Daniel A. Sisk (1927 -2017)
Daniel A. Sisk, the last-surviving “name” partner of Modrall, Sperling, Roehl, Harris & Sisk, died on August 15, 2017 at the age of 90.
A native New Mexican born in Albuquerque, Dan graduated from high school at New Mexico Military Institute in 1945 and promptly enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Western Pacific and China. After World War II ended, Dan studied two years at the University of New Mexico and transferred to Stanford University where he graduated in 1950.
He entered Stanford Law School with classmates William Rehnquist and Sandra Day O’Connor. Dan had joined the Marine Corps Reserves after completing his Navy commitment, so when the Korean War heated up, he was called to active duty by the Marines at the end of his second year in law school. Dan then served in Korea as a First Lieutenant and was discharged as a Captain, whereupon he re-entered Stanford Law School from which he graduated in 1954.
He joined the Modrall Sperling Firm as its sixth lawyer and served as a firm partner for more than 40 years. In 1968, Dan was appointed to the New Mexico Supreme Court (the answer to the trivia quiz question “Who among the 1950 Stanford Law School entering class was the first Supreme Court Justice?” is “Daniel A. Sisk.”)
After his tenure on the Court, Dan returned to Modrall Sperling where he was an expert in banking law and other aspects of commercial law. He served as Chairman of the Board of Sunwest Financial Services for 15 years.
Dan had a strong sense of public service. He served as President of the Legal Aid Society of Albuquerque, Director of the Albuquerque Bar Association, Trustee of Sandia School, Trustee of the Albuquerque Academy, and Trustee of the AT&SF Railroad Memorial Hospital. He was an Elder and Deacon of First Presbyterian Church where he was a member for over 75 years. For 20 years Dan and his wife, Kay, delivered meals for Meals on Wheels.
A life-long sports fan, Dan was a strong supporter of Lobo basketball and Albuquerque’s professional baseball teams. Dan was known for his legal scholarship and commitment to the law firm and its principles of integrity and service; he mentored many young lawyers, encouraging them to devote time to public service and to participate in Bar Association and community organizations.
He had a great sense of humor and was always ready to help others. Dan was never heard to utter an unkind word about anyone, and he treated everyone he met with openness, respect, and dignity. Dan was dearly loved by all members past and present of Modrall Sperling, who have been guided, and will continue to be guided, by Dan’s warm spirit and unwavering commitment to the firm and to the practice of law with integrity. The members of Modrall Sperling will cherish his memory and will be forever grateful to him for having improved our lives and the lives of many others.
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