Obituary of Joel Arnold Shawn |

Obituary of Joel Arnold Shawn

Joel Arnold Shawn died peacefully August 19, 2017 at home in Nevada City. He was 81.

Joel was born November 15, 1935 in Brooklyn, New York to Sophie Freedman and William Shawn. He received a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York and law degree from Hastings College of Law in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, Joel practiced civil and criminal law initially, later specializing in family law. He was a partner at Kipperman, Shawn & Keker, then headed his own firm. Subsequently, with Dee Samuels, his wife, he formed Samuels & Shawn. Joel handled many notable cases, including a landmark selective service case which the S.F. Chronicle reported in 1969 “may throw the Nation’s whole Selective System into a cold sweat.”

Joel was a history buff who read widely, studied Shamanic healing, loved movies and had an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz. He passed on to his children and stepson, Josh, a love of the outdoors, including backpacking, river rafting and skiing. He also grew Sangiovese grapes and made wine in the Sierra Foothills.

He is survived by his wife, Dee; children, David, Lisa, Matthew, Erin; stepson, Joshua; first wife, Carol Shawn; and four grandchildren, Ava, Sophia, Owen and Ella.

Joel was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Carl.

Celebrations of Joel’s life will be at 12:30 p.m., on Sunday, October 22, at Congregation Kol Shofar, 215 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon and Saturday, October 28, at Joel and Dee’s home in Nevada City.

Contributions may be made to the National Kidney Foundation or to Hospice of the Foothills in Grass Valley, California.

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