Thursday, June 9, 2016

Gerald Osmer, Public Defender

   Gerald Michael Osmer was born September 21, 1946 in Watsonville, the proud son of the Pajaro Valley.

   He graduated from Watsonville High School and after graduation enlisted
in the Army in 1966.  Thanks to a gift with languages, he learned Turkish at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey and was stationed in Turkey during his service.

   Gerald, known to all as Gerry, was eventually transferred to Fort Meade, Maryland where he met Betty Janet Osmer (nee Garuti) who would become his wife of 47 years.

   Upon honorable completion of his service, Gerry returned home and attended college at UC Santa Cruz, later putting himself through law school by working as a loader in the lettuce fields of his native Watsonville and Salinas.

   Gerry passed the California Bar exam in 1979, and eschewing private practice, went directly to work in the service of the people of Monterey in the Public Defender's Office.

   He would work as an attorney for 30 years, during which tie he tried more than 140 jury trials, including multiple capital cases.

   Over the course of his lengthy legal career, Gerry defended residents of Santa Cruz, Monterey, Salinas, Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, helping them weather the darkest hours of their legal battles.

   Gerry remained a proud public defender throughout the majority of his career.  He believed in and advocated for the right to a fair trial for all, no matter their ability to pay.

   Known for his wit and sense of humor, he and his long-time partner Jeff Tuttle coined the motto "A Reasonable Doubt at a Reasonable Price" for the Calaveras Public Defenders office.

   An avid outdoorsman, Gerry enjoyed scuba diving, snorkeling and diving for abalone, and hiking and mountaineering in his beloved native state of California.  

   "With rue my heart is laden, for golden friends I had.
     For many a rose-lipt maiden and many a lightfoot lad. 
     By brooks too broad for leaping the lightfoot boys are laid;
     the rose-lipt girls are sleeping in fields where roses fade."  A.E. Housman

   Gerry was the son of the late Frank and Noreen Osmer; brother of the late Lois Osmer; he is survived by wife Betty Osmer; daughters Grace Clark, Chloe Osmer and Claire Sharifi; grandchildren Vittoria Clark, Sanders Clark, Nora Sharifi; and brothers Phillip, Neil and Dennis.

   In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the American Cancer Society.

   San Andreas Memorial Chapel is handling arrangements.





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