Ralph Nutter

Obituary of Ralph Nutter

The Honorable Ralph H. Nutter, Judge, Superior Court, Los Angeles County (retired) passed away peacefully at the age of 91 in Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday, January 28, 2012. Judge Nutter was born in Norwood, Massachusetts, to Ralph Nutter and Mildred Starbird Nutter. He had one sister, Ruth, now deceased. He graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School A.B., J.D., in 1948 and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in 1948 and the California Bar in 1949. After serving as Attorney and Hearing Officer for the National Labor Relations Board 1948-1951, he was in private practice 1952-1959. He served as Judge, Municipal Court of Los Angeles County 1959-1961, and was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1961 by Governor Pat Brown. In 1967, he was Presiding Judge, Law Department, Superior Court and was author of Los Angeles Superior Court Rules for Writs and Receiver. In 1968 he was Justice Pro Tem for California Court of Appeal for the 2nd Appellate District. He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and California and Los Angeles County Bar Associations. In 1987 he was listed in The Best Lawyers in America. In 2001 he was appointed Special Assistant Attorney General of Guam. Judge Nutter was admitted to the Federal District Court, Ninth Circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Nutter was proud of his service as a decorated combat flier in the European and Pacific theaters in World War II. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor and left the service in 1945 as Lieutenant Colonel. Ralph Nutter was a true WWII hero, serving as navigator for five generals including Curtis LeMay and Haywood Hansell. In 2002 he published With the Possum and the Eagle, The Memoir of a Navigator's War over Germany and Japan. Ralph loved being with his family, climbing in the High Sierras and playing tennis. He is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Dale Nutter, his sons Curtis Nutter (Laurie) and Eric Nutter and daughter Tarah Nutter (Jay Ginsberg), his stepdaughter Jamie Beutler (Larry) and stepson Robert Blitzer (Donna). He adored his eight grandchildren: Christopher Nutter (Andrea), Kimberly Van Wert (David), Cory Singer (Sean Sullivan), Grace Singer, Laurel Singer, Adam Nutter, Rebecca Alvarez (Alex), Erica LeBlanc (Aaron) and six great grandchildren. He was an affectionate, supportive uncle to Carlene Tockman, Dianna Brake (Terry), Lynn Hale, Nicole Levine (Richard), Tracy Scharf (Jeff) and Andrew Lotwin. Private services are planned. Memorial donations may be made to Harvard Law School Annual Fund, in honor of Ralph H. Nutter, 125 Mt. Auburn Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
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