Arnold David Breyer was born February 20, 1942, the only son of South Chicago haberdasher Raymond Breyer and wife Roberta.
Young Arnie was fanatic about two things—Chicago Cubs baseball and jazz music—passions that lasted his entire life. Yet, he studied hard, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, and law degree from Loyola University’s School of Law.
Always one with a flair for the dramatic, Arnie was accepted into New York’s Neighborhood Playhouse before Hollywood aspirations led him to sunny Southern California. But opting to hit the beach instead of going to second-audition callbacks wasn’t paying the bills, so Arnie became a social worker for the County of Los Angeles while attending Loyola. After graduation, he returned home and practiced with the Legal Aid Bureau of Chicago [1967-1969].
Arnold married Judith Bohnert in 1968, moving to Hermosa Beach, CA, where he counseled for Los Angeles Neighborhood Legal Services [1970-1971] and the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach [1971-1973]. Apart from practicing law, Arnie moonlighted as a musician—he’d been classically trained as a jazz drummer during his childhood—and the idea of joining his friends up north to “get the band back together” led the young Breyer family to Siskiyou County, CA. But playing biker bars for a year and a half without fame or fortune became frustrating, so Arnie hung up his shingle and founded a law firm in Mt. Shasta, running it for four decades. An expert in his field, he also provided litigation support and consultation to California Family Law Attorneys and was a regular contributor to the Family Law News of the State Bar’s Family Law section.
In 1985, Arnie and a small group of local businessmen opened Mount Shasta Ski Park. “They got a lease to the land, convinced a bank to loan them money, and the rest is history,” reports state. “It was like an old Andy Hardy movie,” said Arnie. “When I look back, I find it all pretty amazing.” A dedicated skier, himself, Arnie was known for carving runs during his law firm lunchbreaks.
Arnie and Judy raised three daughters in Mt. Shasta before retiring to Kauai in 2004. Arnie kept busy on the tiny island by hitting the gym, refereeing swim meets, reading on the beach, and developing high school mock trials. And in 2016, Arnie cheered on as his beloved Cubs won their first World Series during his lifetime.
Arnold David Breyer passed away on May 31, 2018, in North San Diego County, from chronic heart and kidney complications. He was 76 years old. Arnold is survived by his wife, Judith Breyer; his daughters, Johanna Breyer, Sarena Breyer-Garcia, and Marisa Breyer-Smith; his sons-in-law, Ryan Smith and Genaro Garcia; and his grandchildren, Huxley Ray Breyer-Smith, Karmelo Garcia, and Lexina Garcia.