Karl H. Straus, Co-Founder of Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore, P.A., died in 2017 at the age of 96. Karl was born in Germany in 1921 and immigrated to the United Stated in 1936. After practicing in New York for a time, he relocated to North Carolina in 1953, and, along with his father-in-law, Joseph A. Patla, began the firm that would later be known as Patla, Straus, Robinson & Moore, P.A. Karl served as a pillar of the legal community in Asheville, North Carolina for over 50 years, practicing in the areas of corporate and business law, as well as estate planning and administration. He served as President of the Buncombe County Bar Association from 1970 to 1971, and was one of the founders of the Legal Aid Society, the predecessor of Pisgah Legal Services, for which he later served as both a Board Member and as Board Chairman.
Karl was widely regarded for his community involvement and leadership, and served on countless boards and committees. He was a charter member of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina and the Lewis Rathbun Wellness Center, now The Rathbun House at Mission Hospital. He also served as a director for the Brevard Music Center, Memorial Mission Hospital, The Civil Arts Council, the Asheville Symphony and the Asheville Tourists Baseball Club. Karl was also a long-time member of the Congregation Beth Ha Tephila.
Karl served as Trustee of the Board of the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA), and later as the Chairman of both its Board and its Foundation Board. UNCA has recognized Karl for his numerous contributions to the University by awarding him a Chancellor's Medallion and by naming the track in his honor.