Richard Osborne Kummert

November 23, 1932April 17, 2012

Richard O. KUMMERT

Legal Scholar and Educator, Mentor, Friend, devoted Husband, Father, and Grandfather passed away at the age of 79 at Northwest Hospital in Seattle, Washington on April 17, 2012. Richard was born November 23, 1932, in Chicago, Illinois, to Frederick and Edith Kummert.

He was an honored and distinguished scholar receiving degrees from the Illinois Institute of Technology (B.S. 1953), the University of Illinois (C.P.A. 1954), Northwestern University (M.B.A 1955) and Stanford University (LL.B. 1961).

After working as an associate attorney at O’Melveny and Myers of Los Angeles, he decided to devote his life to educating lawyers and joined the University of Washington Law School Faculty in 1964. He became a full professor in 1967 and continued to teach through 2010. He was awarded the D. Wayne and Anne Gittinger Professorship in 1994. Along the way, he served several years as Associate Dean, the Executive Director of the Law School Foundation and as the faculty advisor to the Washington Law Review. Richard’s work on the law school admissions process—involved in litigation to the U.S. Supreme Court—was important and nationally recognized. He is well known in the Washington legal community as an expert in corporate law through his writing and his work with Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) committees on revisions to the state corporation act since 1975. He was a founder of and the guiding force on the WSBA Corporation Act Committee for nearly three decades. He was recognized with the President’s Award by the WSBA in 1989 for his contributions to revisions to the Washington State corporation act. Above all, his professional priority was on his students; he was known both for his subject matter expertise and his ability to teach others.

He combined excellence in his professional endeavors with a deep commitment to family. He is survived by his wife and best friend of 55 years, Carol Kummert; daughter, Julia (David) Guffey; son, Ted (Pam) Kummert; Grandchildren, Ellie and Alex Guffey, Amanda Mayer, and Nick, Alex and Ben Kummert. He, also, leaves behind his dog Jake who will continue to wait faithfully for his Master.

He loved to garden, he was a devoted (and at times crazed) fan of Husky sports and was an avid reader. He brought strong values to all that he did; his impact on everyone and everything around him was enhanced by his kindness and concern for others. We will miss him dearly but move forward with the benefit of his wisdom, values and all that came from having known him.

There will be a celebration of Richard’s life at the University of Washington in William H. Gates Hall on Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 PM. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the “Richard O. Kummert Scholarship Fund” at the University of Washington Law School, William H. Gates Hall, Box 353020, Seattle, WA 98195.


  • Celebration of Life Memorial Sunday, April 29, 2012

Richard Osborne Kummert

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Chuck McAllister

May 4, 2012

My condolences to you and your family. Virgil received word of O'z's passing from your son and he told me.

Oz and I spent a decade as friends on Lavergne Ave. in Chicago. He has never been regarded as less. He will be in my memory.

Michelle DeLappe

April 23, 2012

I was a student of Professor Kummert's and was touched by his kindness, humor, and wonderful abilities as a teacher. I know he will be much missed at UWLS.

Rick Johannsen

April 22, 2012

I first got to know Professor Kummert in 1981 when I took "Corporations" from him at UW. I enjoyed his teaching so much that he was one of those professors I often thought of as my career as a business lawyer evolved and progressed. For many years I thought of him as a mentor and a friend until a path I took led me far away from the practice of law and the U.S. Now, half way around the world, I still remember him for his great intellect, keen analytical skills, and dry sense of humor. He helped teach thousands of us how to think, and this made the world a better place.

Megan Kelly

April 22, 2012

Ted and family - we were so sorry to hear of your loss. As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.

Kathy VanYe

April 20, 2012

Professor Kummert was a wonderful law professor and mentor when I was at UW Law from 1995-98. He touched my life greatly and I wish I could begin to express how much his wisdom and guidance helped me during law school and beyond. My deepest condolences on your loss.

Former student

April 20, 2012

Professor Kummert was a true gentleman and I am very sorry to hear of his passing. My condolences to his family. He will be missed.

April 20, 2012

Dear Aunt Carol, Julie & David, Ted and Pam,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Even as we deal with our own loss of my mom and have received much comfort and encouragement, may you be comforted also.
Ray, Dora, Jonathan, Jesse, & Aaron Tewksbury

April 20, 2012

Carol, Ted, Julie, and grandchildren, Virginia and I and Jim express to all of you our deepest sympathy. We mourn with you, we celebrate and give thanks for Richard for the blessing his life and work was to all of us.
Pete & Virginia Spitzkeit (Jackson, MS)
Jim Spitzkeit, (Lake Charles, LA)