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Mar 13, 2018News
March 10, 1928 – February 28, 2018 Beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Leo Geffner passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Wednesday, February 28th, leaving behind an immeasurable legacy of good deeds. Leo was a lifelong Angeleno, who grew up in Echo Park and graduated from Hamilton High School. He earned a B.A. from UCLA in Political Science in 1949, and, three years later, an L.L.B. from Boalt Hall, UC Berkeley. He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1953, later making partner with the firm of Levy, DeRoy, Geffner and Van Bourg. In 1968, Leo formed the iconic union firm, Geffner & Satzman, where he petitioned on behalf of working families for, among others, United Teachers-Los Angeles, International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees, Screen Actors Guild, and Service Employees International. In 1985, Leo argued successfully before the California Supreme Court to establish the right of public employees to strike; he made two appearances before the U.S. Supreme Court, the second, in 1998, with his most recent firm, Geffner & Bush, on behalf of Screen Actors Guild in a unanimous 9-0 decision. Leo, who left us just short of his 90th birthday, had a deep love for family that extended across many generational lines. He was the oldest child of Solomon and Goldie (Kamisher) Geffner, and leaves behind two younger brothers, Arnold (Jeanne) and James (Gayle) Geffner. On August 20, 1949, at Temple Tifereth Israel in Los Angeles, Leo married his beloved wife of 64 years Pat (Schapiro), whom he traveled the world with many times over, and with whom he raised three devoted children, Michael (Lily), Meryl (Mark Perry) and David (Devon Brown). His passion for L.A. sports teams – the Dodgers and Lakers – was contagious, particularly among his surviving grandchildren living in the U.S. – Olivia, Mila, Benjamin and Ruby. His love and support crossed continents – from South America to Europe – for his many other grandchildren and great-grandchildren. A kind, generous, and warm-hearted man, Leo was a “mediator” in life and work, whose deepest desire was to bring people together. His love for his treasured wife, Pat, was inspiring and infinite, and they have now been reunited in eternal celebration. May his memory bring tremendous blessings for generations to come.
Please direct charitable donations in Leo’s memory to: SAG Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center or Skirball Cultural Center.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 10 to Mar. 11, 2018