LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Klinedinst is saddened to announce the passing of Connie L. Ali, a member of our litigation support team in Los Angeles.
A Michigan native, Connie had called California home for 35 years. After moving to the Golden State, she attended various colleges throughout California while taking courses at night and working full-time during the day. It was that dedication and spirit that came to be a hallmark of Connie’s work ethic in the office.
“She had been a valued member of our team for 18 years and a wonderful presence in our Los Angeles office,” said Robert J. Hatem, Managing Shareholder of Klinedinst’s Los Angeles office. “She will be greatly missed.”
John Klinedinst, Founder and CEO of Klinedinst PC, recalled Connie as “a great person, consummate team player, outstanding legal assistant and leader in the firm.”
Her love of travel was well-known in the office. She and her family had traveled to many locales, including Hawaii, Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Bali and Tahiti.
Shareholder Greg Garbacz, who first opened the Los Angeles office, recalled Connie and the critical role she played in the Los Angeles team’s success. “She stayed with the firm for almost 20 years,” Garbacz said. “She saw a lot of growth and change. I know from my discussions with Connie that what she valued at the firm was all of the friends she had here… all of whom she considered family. She also enjoyed working with our younger attorneys and watching them grow and thrive.”
Neil Gunny first met Connie in 1988, when he was assigned to manage an Orange County law office in which she worked. Gunny recalled being astounded by the professionalism and camaraderie of the legal secretaries in that office. He was incredibly impressed with Connie and re-assigned her to work with him directly, forming a team that would work together over the next three decades.
As Gunny puts it, “Connie was my guardian angel; in 30 years, she never made a mistake. My general anxiety was always offset by Connie’s enduring patience and grace under pressure.”
Their working relationship was put on pause for three years when that law firm dissolved, but the two were reunited in 2002 when Gunny asked Connie to join him in Klinedinst’s new LA office. Fortunately for all of us at the firm, she accepted the offer.
“Everyone who worked with Connie adored Connie,” Gunny added. “But Connie meant so much to all of us on a very personal level. When I lost my father in 1992, Connie gave me a sympathy card in which she suggested that I keep his photo on my dresser as a reminder that he is still in my life. I am looking at this photo right now, and will be adding Connie’s photo as someone who I truly cherish. She lives on through her family and friends who loved her so much.”
Connie is survived by her husband and her wonderful daughters, who she spoke of fondly with her co-workers. “I know Connie loved her family and children very much but also that she considered all of us to be part of her family,” added Garbacz.
The entire Klinedinst team extends its thoughts and prayers to Connie’s family. We are all truly better for having known Connie Ali.