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Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield

Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield Obituary

Wilbur "Bill" Littlefield was born April 6, 1922 in Los Angeles, the son of Marie and Forrest Littlefield. He passed away June 9, 2012 in Van Nuys, CA.

He attended Westwood (Selby Ave.) Grammar School, Emerson Junior High and graduated from University High School, class of 39.

After attending U.C.L.A. for three and a half years he entered military service in 1942. He graduated from O.C.S. in January of 1943 and went overseas as an infantry replacement being assigned to Co. 'E' 160th Infantry, on the island of Hawaii. During his service on Hawaii he volunteered to attend Ranger and Combat School on Oahu where he also served as an instructor in demolitions. Upon completing Ranger School he returned to Co. 'E' on Hawaii, which shortly thereafter was assigned to Oahu. In December of 1943 Company 'E' went to Guadalcanal and then a few months later went to Cape Gloucester, New Britain. Shortly after arriving there he answered a call for "Volunteers for a Dangerous Mission behind the Japanese Lines". He was selected as the one officer from his regiment to attend the Alamo Scout Training Center in Australian New Guinea. Upon graduation he was selected as an Alamo Scout Team Leader where he led eleven completed missions behind enemy lines ranging in length from two to seventy four days. He led missions in Australian New Guinea, Dutch New Guinea, Leyte, Samar and Luzon. On Leyte, his team served for a time as a personal bodyguard for General Walter Krueger, the Commanding General of the Sixth Army.

After discharge from the service he married Vera Bryan in 1945. He then attended Hastings College of Law from September 1946 to June 1949. After graduation he was admitted to the State Bar in January 1950 and moved to Los Angeles where he was in private practice until 1957. He then decided to become a Deputy Public Defender. While working for the Public Defender's Office he was promoted to Head Deputy, Chief Trial Deputy, Chief of the Branch and Area Offices and, in 1976, he was appointed Public Defender, a position he held until his retirement in 1993.

He was a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In the period from 1962 to 1966, he personally defended more first degree murder cases, where juries determined the penalty, than any other lawyer in the state of California.

He is survived by his children, Jerry Littlefield, his wife Laurie, Lynn Cope, Marcia Payette, her husband Joe, Kevin "Jack" Littlefield and wife Amy, his nine grandchildren, Sherry, Kim, Christie, Bryan, Christopher, Michelle, Patrick, Jeremy and Jackie, nine great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews, and Marilyn who was the joy of his life for the last thirteen years.

His parents, his wife Vera, his sister Audrey McElhanon and many canine pals, Angel, Inky, Inkette, Racky, Amy and Bear predeceased him.

Bill was a generous man in so many ways. He was a defender of the downtrodden and never missed an opportunity to give to those less fortunate than himself. He loved and appreciated his family and friends. He will be missed more than words can express.

A Memorial Service will be held 11:00 a.m. on June 30, 2012 at:
St. Bridget of Sweden Catholic Church, 7100 Whitaker Ave., (corner of Whitaker Ave. & Gault Street), Van Nuys, CA 91406-3719.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on June 13, 2012
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