Sharing Your Memories

Please share your memories and pictures of Jason by emailing them to Unless you request otherwise, your memories will be posted to this blog. Later, these memories will be converted to book format for Jason's family.

If you would like to share your memory only with Jason's family, please include the word "CONFIDENTIAL" in the subject line of your email to Your memory will be shared in the book, but will not be posted on this blog.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Man of Tremendous Energy

From Byron Miller (BYU Law '03)

I remember Jason as being a man of tremendous energy. He truly believed in working hard and playing hard. Somehow he managed to get his MBA and JD in three years, and yet he always had time to listen to his friends. I admired his creativity as well as his passion for life. Jason and I were definitely "skiing buddies." It was truly entertaining to ride up the ski lift with Jason. As everyone knows, Jason had the gift of gab. Whenever we would pick up a single on the way up the lift, Jason would talk to the new person like they were long lost friends. My favorite memory of Jason would be Friday Night skiing at Brighton. There would usually be a group of 4 or 5 of us that would go, and it was always a good time. Jason and I would race each other to the bottom, or we would see who could get the most air on the jumps. Jason was truly a kid at heart. Jason will be deeply missed by everyone that knew him.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Hey, dude!

Michael Thomas (10 years old) wrote the following note to Lily:

"Hey dude!" That's what your dad said to me when I first met him. From that point on, I knew he was going to cool, funny, and an overall nice guy. I met him when I was 8 years old and he and your mom were driving me, Owen, and our mom to Albany. This is back when your mom and dad lived in Rochester. Your dad loved to laugh and just be in a happy mood.

Your dad had a big map on his garage wall. It showed national and state parks. He had a tack on every park he'd visited, he planed to go to every park.

He was like Santa Claus to me. Always in a good mood and chuckling all the time.

He was so exited when you were born. It was probably the best experience of his life.

I hope to meet you someday, you will make a great JR. Dude.

Your pal,

Michael Thomas

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Soft Heart and Witty Sense of Humor

From Chad (BYU Law ’03) and Cathy Balfanz:

Jason had a dynamic personality and an energy that was contagious! We were thrilled to see him and spend time with him again on the Supreme Court trip this past June. Over a great lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill we saw the best of Jason as he shared, with both humor and sincerity, the story of his conversion. We will always remember and laugh at the stories he shared with us that day. Jason had a soft heart and a witty sense of humor. We feel blessed to call him our friend.

Above (L-R): Carolynn Clark (BYU Law '03), Chad, and Jason

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Finder of Pearls

From Doug Larson (BYU Law '03):

After the funeral, last week, a few of us went out for lunch and told Coles stories and law school stories and laughed until we hurt. What occurred to me was how many of the good law school stories, no matterwho told them, necessarily involved Coles. If nothing else, the man was ubiquitous.

My first introduction to Coles was the first day of law school orientation. I had a previous career, and I was not entirely settled about my choice to leave my career to attend law school. Mind you, I considered myself somewhat of a gland-hander/politician before law-school. No surprise to anyone that Coles and LeClaire, the two largest cheeseballs I have met, had already found each other and were sitting directly in front of me in one of the auditoriums. They both turned around simultaneously with used-car salesman smiles and grabbed my hand to shake and introduce themselves (I swear, they were trying to grab my hand at the same time and speaking over each other so as not to be outdone by the other). They asked the usual questions about where Iwas from, etc., but I got the distinct impression they were not trying to meet me so much as they were trying to size up the competition. As I sat there looking into their beaming faces, I half prayed and half cursed in my mind: "Lord, what have I gotten into?!"

My memory of Coles over the next three years was that Coles would appear suddenly in a whirlwind to chat, go to lunch, screw around, laugh, mock me, attend an occasional b-ball game and then disappear foranother two weeks (I never figured out what that guy spent his time doing while the rest of us were in law school). Coles was always the center of attention and the life of the party. We all left tips after Coles and LeClaire got rolling. At one point we all "advised" Coles as he was sueing somebody on behalf of his Mom. While the rest of us could not understand how law school was ever going to translate into practicing law (it never did), Coles was already suing people, starting his own firm, and making a name for himself--all from his law school carrel. In classic form, not only did he kick trash in that case (at least that is the way we heard it), Westlaw asked him if they could publish as a form the discovery that he had drafted. Strangely, Westlaw has yet to ask the same from me.

Coles never tired of messing with everyone around him. Nobody was exempt, but I think he had special place in his heart for me. I remember about two weeks before graduation, Coles put the mother of all jinxes on me. He announced to everyone, "there's always somebody from every class who fails the bar that you wouldn't expect. I think it's gonna be Larson." Dammit if I did not spend three times longer than I needed studying for the stupid bar! I made my wife take the kids out of town early, and I made Brogdon come over to the house to drill me the whole week before the bar all because I knew that Coles could lay down some crazy ju-ju! Of course, I passed the stupid thing with a better score than I ever got on a law school exam, and not one person from our class failed the Utah bar!

As was expressed over and over at the funeral, Coles was the real deal. He did business with friends, he even kicked the crap out of his friends, but he never let business, or anything else, come between him and his friends. When I was doing work for Coles (I did his company's employment work), Coles took the work from some other attorney and handed it off to me. The guy was pissed and told Coles he would review all of my work for free to "earn the work back." Coles told me he was not about to turn down free legal work (classic Coles). I told Coles there was no way in [] I would have some random attorney reviewing my work, and if he did not trust me, he could []. Coles called me, calmed me down, took me to lunch, talked it over, told me how much I meant to him, and worked out an arrangement. As we walked away said, "Larson, you've got []; I respect you more now than ever." I remember thinking how happy I was to be in his good graces, like he was my cool big brother or something. The next week or so, he invited me to lunch again with Laurie. The invitation was clearly a gesture that our friendship was the most the important thing him. What a heluva guy.

The best times I remember with Coles were in law school when we would "go for coffee." What that meant was that we would go get a cup of Joe somewhere far from campus (mine of the chocolate sort despite Coles' predictable offer of the heartier sort ), and then we mocked each other about when I would leave the Church and when he would join. At the funeral, we heard the tales of destiny as Coles met each of the individual catalysts to his conversion, Dean Cameron, Dean Eyring, DavidCook, and finally Laurie who completed the circle. The rest of us idiots just teased him and kept him occupied until larger spirits could provide the strength of testimony needed to push Coles into a sincere investigation of the Gospel. LeClaire tells the story of when Coles walked up to our carrels and said loudly, and somewhat disdainfully,"did you get your commission LeClaire!? Your two buddies showed up on my doorstep last night!" Coles was destined to accept the Gospel, find Laurie, and hold Lily. I spoke to Coles a couple of times after Lily was born, and he was as happy and content as any man I have ever spoken to. He found the Pearls and will hold on to them; of that I am certain.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Generous Spirit

jason is a guy you can count on to always tell you the truth. he's direct and he doesn't put up with nonsense from anyone. but one of his most admirable qualities is much less obvious -- his generous spirit. during law school, he always seemed to have a minute for everyone and everything despite his crazy class schedule. (seriously, do you know anyone else who managed to get both their JD and their MBA in three years???). but perhaps he best exemplified generosity to me when he housed me and five of my friends on a last minute roadtrip to palmyra. i called him at 5:30 on a friday evening as i was picking up the rental car. and still, jason was happy to welcome me and five strangers into his home. we arrived at 3 in the morning to find everything prepared for us: beds made up with fresh sheets; new towels laid out. and the next morning, he was the perfect, gracious, friendly, smiling host complete with orange juice and doughnuts. jason is a wonderful person. and although his presence here on earth will be missed, i'm certain he's busy preparing everything in heaven. and when we all see him again, he'll still be the same smiling friend -- possibly even with orange juice and doughnuts.

Emily Kunz (BYU Law '03)

Friday, December 21, 2007

Gracious, friendly, competent

Jason took me to Red Iguana for lunch in September 2007. He was so gracious and friendly and so competent. He is an impressive man.

Clint Salisbury (BYU Law '03)