Kurt Kumli Passed away peacefully on August 4, 2014 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. He was 52 years old. Kurt was born on September 14, 1961 in Longview, Washington.
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Kurt attended Pleasant Valley High School (1979) in Chico, California, received a Bachelor's of Arts Degree from the University of California in Berkeley (1984) and a Juris Doctorate Degree from McGeorge School of Law (1987). While in law school, he met his future wife, Sue Gillett, and they were married in 1995. They have two daughters, Michaella (14) and Erika (7), who were Kurt's greatest treasures. Kurt was a devoted Dad who shared his love of music, white water rafting, soccer, the San Francisco Giants, and the San Jose Sharks with his daughters. Kurt planned amazing vacations for his family that always combined exploration, new experiences, fun and extraordinary family memories.
Kurt was a Superior Court Judge in Santa Clara County, California. He had several assignments while on the bench including Supervising the Domestic Violence and Appellate Divisions and most recently he was the Supervising Judge for the North County Courts in Palo Alto. While in Palo Alto, Kurt helped create the Palo Alto Review (PAR) Calendar, a calendar designed to provide early diagnosis, resources, and services for low-level offenders with both substance abuse and mental health problems. Over his career Kurt served as a Commissioner on the California State Commission on Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Law Chair for the Task Force for Criminal Justice Collaboration on Mental Health Issues, and he was a long time member of the California Judicial Council's Family and Juvenile Law Advisory Committee.
Judge Kumli was a nationally recognized expert on Juvenile Law and Policy, serving on the faculties of the University of San Francisco School of Law, Santa Clara University School of Law, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the Center for Judicial Education and Research, and the California Judges Association. He is the co-author of the nationally recognized Juvenile Law treatise "Sieser & Kumli on California Juvenile Courts" published by LexisNexis.
Prior to becoming a Judge, he spent nearly twenty years as a prosecutor, working as a District Attorney, Supervising Deputy District Attorney, and Chief Deputy District Attorney in San Jose, California. While working as a prosecutor, he received a John B. Pickett Fellowship to attend Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. His work has been featured nationally on "Nightline", "Good Morning America", "Frontline"', "MSNBC", and National Public Radio.
On a local level, Kurt created the non-profit "Neighborhood Youth Pride Coalition" which rewarded pro-social community involvement by local youth. Pulitzer Prize winning author John Hubner documented his involvement with at-risk youth in the community as well as in the courtroom in the book "Somebody Else's Children".
In addition to his wife and daughters, Kurt is survived by his father, Karl Kumli, his step-mother, Lynn Kumli, and his brother, Karl Kumli III. Kurt's mother, Lee Kumli, predeceased him. He is also survived by his father-in-law, Byron Gillett, and his brothers and sisters in-law, Gail and Ralph Heninger, Paul and Cheryl Gillett, along with nieces and nephews, Karl and Anneka Kumli, Jacob and Emily Heninger, and Alex and Jack Gillett. We all miss him.
Our family wants to thank our wonderful friends for the love and support shown to us. We are forever touched by your kindness.
Family and friends are invited to attend the Vigil Service Friday 7:00pm and the Funeral Mass Saturday 12:00 Noon ALL at St. Brendan's Church, Ulloa St. and Rockaway Ave., San Francisco. Committal Private. Donations in Kurt's memory may be made to his daughters education trust fund.
Duggan's Serra Mortuary
500 Westlake Avenue Daly City, CA 94014
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Aug. 7, 2014