Bernard F. Kemper

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KEMPER, Bernard F. Bernard F. Kemper, former judge of East Los Angeles Municipal Court and World War II veteran, died Sunday, February 27, 2011, in Cedars-Sinai Hospital after a long illness. Kemper, who was originally appointed to the bench by Governor George Deukmejian in 1990, was 85. Born and raised in Detroit Michigan, Kemper entered the army in 1943 and served two-and-a-half years in the U.S. Sixth Infantry Division, known as the Sightseeing Sixth. Kemper saw extensive action in The Battle of Lone Tree Hill in Dutch New Guinea, followed by over 200 consecutive days of combat on the Island of Luzon, the Philippines, the longest continuous U.S. battle in the Pacific Theater. Discharged at war's end, he resettled in Detroit where he attended Wayne State University, followed by a degree from the Ohio College of Chiropody. In 1951, Kemper married Diane Lightstone and the couple had two children. Over the next decade, Kemper worked in the Lightstone family business, building subdivisions throughout Michigan and Ohio during the post-war housing boom. After a divorce, Kemper arrived in Los Angeles, California, where he attended and graduated Southwestern University School of Law, joining the L.A. County Public Defender's Office in 1966. During this time, he courted and married Rosalind Robbins, adopting her young daughter.
Leaving the Public Defender's Office in 1969, he began a very successful private law practice in Beverly Hills and Marina Del Rey, California, handling cases until his 1984 appointment as court commissioner in East L.A. Fluent in Spanish, Kemper was eventually appointed Judge of East Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1990, serving in that capacity well past his retirement as an Assigned Judge. Kemper sat on the bench as late as December of last year, when illness overcame him. He is survived by his wife of 47 years, Rosalind; three children, David Kemper of Encino, California, Nancy Kemper of La Jolla, California, and Andrea Kemper Cardey, her husband Steven, and four grandchildren: Kevin, Jennifer, Lauren and Brendan, of Napa, California. Services will be held at 12 noon, Thursday, March 3rd, at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks and Mortuaries - Hollywood Hills (800) 600-0076. Memorial contributions may be made to the .
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 1 to Mar. 2, 2011
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