J. Forest Cahlan, a Las Vegas native and fourth generation Nevadan who opened one of Pahrump’s first law offices, died Saturday after a bout with cancer. He was 73.
Cahlan, better known as "Frosty," was the son of Las Vegas pioneer Al Cahlan, a longtime co-owner of the Review-Journal.
He was born in Las Vegas on April 30, 1934, and graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1952.
Through his prominent father and later in his own legal career, Cahlan rubbed elbows with Lyndon Johnson, John F. Kennedy and many of Las Vegas’ most famous figures, including Benny Binion and Bugsy Siegel.
"He knew all the old timers years ago, when the town was small," said Cahlan’s eldest son, Mike.
After earning his law degree from the University of Arizona in 1960, Cahlan worked as city attorney for Boulder City.
In 1985, he moved to Pahrump and worked as a deputy district attorney for Nye County. He later opened a private law practice there, and his son John joined as a partner.
Longtime Pahrump resident and civic leader Tim Hafen said Cahlan frequently answered questions from local residents without sending them a bill.
He provided free legal services to Pahrump’s arts council and senior center, and he was active in politics, youth sports and civic organizations throughout his life.
"Frosty wasn’t in it for the money," Hafen said. "Frosty was always what I considered a stalwart in the legal profession out here.
"He’s going to leave a hole."
Cahlan is survived by his wife, Sharon; her daughter and son-in-law, Amber and Tim Sandhoff; sister, Marion Henderson; and sons and daughter-in-laws, Mike and Tina Cahlan, John and Terry Cahlan, and Brad and Jodie Cahlan.
Funeral and burial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Pahrump Family Mortuary, 5441 Vicki Ann Road in Pahrump.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Nevada Cancer Institute or Nathan Adelson Hospice.