Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Services Set Thursday for Former Judge, Assemblyman
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Elwyn S. Bennett, who served four terms in the state Assembly and spent 28 years as a bench officer, died Friday at age 91.
Family members said services will be held Thursday at 1 p.m. at Rainbow Chapel, Rose Hills Memorial Park.
Bennett retired in 1978 as a Los Angeles Municipal Court judge, having sat in mostly in the downtown, Van Nuys and San Fernando courts. He was appointed to the court in 1964 by then-Gov. Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Sr.
He was elected Justice of the Peace for East Los Angeles in 1950 and in 1952 was elected to the newly formed East Los Angeles Municipal Court, on which he served until 1963. The law library at the East Los Angeles courthouse was dedicated in his name in 1990.
Bennett’s older brother, F. Ray Bennett, was a Los Angeles Superior Court judge who retired in 1998 and died the following year. F. Ray Bennett’s son, Frederick R. Bennett, was Assistant County Counsel until he retired in 2000 and is now court counsel for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
F. Ray Bennett also preceded his brother in the Assembly, representing the same district for one term.
Elwyn Bennett was elected to the state Assembly in 1942 and won re-election three times. In 1944, he was a California Democratic presidential elector for Franklin D. Roosevelt.
While in the Assembly he served on the Judiciary Committee and the Crime and Corrections Interim Committee.
His son, Brian K. Bennett, said yesterday that 1946 legislation leading to the establishment of the California School for the Deaf in Riverside was one of his father’s proudest accomplishments. Brian Bennett said his father had been in poor health since a fall in January and died at Encino Hospital.
The former judge was born in Salt Lake City, but moved to California with his family and attended Garfield High School and UCLA before beginning his legal studies at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall and completing them at USC Law School.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Esther Styerwalt, a daughter, three sons and a grandson.
Copyright 2003, Metropolitan News Company