HOLL, Nelson ( -2004), drowned in a diving accident at Santa Catalina Island on September 5, 2005.
In the News~
September 13, 2004 [SFGate]: “HOLL, Nelson Jang - Loving father, husband and son, Nelson Jang Holl, passed away suddenly on September 5, 2004. He was born in San Francisco's Chinatown on November 27, 1951. Holl is survived by his mother, Ernestine Jang Holl; his loving wife, Julie Kawahara-Holl; two children, Cameron and Kiyomi; and siblings, Norman Hall, Warren Jang and Jenny Holl. Holl graduated from Berkeley High School in 1970 and San Francisco State University with a communications degree in 1983. He founded the Asian American Residential Recovery Services in San Francisco and served on numerous non-profit boards. For the past 10 years, he served as executive director for the California Consumer Protection Foundation and as a board member of the College Oak Montessori School. Nelson Holl was an active and engaged father and husband, and a valued friend to many. All those who knew Nelson were touched by his enthusiastic approach to life and his great sense of humor. He was an extremely hard worker and was always willing to lend a helping hand or sympathetic ear to both close friends and strangers. He will be sorely missed. A private family Visitation will be held on Monday, September 13. Friends and family are invited to attend a Memorial Service on Saturday, September 18, at 1:00 p.m. at the Finley Community Center, located at 2060 W. College Avenue in Santa Rosa. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations made to either the Cameron and Kiyomi College Fund or to the Nelson Holl Memorial Fund that will support non-profit organizations that were dear to Nelson's heart. Donations should be sent to PO Box 1100, Sebastopol, CA 95473-1100. Arrangements made by PARENT-SORENSEN MORTUARY-SEB., 301 S. Main St., Sebastopol, CA.”
October 8, 2011 [Pacific Palisades Patch]: The Leslie Brodie Report Concludes Journalistic Inquiry into Divers Robie & Matthai's Jim Robie and CCPF's [California Consumer Protection Foundation] Nelson Holl Cause of Death. Amid conflicting reports, suspicious circumstances, and vexing questions, TLR recently launched a journalistic inquiry into the untimely deaths of divers James Raymond Robie and Nelson Holl. James Robie 1949-2011. Robie, 61, a named partner in Los Angeles-based law firm Robie & Matthai, died earlier this year during a SCUBA certification dive off the shore of Santa Catalina Island. According to Fox News (see http://tinyurl.com/foxnewsrobie ): "The instructor reported ascending with Robie at about 3 p.m. Sunday in the Arrow Point area, when his body went limp.” On January 18, 2011, journalist Reza Gostar reported that Robie had died as a result of a heart attack. Specifically, Gostar wrote, "James Raymond Robie, a 61-year-old resident of Pacific Palisades, died Sunday after having a heart attack during a dive near Santa Catalina Island." Additionally, and in the same article, Gostar stated, "The investigation is still ongoing,” according to Lt. Joseph Bale of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. "The cause of death hasn't been ruled.” Neither Fox News, Gostar, nor any other media outlet published any follow-up story discussing the official cause of death. This lack of follow-through is disappointing and troubling given Robie's reputation as a ferocious litigator who, at that time of his death, was defending State Farm in highly contentious litigation relating to damages caused by Hurricane Katrina. That, as well as the willingness of the mainstream media to believe that Robie, coincidentally had a heart attack while ascending to the surface, made us suspicious. It is common knowledge that any injuries suffered by a diver while ascending are most likely the result of too rapid an ascent ("the bends" and/or "the chokes"), and hence suspect. Various other theories and speculation offered by some of our readers may or may not be accurate, particularly given that anything is possible (i.e. the meteor example), and are too speculative and/or far-fetched. While conducting the inquiry, and acknowledging that speculation abounds, information about the lavish and abundant food offered on the boat gave rise to a presumption, at least with us, that seasickness as well as heavy consumption of food prior to the dive may have caused Robie to vomit while underwater. Much like the coverage of Robie's death, very little information was offered by the media regarding Holl's drowning other than that he passed away "suddenly" in 2004. Various stories made mention of the fact that he drowned while "swimming with friends." Given CCPF's representations that it made available to the public financial accountings going back to 2001, and that records for 2002 are completely missing (including payments transferred to an entity controlled by Eric Moore -- presumably a relative of State Bar BOG member Gwen Moore), we became suspicious that foul play may have been involved. However, upon receipt of further information concerning Holl's drowning, our suspicions concerning foul play involving that incident have been considerably diminished. In actuality, and unfortunately, Holl drowned while diving in search of abalones; presumably, as is the practice with some divers, Holl dove with a weight belt which allowed him to sink to the bottom and control buoyancy. Accordingly, this inquiry is also now concluded. Much like the coverage of Robie's death, very little information was offered by the media regarding Holl's drowning other than that he passed away "suddenly" in 2004. Various stories made mention of the fact that he drowned while "swimming with friends."