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Judge Neeley; Public Defender and L.A. Jurist

November 28, 1987

Funeral services for retired Superior Court Judge William B. Neeley, former Los Angeles County public defender and a member of the bench for 20 years, are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. today at First United Methodist Church in Glendale.

The 89-year-old jurist died Nov. 25 at a convalescent home, where he had been confined after suffering a stroke.

Neeley was appointed to the Superior Court in February, 1949, by Gov. Earl Warren. Three years before that, after years of service as a deputy public defender, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors had named him to head the public defender's office.

During his years on the Superior Court bench, he served in the psychiatric and criminal departments and as presiding judge of the Juvenile Court.

Friends said his interest in mental health problems led him to organize the Mental Health Foundation, later to become the Los Angeles County Mental Health Assn. He lectured on forensic medicine at the USC Medical School. And he had an enduring interest in music.

A former member of the Los Angeles County Music Commission, Neeley helped form a support group to assist talented young musicians. He served as a director of the Glendale Symphony Assn., president of the Glendale Philharmonic and Artists Assn. and member of the board of the Glendale Community Concerts Assn.

Neeley, a past master of Oakwood Masonic Lodge, leaves his wife of 60 years, Vivian, and a daughter, Marilyn Neeley Gerle.

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