13:52, June 24 284 0 theguardian.com

2020-06-24 13:52:03
Other lives  Glenn Brasse obituary

Stoke Newington, north London, 1946: a secretive Austrian artist checks into a Jewish-owned lodging house. Suspicion mounts. A religious court is assembled to decide who he might be. Human foibles are gently exposed and all is resolved. Such was the wry and humane storytelling of my brother-in-law Glenn Brasse, for his son’s independent film Sanhedrin.

Glenn, who has died aged 70 after a short illness, was born in London, the grandson of Jewish refugees from Ukraine and Poland. His mother, Iris (nee Bendel), died when he was aged 18. His father, Robert, having spent 14 years in an orphanage, was a shopfitter and, later, wholesale confectioner, and set a strong “glass half-full” example, which Glenn followed. Educated at a Brighton grammar school, Glenn was the first in the family to attend university, studying law at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Glenn practised at the bar for 23 years, and sat as a full-time judge for 21 years, in the family court and mental health tribunal. Throughout, his passion to find solutions for the problems of litigants shone through. He contributed academic legal articles, and was a popular tutor at the Judicial College, enlivening many evenings with his good humour and guitar playing. He formally retired in 2016 as a circuit judge and deputy high court judge, and only this year from part-time sitting.

In his active retirement, Glenn continued his voluntary work for elderly people, and went skiing, cycling and on long walks with his wife, Valerie (nee Hauser), an economist and civil servant, whom he met at LSE in 1970. They married in 1974. He enjoyed a wide range of creative endeavours: writing his third novel, painting watercolours, playing his acoustic and electric guitars, and cooking. He devoured biographies and history books, and was devoted to his family. Just four weeks before his death, he was walking daily for 10 miles or more in Somerset.

There has been an outpouring of tributes to Glenn’s exceptional personal and professional qualities. He is described as unfailingly wise, fair and courteous. Soft-voiced, with a twinkle in his smiling eyes, he saw the good in everyone.

He is survived by Valerie, his three sons, Simon, Jonathan and Joe, four grandchildren, his sister, Gillian, and two nieces.

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