• Reader submitted

Charles Morton Dresow


Charles Morton Dresow was born on January 26, 1939, in San Francisco. The only son of Tobia (née Rapoport) and Abraham, Charles led a true San Francisco life.


Abraham, as a boy, escaped to San Francisco from the pogroms of Odessa, Ukraine, just in time to camp in the streets in the wake of the Great 1906 Earthquake. Tobia’s family emigrated from Vilnius, Lithuania, to Minnesota via Canada, before Tobia came west with acting ambitions.


Though not observant, Charles took great pride in his Jewish heritage, and was shaped by the experiences of his parents. Charles grew up in the Marina district during World War II, where his father was a neighborhood air-raid warden, and later in the Richmond district. He had a lifelong love of sports and competition, playing baseball and basketball in the neighborhood, tagging along with his father to the city’s back-room gambling houses, winning city-wide basketball shooting competitions, teaching himself to golf on the local municipal courses, taking the bus to Seals games, and attending University of California at Berkeley football games with his father, where they reveled in watching the Cal marching band together.


He graduated from Washington High School, where he played basketball, baseball, and golf, and Stanford University, where he made the “free” list in golf. He received his law degree from Cal’s Boalt Hall and joined the Army reserves, where he was stationed at his “third alma mater,” the University of Southern Mississippi, and took great pride in the championship Army basketball teams he played for.


He then worked as a prosecutor in San Jose before embarking on a 40+ year career as a criminal defense attorney, where he displayed his transition from “a kid with a stutter” to a “champion public speaker.”


He was a long time resident of Sausalito and Tiburon, read voraciously, and loved music — mostly jazz — which he frequently enjoyed live. He was a loyal fan of the 49ers, Giants, and Warriors, the latter two of which “will never win a championship in my lifetime” — until they rewarded him handsomely in the 2010s.


He always arrived early and enjoyed a great conversation — with anyone. His greatest joy, however, was his beloved wife of 40+ years, Joan (née Davis), and his children Jacqueline, Charlie, and Keegan, whose exploits he described at the start of seemingly every phone call. He took great pride in never missing a game, be it “never striking out a kid” in tee-ball, announcing for Southern Marin Pop Warner, taking his place perched in the corner of the grandstand at Redwood High School, or donning his blue and orange in darkness to drive seven hours for Pomona-Pitzer football games. Later, this joy spread to his seven cherished grandchildren. He is survived by Joan, Jacqueline, Charlie, and Keegan; his children-in-law Marc, Katie, and Anne; and his grandchildren Eliana, Taylie, Avery, Rosalia, Jack, Keia, and Amelina. A service will be held when circumstances allow. In lieu of flowers, Charles suggested a donation to your local library, youth sports organization, or marching band.

76 views
Recent stories