The Honorable John Sandoz, Judge Los Angeles Superior Court
Judge John Henry Sandoz passed away on Monday, May 21, 2018, with his family at his bedside. John was born in Houston, Texas on August 6, 1933, to Henry and Ruby Sandoz. He arrived in Los Angeles at age 3. He attended Jefferson High School, where he played basketball. He is one of the original “Eastside Boys,” a group that maintains a strong commitment to Jefferson High School. John attended UCLA and graduated in 1955 with a degree in mathematics. He was a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
John was drafted into the Army in 1956. He was an original “rocket scientist,” assisting the Army in tracking the trajectory of rockets. He was honorably discharged in 1958, after which time he worked in the aerospace industry.
In 1967, John enrolled in USC Law School and was admitted to the California Bar in 1971.
After graduation, John was a Reginald Heber Smith fellow to the Los Angeles Neighborhood Legal Services Society. He then went into private practice and formed a partnership with Irma Brown and the late Elbert T. Hudson, serving as managing partner. John also was the Director of Legal Services at USC.
John served his community in many capacities, including: Teen Post, Inc. Board of Directors, Policy Planning Committee South Central Regional Center for Developmental Disabilities, and the State Bar Committee for Legal Services to the Poor.
In 1981, John began his service as a Los Angeles Court Commissioner. In 1995, Governor Pete Wilson appointed him to be a LA Superior Court Judge in the Family Law Department. John proved to be an effective judge and was seldom overturned on appeal. In 2003, John was appointed Assistant Supervising Judge of the Family Law Department. John retired from the bench in 2006.
John received various recognitions: Constitutional Rights Lawyer of the Year, John M. Langston Hall of Fame, the Justice Award from the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, and USC Association of Black Law School Alumni Award for Outstanding Achievement in the legal profession.
John had a passion for travel. Some of his favorite destinations included: Cuba, East and West Africa, and Europe. He loved jazz and enjoyed the Monterey Jazz Festival and LACMA Jazz events.
John was a faithful member of First African Methodist Episcopal Church (FAME), Pasadena and served on the Trustee Board. He also served as Sire Archon Gamma Zeta Boule, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity.
John is survived by his wife of 38 years Beverley, his son Eriq, his daughter Nicole, his daughter-in-law Jen, his brother Arthur, and a host of relatives and friends.
John was preceded in death by his parents Ruby and Henry Sandoz and his sister Sadie S. Perkins.
John’s celebration of life will take place on Friday, June 1 at 11 AM at First African Methodist Episcopal, Pasadena. The Wake is scheduled for Thursday, May 31 from 3-7 PM at Woods-Valentine Mortuary.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law.