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Respected Attorney, Beloved, Loving Father



Respected Long Beach Attorney, Howard W. Shelton, born January 7, 1925, passed away on December 20, 2015 after a long and fruitful life with his family, athletics and law practice.  Howard was a prominent Long Beach attorney practicing personal injury, workmen’s compensation and trial practice law.  Always a gentleman, Howard was considerate, courteous and highly respected for his professional obligations.


He started college at Vanderbilt University where he played football for the famous coach Red Sanders as a blocking back.  He was then called away to the Navy to take his ensign training at Cornell University Mid-Shipman School.  Leaving the service, he attended law school at Stanford University and was admitted to the California Bar in January 1952.  


Howard was very popular with the Long Beach Bar Association and known for his enthusiasm and courtesies, always ready to help where he could.  Local attorney Vern Schooley reports that one of his first experiences when he arrived in Long Beach in 1966 was to visit Howard’s office to solicit for the United Fund Drive.  Being new to the Bar and new in town, Vern felt uncomfortable in approaching successful attorneys for donations, and recalls Howard greeted him with warmth and remembers to this day the man behind the desk in a white starched 

shirt and tie, hair in place and a congenial smile reaching for his checkbook to ask how he could 

help?  This was Howard.


Howard was a fantastic athlete, outstanding golfer and good tennis player.  In the 1970’s Bill Hansen, then President of Buffum's Department Stores, put together a weekend group to play on the rooftop tennis court, Buffum's Marina Pacifica. He included such stalwarts as Howard, Pete Utecht Esq, Leo VanderLans Esq. Vern Schooley Esq. and often Sterling Clayton Esq.   Howard was always early to arrive, sitting in his car reading history books on the Civil War and ready for the match.  He was an outstanding student of history. 


Howard was focused. He regularly played nine holes of golf every day, if not in trial, starting at 4 p.m.  Vern reports that as a beginning golfer, he joined Howard one day, and while congenial and courteous, Howard was so focused on his game that Vern's impression was that he was a tag-along! Howard hardly knowing he was there.  


Howard was a founding Master of the Bench with the Joseph A. Ball/ Clarence S. Hunt Inn of Court and for many years was a mentor to some of the younger Long Beach Attorneys. He is survived by 5 children, 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.


A celebration of life will be held at his residence, 11:00 Am , Sat. Jan 9, 3922 Country Club 

Drive, Lakewood CA. 90712.


He will be missed.


Brian Brandmeyer, 78, died peacefully at his home in Palos Verdes on New Year's Day from ALS. He was surrounded by Janice, his devoted wife of 54 years, and his four children: Kent, Terese, Michael and Kevin. Brian was born in Spokane, Washington but spent his formative years in Fargo, North Dakota where he attended Bishop Shanley High School. A three sport varsity athlete, he forged his passion for sports and all things competitive on the field of play. To follow were decades of pick-up basketball, tennis, golf and an encyclopedic knowledge of sports statistics. He came west and attended both college and law school at Loyola University in Los Angeles, graduating in 1962 to begin a 53 year career as an attorney specializing in Family Law. His commitment to Loyola Law School was life long, as he served on its Board of Governors and was President of its alumni association. Brian and Jan lived happily in Palos Verdes where they raised 4 children. They are now blessed with 11 grandchildren. After his family, Brian's passion was the practice of law. He built two law firms from the ground up. With 9 lawyers, the Long Beach firm of Brandmeyer, Gilligan & Dockstader remains one of the preeminent Family Law firms in the region. Brian was a legal warrior, successfully representing countless clients over the decades and, to nobody's surprise, he never retired, last going into the office on December 23, 2015. All who knew Brian immediately felt his warmth, egalitarian nature and kind human touch. He woke up every morning happy, optimistic and ready to make the world a better place. If the measure of a man is how well he lived, Brian squeezed every last drop out of life. As a family, we are so grateful to be the lasting legacy of this passionate man. Please join us as we hold close the memory of Brian Kent Brandmeyer. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, January 7th at 1:30pm at St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Rancho Palos Verdes. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Providence Trinity Care Hospice Foundation, 5315 Torrance Blvd., Torrance, CA 90503 or The ALS Association - Golden West Chapter, PO Box 565, Agoura Hills, CA 91376.



Published in the Los Angeles Times on Jan. 5, 2016

By Vern Schooley



10 years ago while sitting on the tarmac at Dulles airport I noticed a passenger approaching the loading stairs who looked kind of  like Ken Starr, wearing a denim, short-sleeved shirt and Union 76-like orange cap. After he boarded and the flight was on its way to LAX, I  went up and spoke to the passenger,  asking him if anyone had ever told him he looked like Ken Starr. He said "yes". I said, "So what do you say?".... he doffed his cap and said, "I say 'yes I am!'"
We chatted and I invited him later to speak to a group of American Inns of Court members  at a joint meeting we set up in the Grand Salon of the Queen Mary.  I had some concern the libs would attack me for inviting him but it all went well. Afterwards we gathered in the Observation Bar for some intellectual discussions. .  RIP Judge.              -Vern Schooley


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