Retired judge John Marlo J.D. '61 died May 26, 2015. Marlo, 81, was the Capitola city attorney before he became a municipal and superior judge from 1973 to 1993. He had a long and varied career, all while raising five children with his wife, Patricia Marlo, in Aptos. Marlo died of Leukemia, his colleagues said.
Marlo graduated from San Jose State in 1956 and became a San Jose police officer for about five years. He earned a law degree at Santa Clara University and was a civil attorney before he became Capitola’s city attorney. After his election to Santa Cruz County Superior Court, Marlo presided over high-profile criminal cases.
From the early ’70s, Marlo and his family also ran Aptos Vineyard. Tending its vines provided him with “good therapy” from the rigors of the legal profession, he told the Sentinel in 1993. Marlo also co-founded the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association and worked with David Bruce Winery in Los Gatos and Hallcrest Vineyards in Felton.
“John was a good businessman, a wonderful lawyer and a great judge,” said Bill Kelsay, a retired Santa Cruz County Superior judge who was also Marlo’s neighbor in Aptos. “He was always upbeat. He had such strong values and was such a good family man. He had a life full of a lot of support and love.”
Marlo taught at Cabrillo College and worked as a mediator and arbitrator at San Jose-based JAMS, which stands for Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services Inc. It resolves disputes through the services of retired judge and attorneys.
Upon his retirement from the bench, Marlo told the Sentinel that he hoped to be remembered for his dignity, fairness and for being firm. He said he wanted to be known as, “Someone who ran a good courthouse and tried to encourage the resolution of disputes.”
submitted May. 30, 2015 1:26P