Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Attorney, Bar Leader Matthew ‘Sandy’ Rae Dies at 87
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Services will take place next week for attorney Matthew Sanderson “Sandy” Rae Jr., who died yesterday following a lengthy illness, a daughter said yesterday.
Rae, who was 87, was a World War II veteran, a leading figure in the trusts and estates bar and in various legal organizations, including the Los Angeles County Bar Association, and an active participant of the Republican Party organizations.
He served in the Army Air Corps and trained for the planned invasion of Japan, daughter Janet Sanderson Rae-Dupree said yesterday.
The projected fatality rate for bomber pilots in the event the invasion became necessary was about 80 percent, she explained, so her father, an inveterate teller of war stories, “had the time of his life” while getting ready for it.
At one point, she noted, he decided to fly over Yosemite because he had never seen it, notwithstanding that it was restricted air space. He thus became know to all to his colleagues as “the idiot who flew the bomber over Yosemite Valley,” Rae-Dupree recalled fondly.
Around the end of the war, she added, “the strangest aircraft he had ever seen” looped him while he was on a training run outside of Bakersfield, then disappeared. When he reported to his base commander, he was insistently told “you didn’t see any such thing.”
Only later, Rae-Dupree said, did he learn that the strange aircraft was a test version of what was to be the world’s first jet plane.
After the war, he received his undergraduate and law degrees from Duke University. After graduation, he worked for the dean of the Duke University Law School, and was a national field representative for Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. He retained a lifelong affinity for the fraternity, holding the high office of supreme justice from 1972 to 1974.
Admitted to the State Bar of California in 1951, he clerked for state Supreme Court Justice Douglas L. Edmonds. In 1953, he joined the law firm that was to become Darling, Hall & Rae.
His partners in the firm included Hugh W. Darling, Donald Hall, and Edward M. Shattuck, all onetime presidents of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. Shattuck died in office, and is one of the two past presidents in whose honor LACBA established the Shattuck-Price Memorial Award, which is the group’s highest honor and which Rae won in 1990.
Rae was active in what was then the State Bar Conference of Delegates (now Conference of Delegates of California Bar Associations) for more than 30 years, holding a number of posts including chair of the LACBA delegation, chair of the Resolutions Committee, and member of the Executive Committee.
In LACBA, he served as chair of the Probate and Trust Law Committee, member of the Taxation Executive Committee, vice-chair of the California Death and Gift Tax Committee, chair of the Legislation Committee of the Trusts and Estate Section, and as a director of the Los Angeles County Bar Foundation.
He was made a life member of the Commission on Uniform State Laws and served on the Probate and Mental Health Advisory Committee of the California Judicial Council, was a fellow of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and a member of its Executive Council, and headed the Breakfast Club, which endorses candidates for election to the State Bar Board of Governors.
He was a recipient, in 1984, of the Arthur K. Marshall Award given by the Trusts and Estates Section of LACBA for outstanding service in that field of law.
He often spoke of his early political endeavors, including his stint as a teenage volunteer in the presidential campaign of Wendell Wilkie, who attempted to derail Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s third term bid in 1940.
He later joined the California Republican League, a volunteer organization for moderate Republicans, served as its parliamentarian, and became the group’s second president in 1966 when William P. Gray resigned to become a federal judge.
He was an elected member of the Los Angeles County Republican Central Committee, representing the South Bay’s 53rd Assembly District, but lost the seat in the 2004 primary election and failed in his attempt to regain it in 2006.
Rae-Dupree said the family is in the proces of planning services, with a reception to follow, likely for next Tuesday at St Peter’s by the Sea Presbyterian Chuch on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Besides Rae-Dupree, Rae is survived by another daughter, Margaret Sanderson Rae Mallory, by his sons-in-law, by three grandchildren, and by a sister, Margaret Sanderson Rae of Tucson, Ariz.
Copyright 2010, Metropolitan News Company