Honorable Charles E. Frisco
December 20, 1922 to October 15, 2015
It is with deepest sorrow and regret, the Frisco family and the legal community lost a wonderful man on Thursday, October 15, 2015. Judge Charles E. Frisco was a ninety two years of age.
Judge Charles E. Frisco was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Sicilian immigrants, Gandolfo and Giovanna Gianfisco, on December 20, 1922. Charles had two older brothers, Sammy and Frank and a younger sister Delphine.
Charles attended Detroit Institute of Technology until activated as a United States Army Reservist. On March 8, 1943, he was assigned to the United States Air Corps where he served at Algiers, Africa, Bastia, Corsica, Italy and Austria and was among first American troops to land in Corsica in 1943. He served with the 63rd Fighter Wing at Bastia, Corsica, then with the XXII Tactical Air Command in Florence, Italy. While overseas, he participated in four campaigns in European and Mediterranean Theaters: Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Northern Apennines and Po Valley. His brothers Sammy and Frank also fought in World War II. Sammy was killed Christmas day, 1942. Charles received an Honorable Discharge in December, 1945 but not before cultivating a love of opera. Tosca was his favorite but he was equally enamored by everything else Puccini.
Upon his discharge from the service, Charles moved to California to complete his education at Loyola University and Loyola Law School. Charles was inspired by his father's words that an education is a treasure which no man could rob. He was admitted to the State Bar of California in December, 1951 andconducted a general practice of law in South Gate until his appointment by Gov. Pat Brown to the newly created judgeship in the Municipal Court of the Downey Judicial District on March 3, 1966. Gov. Jerry Brown elevated him to the Los Angeles Superior Courtin 1980.
Judge Frisco was a member and past president (1955) of the Southeast District Bar Association, served on the executive board of the California Judges Association from 1979-1991, past Chairman of Downey Symphonic Society teacher of Community Law Program through Cerritos College, former Chairman of Planning and Research Unit, Municipal Court Judges Association and former director of the Law School Alumni of Loyola University. He was also one the founding members of the Italian American Lawyers Association. He was often asked to "roast" various Judges and attorneys who were retiring or receiving an award.
Judge Frisco was honored as the first recipient of the Southeast Bar Association Annual Judge of the Year award as Municipal Court Judge in 1975 and in 1981. Superior Court Judge of the Year, this annual award is presented in recognition of the outstanding Judicial Officer of the year and was named for him upon his retirement in 1994. Judge Frisco received the first Hon. H. George Taylor Outstanding Judicial Officer awardby the Whittier Bar Assoc. in 1999. Althoughofficially retired in 1994, Judge Frisco's retirement lasted less than a week before returning as an assigned Judge atthe Norwalk Courthouse where heserved since 1980. Judge Frisco ultimately retired in October, 2010 after sitting for forty four years.
From 1983 through 1999 he served as Chairman of the Court's Historical Events Committee, participating in 31 enrobing ceremonies and introducing a record 264 judges, included in that number are 2 Supreme Court Justices. (Joyce Kennard and Carlos Moreno) 28 Justices of the Court of Appeal, 9 Federal District Judges, 3 Presiding Judges and l Assistant Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court.
From September through November 1983, he was assigned to the Second District Court of Appeal. He authored Escamilla v. California Insurance Guarantee Association, 150 CA 3rd 53 and People v. Amerson, 151 CA3d 165.
Judge Frisco was a gentleman known for his warmth, charm, kindness but most of all, he was known for his rapier wit. Gregarious by nature, Charlie was paternalistic and professional with new attorneys appearing in his court. Regardless of status, he treated the novice attorney with the same dignified courtesy as he would a top-notched, high flying hired gun. Charlie was also known for his well reasoned and firmly grounded decisions. One jurist, Judge Wendell Mortimer, in an interview with the Daily Journal, summed up what other jurists thought of him. 'I've thought many times, what would Frisco do? And the answer seems to have served me well. He is someone I try to emulate'.
Judge Frisco and his wife, Marjorie, had been married for sixty-one years. They are proud parents of seven children, three of whom were practicing attorneys, Norwalk attorney Charles E. Frisco, Jr., Long Beach attorney Janine M. Frisco-Poletti and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Frisco who left the practice of law after serving twenty five years as a deputy district attorney. Their other four children are Patti Frisco, Joanne Frisco-Stathoulis, Craig Frisco and Jacquie Frisco-Habsburg. Charles and Marjorie have a son in-law and a grand daughter who are also practicing attorneys. Judge Frisco is also survived by seven grandchildren: Charles Gianfisco, George Stathoulis, Garryn Laws, Elizabeth Poletti, Esq., Samantha Poletti, Taylor Knudson Frisco and Thomas Poletti, Jr.
The rosary will be held on Tuesday, October 27,2015 ,7:00p.m., at Saint Bruno Catholic Church, 15740 Citrustree Road, Whittier, CA.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 28, 2015, 12:00p.m., at Saint Bruno Catholic Church.
Burial and reception will follow.
Risher Mortuary & Cremation Service are Funeral Directors. Please leave the family condolences through our website at www.rishermortuary.com. (562) 699-0916.