Paul Martin Bierbaum Jr. gladly put his light under a bushel. Though accomplished in his own right, he was never happier than when he was helping someone else succeed or sharing their joy in accomplishment or overcoming the odds.
From his college years, when he volunteered for Eugene McCarthy’s social-justice-oriented 1968 presidential campaign, to his 22 years as a do-it-all volunteer for the Boulder County AIDS Project, Paul walked the walk every day.
He was the epitome of a good man, passionate about justice and equality, kind and warm to everyone he met, a loving husband and father, and a great friend.
Paul Bierbaum Jr. died June 14, 2015, of a hemorrhagic stroke at TRU Community Care Hospice in Louisville. He was 68.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, at the Rembrandt Yard Event Center, 1301 Spruce St. in Boulder.
Paul was born Oct. 31, 1946 to Paul Martin and Maryella Godwin Bierbaum in Alton. He graduated from Alton High School and went on to graduate in 1968 from DePauw University, where he was a Rector Scholar. He also studied abroad for a semester at Freiburg University in Freiburg, Germany, and conducted independent research in Tunisia on Tunisian/Algerian relations for the U.S. State Department.
He worked as a seventh-grade math teacher at Central Junior High in Alton before going on to the University of Illinois College of Law, where he graduated with a J.D. in 1972. While at the University of Illinois he met Kay Edmunds, and they married on June 23, 1973, in Riverdale, Ill.
Following graduation, Paul taught business and labor law at Western Illinois University before moving West to become a staff assistant to the Honorable William D. Neighbors of the Boulder District Court. Paul then taught a business law course at CU-Boulder and joined the law firm of Johnson, Doty, Johnson in 1976. He started his own practice, Bierbaum Law Offices, in 1988, where he was a vigorous advocate for his clients and known for his integrity.
Paul served for 17 years on the boards of The Counseling Center in Boulder, 13 as president, and the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. He volunteered on numerous cases for Boulder County Legal Services and worked on many Boulder Bar Association committees.
He was coordinator of the volunteer attorney team for BCAP from 1993 until his death, increasing the number of volunteers to 75. He also served on the board for eight years and chaired the Client Services Committee. And it wouldn’t be right to leave out his star turn in the annual holiday cabaret, where he dressed as Nancy Sinatra and sang “These Boots are Made for Walkin’.”
Paul received many awards for his volunteer work, including the John Marshall Award for pro-bono services, the Ron Porter Community Service Award from the Boulder County Bar Association and BCAP’s Volunteer of the Year and Local Legend awards.
A kind, funny, generous man with an infectious laugh, Paul truly adored his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. He also loved to travel, especially sailing in the Pacific and scuba diving in Mexico, but always enjoyed the beauty of Boulder more than anywhere else in the world.
He is survived by his wife, Kay Bierbaum of Boulder; his daughter Kim Hulstine, her husband, David Michael, and grandchildren, Ella Kay, 5, and Darren Michael, 2, all of Erie; a sister, Becky Bierbaum, of Alton, Ill.; an aunt, Ruth Gwillim of Godfrey, Ill.; and an aunt and uncle, Kathy and Joseph Godwin of Alton.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Boulder County AIDS Project, www.bcap.org or 2118 14th St., Boulder, 80302; Boulder County Legal Services, 315 W. South Boulder Road, Louisville, CO 80027; or Immigrant Legal Center of Boulder County, www.boulderayuda.org or 948 North St., Suite 8, Boulder, 80304.