Robert A. Wenke, retired judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court, died on August 14, 2015 from complications of pancreatic cancer at age 88.
He was born in Stanton, Nebraska on September 26, 1926 to Adolph and Gertrude Wenke. He became an Eagle Scout before moving to Lincoln in high school when his father became an Associate Justice on the Nebraska Supreme Court.
After serving in the Navy in WWII he graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Law where he was on the law review and graduated Order of the Coif. He began practicing law in Long Beach in 1950.
He was appointed to the Long Beach Municipal Court in 1965. The following year he was appointed to the Los Angeles Superior Court. In 1975 he was elected the Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court. As the Presiding Judge he handled the second gun inquiry into the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy.
He retired from the court in 1986 and for the next 27 years he worked as a private judge handling arbitrations and mediations. He wrote four books for lawyers. He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Suzanne, two children and a grandchild.
Published in Gazette Newspapers from Aug. 27 to Sep. 3, 2015.