Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, November 13, 2002


Page 3


Services Planned for Next Week for Pasadena Lawyer James Chisholm, Killed in Mexico Crash


By LORELEI LAIRD, Staff Writer


Services will be held at Holy Family Church in South Pasadena next week for Pasadena lawyer James Chisholm, killed in a car accident in Mexico Saturday, a church official said.

Chisholm, tax counsel for Northern Trust Bank downtown, was killed along with David Haber, a senior partner at Glendale’s Knapp, Peterson & Clarke, and Judy McNiff. The three, along with their spouses and Pasadena lawyer Michael A. Burns and his wife, were in Mexico for a birthday celebration for Haber, who would have been 61 Monday.

The four couples were traveling in a sport-utility vehicle when a tour bus crashed into them on Mexico’s Highway 200. Burns, a trial attorney for Hosp, Gilbert & Associates in Pasadena, was critically injured in the crash, as were his wife Patricia Burns, Frank McNiff, Margaret Haber, and Kathy Chisholm. All were residents of Pasadena and members of Holy Family Church.

The four couples were in Mexico celebrating at the Habers’ beach house in Puerto Vallarta. According to the Pasadena Star-News, they were driving outside the town of Bahia de Banderas when a bus owned by the Transportes del Pacifico company tried to pass them on the right and lost control, forcing their Dodge Durango into oncoming traffic. The bus driver reportedly ran away on foot.

Frank McNiff, who sustained two broken hips, was flown to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, Holy Family Parish Karl Holtsnider told the MetNews. The Star-News reported that Patricia and Michael Burns were flown to Tucson, Ariz. for treatment.

Margaret Haber was released from Ameri-Med Hospital in Mexico, where Kathy Chisholm remains, on Monday afternoon, the newspaper reported.

David Haber “will be missed,” Cynthia Trangsrud, a senior partner at Knapp, Peterson & Clarke, said yesterday. He was a partner in the firm for about 20 years, where he worked on general negligence litigation, aviation and products liability cases.

She said Haber had been important to the firm’s growth.

Jim Peck, co-chair of the Pasadena Bar Association’s Probate & Trust Law Section, said Chisholm was active in that organization and was scheduled to give a talk to the group in March.

Holtsnider said Chisholm often gave talks on estate law to the parish as well.

“He was very involved in the estate and trust committee for Holy Family,” Holtsnider said. “Jim worked for Northern Trust and was an expert in his field of estates and trust, so he has served for many years on the committee at the parish and lectured in the parish, helping the elderly and people that needed some general advice, preparing proper documents and wills for their families.”

Chisholm also helped teach the religious education classes the church offers for children in the parish who do not attend Catholic schools, Holtsnider said.

Haber taught religious education classes for Holy Family parish as well, Holtsnider added, and was active in the Marriage Encounter movement, a church program for enhancing marriage and family life. Holtsnider described the Habers as “pillars of the parish” in earlier years who had basically retired to their vacation home in Puerto Vallarta. Haber was also a past chairman of Mayfield School, a Catholic school in Pasadena where Holtsnider said all the couples but the Chisholms had sent their children.

Originally from Texas, Haber received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College, also attending Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, and his law degree from Loyola Law School, in 1971. He is survived by his wife, Margaret, his son David of Del Mar, daughter and son-in-law Peggy and Sage Knauft of Costa Mesa and daughter Kathleen of Pasadena.

Chisholm held degrees from the University of California and from Loyola Law School. He was admitted to the California bar in 1972.

Holtsnider said services for Chisholm and McNiff would take place at the church, 1527 Fremont Avenue in South Pasadena, on Monday and Tuesday, though specific information was not yet available. He said services would be held later for Haber, who had relatives overseas.

Anyone interested in the services is invited to call Holy Family Church at (626) 799-8908 for information later this week.


Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company