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Peter Eugene Giannini

1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Peter Eugene Giannini Obituary
June 8, 1921 - October 12, 2017 Judge Peter E. Giannini, Founder of CASA, dies at 96. Judge Peter E. Giannini (Pete), Founder of the Court Appointed Special Advocates program, died peacefully in his sleep, in his home in Rancho Mirage, CA. He was 96. Judge Giannini was born in Kingsburg, CA, on June 8, 1921, and attended the Clay Elementary School. He was First Violinist and Senior Class President of Kingsburg High School, as well as an Eagle Scout. He was a graduate of Santa Clara University as well as the Boalt Hall Law School at U.C. Berkeley, where he met his lovely wife, Mercedes. They were happily married for 67 years, until her passing in 2011 at age 89. Judge Giannini graduated second in his class from Boalt and clerked for Justice Roger Traynor of the California Supreme Court. He then entered private practice, meanwhile engaging in successful real estate development ventures with his longtime partner, Mike Falabrino. In 1970, he was appointed to the California Municipal Court, and soon elevated to the Superior Court, by then-Governor Ronald Reagan and served 20 years on the bench. During this time, he became the Chief Judge of the Dependency Section of the Juvenile Court System. His heart was broken to see the trauma of the young victims of child abuse, and to see that they had no one to advocate for their interests. He applied for a federal grant to establish the Guardian Ad Litem program, which was so successful that it has been replicated nationally and is now called CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). Now, CASA volunteers have watched over and advocated for more than 250,000 abused and neglected children. Donations to CASA in his honor can be made here. In his spare time, Judge Giannini was an avid hunter, fisherman and outdoorsman. He and his wife, Mercedes, won numerous fishing trophies at the Los Angeles Rod and Reel Club. He was also a member of the California Yacht Club. He was a fitness enthusiast and enjoyed tennis, bicycling and swimming. He remained a classical violinist and vocalist all his life. He is survived by his six children and their families: His son Peter, his wife Ilana, and their children Raphael and Aaron; His son Paul, Paul's daughter Heather, her husband Jason, their children Zoe and Benjamin, and Paul's son Nick; His daughter Christine, her son Arwain, his wife Fran, their son Bodhi; His daughter Regina, her husband Robert, their children Nico, Anni and Lily; His daughter Joyce and her husband Ahmad; His daughter Sharon, her daughter Amouretta, her children Savannah and Joey; Sharon's daughter Charlene, her husband Dave, their sons David and James. His services are as follows: Rosary and Viewing Tuesday, Oct. 17th, 6pm Rosary, 6:30pm-8pm Viewing Gates Kingsley and Gates 4220 So. Sepulveda Blvd. Culver City, CA 90230 Funeral Services Wednesday, Oct. 18th, 10am St. Martin of Tours, 11955 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049 Followed by a procession to: Holy Cross Cemetery 5835 West Slauson Ave. Culver City, CA 90230 From Holy Cross, attendees are welcome to join us at our 2pm memorial luncheon. Details will be provided at the funeral.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 17, 2017
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