in the legal profession is rarely seen.
Mark was a compassionate and kind man. He had a zest for life, was an optimist, and a philosophy to, “Don’t worry about a thing, ‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright.” He and his wife Kelly are wonderful examples of a strong marriage and partnership. Together, they raised two wonderful children, Marley and Sean, who each reflect the great values of their parents. Mark’s family became our family. It was normal to see Kelly, Marley, and his Mom Shirley at the office. His son Sean has worked at HIP for the past few years with his Dad. We are blessed to have had him and his family in our lives and hearts. We will miss him dearly. “Live for yourself and you will live in vain. Live for others, and you will live again.” Bob Marley.
Employees at HIP have shared some of the following thoughts and memories:
“I will forever remember Mark for his smile and his laugh. I don’t think I ever had an encounter with him that didn’t end with a smile or a joke. He was very strong and seeing him come and go through the office every day, you would never know if he ever had a bad day. He exuded optimism that rubbed off on everyone around him. We are all better people for having known him.” Ashley Eades
“Mark was the best of the best. One who could always put a positive spin on any situation. I will never forget his generosity for the charities that meant so much to him and his support to the Kent community.” Becky Walter
“Mark truly was one of the best men I have ever met. He exuded the principal of treating others how you want to be treated. If he was around, everyone was filled with joy. I am very happy my new born daughter got to meet him before he left us.” Jorge Ramos.
“I was fortunate to practice with Mark for the past 10 years. He was a great attorney. He was an even greater example of someone I want to emulate in his example as a father, friend, and resource to our community.” Pat Hanis