Annual Public Defender Retreat Law Conferences
Public Defender Las Vegas Retreat
Dave Rendahl
January 28, 1954 – July 6, 2019

David Frank Rendahl was born in Austin, Minnesota, to parents (Joel) Raymond Rendahl and Merle (Graskamp) Rendahl.  He was baptized on April 11, 1954 at Our Savior's Lutheran Church in Austin, and he attended Banfield Elementary School.

In the summer of 1966, Dave's family moved from Austin to Winona, Minnesota, where Dave graduated, in 1972, from Winona Senior High School.

Dave's childhood and teenage years were filled with baseball.  Playing left field, bunting, stealing bases, and running super-fast were his specialties.  Dave's family's most-treasured moments of togetherness were spent at Gabrych Park, watching the LeJetz baseball games.  Dave also loved watching Minnesota Twins games.

Dave attended Winona State University, taking classes in political science, business, and marketing.  Dave was always an entrepreneur, independent, and adventurous.  He bought his first car at age 13 (with paper route money), was an amateur radio operator (WAØVDG) with fast Morse code skills, worked at J.C. Penney grocery, sold real estate through Century 21, and co-owned a bar, while living in Winona.  With his brother, Roy, he started a company called “Rendahlen Valley.”

In the late '70s, Dave moved out to Fresno, California and worked for many years at various Foodland markets.

On September 29, 1984, Dave married Alison Egger of Paso Robles, daughter of Joe and Maisie Egger, and they made their home in Clovis.  Children blessed the couple and completed their family: Ryan in 1995 and Matthew in 1999.

Dave's life really changed when he decided to attend San Joaquin College of Law.  As he graduated and then passed the bar, Dave knew that becoming a defense lawyer was the perfect career for him.  After working for a couple years at a law office in Clovis, Dave became a Public Defender for Tulare County, and the family moved to Visalia.  Dave loved his calling and felt so fortunate that he could be a knowledgeable, compassionate attorney to represent people going through tough times.  He really wanted to help his clients move forward with their lives in a positive way, knowing that they are supported and listened to and are sincerely cared for.

Dave came up with a brilliant idea: why not start a yearly gathering of public defenders?  Together they could all learn how to be even more effective in their work.  And why couldn't this yearly gathering be held in Las Vegas (Dave's favorite city)?  In 2001, with a total of 50 attorneys attending, the first Public Defender Retreat was born.  These Retreats, totally run by Dave, happened every year through 2017.  The peak number of participants was 450, with attorneys coming from all over America, lots coming from Canada, and a few coming from foreign countries.  Dave's saying was “'Public Defender Attitude.'  If you have to ask what that is... you probably don't have one!”

Dave was stricken with pancreatic cancer, but, because of an unusual early diagnosis (in Jan. 2014), surgery (in Feb. 2014), and chemo, he did well after that.  The cancer did come back a couple years ago but was small and slow-growing, and he continued doing well with stronger chemo.  In the past few years, Dave, Alison, brother Roy, and son Ryan remodeled two houses.  They also loved to go on RV trips all around the U.S.A.  Dave has taken several trips around the world with his younger son, Matthew, often to the Far East; and back to Minnesota with his older son, Ryan.  Dave even played in the World Series of Poker at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas in early June.  We noticed that Alison became the very best care provider Dave would ever need — right up until the end.

Dave died Saturday evening, July 6, 2019, at home.

Dave said that he has no regrets.  He thanks God for all the blessings he has in his life, especially his family.  He was just happy to be here!

Dave was preceded in death by his parents.  He is survived by his wife, Alison Rendahl; son, Ryan Rendahl; son, Matthew Rendahl; brother, Roy Rendahl (of Las Vegas, NV); and sister, Ann Aakre (and husband, Dave, of Selma, CA).

A Celebration of Life Service will be held to praise God and honor Dave at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Christ Lutheran Church in Visalia, California.  (Dave was hoping people would not wear black to this service!)

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to something dear to Dave's heart... baseball.  If interested, please send donations to Visalia Youth Baseball, PO Box 8064, Visalia, CA 93290, attention: Claude Atkins.  Be sure to reference that this is a gift given in memory of Dave Rendahl.

— written by Ann Aakre, Dave's sister and Retreat helper.
— with help from Roy Rendahl, Dave's brother and Retreat webmaster, A/V tech, and helper.

Yearly gatherings of public and private criminal defense attorneys, investigators, legal staff, law students, spouses,
or anyone with a "Public Defender Attitude."
  If you have to ask what that is... you probably don't have one!

Legal Education and MCLE/CLE/CPD Credit Including Ethics!
Rest + Relax + Recharge + Recreation = Really Great Time
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