Community comes together to celebrate the life of Mark Prothero | SLIDESHOW

Friends and family gathered to honor Mark Prothero at the Kentwood High School Commons last Saturday.  - Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter
Friends and family gathered to honor Mark Prothero at the Kentwood High School Commons last Saturday.
— image credit: Mark Klaas/Kent Reporter

Reporter staff

A large crowd representing different facets of Mark Prothero's life gathered at the Kentwood High School Commons last Saturday to celebrate the Kent man's life.

Prothero – a prominent criminal defense attorney, civic leader, community volunteer and coach – died April 19 at his Kent home. Prothero, who had battled cancer, was 57.

Prothero is best known as one of the lead defense attorneys in the high-profile case against Gary Ridgway between 2001 and 2003. As co-counsel, Prothero brokered a plea deal that spared Ridgway the death penalty in exchange for the Auburn man confessing to 49 counts of aggravated murder.

"He was a fine attorney, a great man," said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg, among the many legal and civic leaders at the open house. "He was an absolute gentleman and one of the real good guys in the legal profession."

John Holman, a Auburn City Councilman, worked with Prothero on the Washington State Forensics Investigations Council. He called Prothero a true professional, a gifted man.

"Mark was very reasonable to work with ... he was always about the truth."

Prothero was also remembered for his tireless work in the community and how his gentle ways impacted others.

"He was a friend, a great man ... such an influence," said Eric Lindblad, whose family shared a passion for swimming with the Protheros.

"I marvel at the time he spent giving to the community. I don't know how he did it."

Mike Hanis said it was a "a tremendous privilege" to know Prothero as his friend, his law partner for 10 years. Hanis said Prothero was a well-rounded man, committed to his profession but devoted to family and helpful to those in need.

"He often said that when he was going through the Ridgway case that it was his coaching and his family ... who kept him sane," Hanis said. "It was a tremendous privilege to know Mark, to be his friend and his partner. ... We're going to miss him, we're going to miss him very much."

The family has asked that donations be made to either or


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