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HOLLADAY — Longtime Utah personal injury lawyer Robert J. DeBry died last week in his Holladay home at age 85. Family members say he died of natural causes.
DeBry founded Robert J. DeBry & Associates in 1980 and continued to work at the company until the spring of 2020, according to his obituary.
DeBry was an advocate for victims of drunk driving and the use of helmets while cycling, creating an initiative "Buy a Helmet, Save a Life." The initiative has distributed more than a quarter-million bicycle helmets below costs or as donations in Utah. DeBry was also a supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and donated $500 for cases he settled or won, said his obituary. Debry also paid for taxi rides during major holidays to help people get home safely.
He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Utah Association for Justice in 2011. Additionally, for six consecutive years, DeBry was selected to the Top 100 Trial Lawyers by the American Association for Justice.
DeBry was born on Oct. 10, 1935, in Preston, Idaho, to James and Winnifred Jensen DeBry. He grew up in Rigby, Idaho, until he served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Netherlands from 1956 to 1958.
Following his service as a missionary, DeBry graduated from the University of Utah in 1960 with a degree in art history, and then earned a doctor of law degree from the University of Utah in 1963.
According to the obituary, a graveside service will be held at noon on Monday, May 24, at Larkin Sunset Gardens located at 1950 E. 10600 South in Sandy. The family suggests contributions to the Missionary Fund or the Humanitarian Aid Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in lieu of flowers.