Foster Pepper mourns the passing of named member, Lou Pepper. Lou passed away December 23, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 61 years, Mollie who passed away in January 2015.
Lou was an icon in the banking community, having been involved in financial institution legislation statewide and nationally. He received his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin School of Law in 1951 and joined the firm, then called Tanner, Garvin and Ashley, the following year. He built a highly successful financial institutions practice and within his first year of practice began working as outside counsel to Seattle-based Washington Mutual, one of the largest banks before its collapse in 2008. In 1972, Lou was named to the Board of Directors of the bank and in 1981, he left private practice to become Chairman, President and CEO of the bank where he spent a decade at the helm before retiring in 1990. During his tenure, Lou expanded the bank’s business to include securities and mutual funds. By 1983, Washington Mutual was selling credit insurance and making plans to offer life insurance to its customers and in 1985, the bank formed a holding company to house several non-deposit operating units, which was unique for banks during that time.
In May 1983, the National Law Journal named Lou as one of the top twenty domestic banking attorneys in the country. He received the 2001 Raiken-Sender Bank Insurance Industry Award, which recognizes individuals who have made an outstanding commitment to preserving and enhancing the availability, utility and acceptance of insurance delivered through financial institutions.
Lou, along with Tom Foster, Dan Riviera and Paul Ashley, always encouraged Foster Pepper attorneys to be civically involved. Community service continues to be a core value and hallmark of the firm.