Kurt Bendixsen, owner of Bendixsen Law, is retiring and passing his 40-year-old business to his son Cameron Bendixsen.
Bendixsen is retiring from the law office in order to serve on a three-year mission trip in the Ivory Coast of Africa, along with his wife, Susie, where they both will be senior missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Although there were moments during his tenure as a lawyer where work was stressful, he always enjoyed the people aspect of the job the most.
“It’s a stressful job when people rely on you for important advice during difficult times,” he said. “But my favorite part of being a lawyer is the intimacy of working with people, getting to know the details of their lives and trying to help them.”
Cameron is a second generation lawyer in the firm. Bendixsen said a piece of advice he’d pass on to his son is to always remain as honest and forthcoming as possible, and to be kind to fellow lawyers, judges, clients and clerks.
Although Bendixsen is retiring from practicing law, he is still considered an inactive member of the bar, which allows him to return to the firm if he wishes to do so after his mission trip.
Bendixsen recalled his first mission trip to Paris, France as a young man in the 1970s, and how it changed the trajectory of his career and life. He said he developed discipline that led him to marry his wife once he returned and go to law school.
“I loved my mission and missionary work; it set me on track for everything that would happen to me later in life,” he said. “Most of the wonderful things that have happened in my life came as a result of that mission.”
Bendixsen went to law school in Michigan following his mission trip and moved to Eastern Oregon to join Gary Reynolds, his brother-in-law, on Main Street in Hermiston. He’s been there ever since and said he’s never looked back.
When the Bendixsen family originally moved to Hermiston in 1987, the population was a lot smaller and, although the transition was difficult, it started to slowly grow on them until they came to love Hermiston.
“To Hermiston’s credit, everything has improved, the schools are better, the resources are better, we’ve had great economic growth here,” he said. “I think for Hermiston, the future looks very very bright.”
He said there is a lot to love about the city. It’s the city where they raised their family and built a community with recurring clients.
One of the aspects he said he’ll miss about Hermiston is the people he talked to and got to know during his consultations. He recalled how in an hour consultation someone would share their inner soul with him, which led him to deeply care for the people he served as a lawyer.
As a farewell message to Hermiston, he wants to remind community members that they’re in this together.
“I think these are hard times and I think it really tests who we are,” he said. “We need each other so we can all be better. We need more kindness. We need to be mindful of how we treat one another. We are better together.”