My parents, Doris and Rex Minter, are genuine Santa Monica personalities. They met in summer school in 1944 at Samohi and became instant sweethearts. They eloped September 10, 1945 when Rex was due to be shipped overseas by the USMC. On his way to Tsingtao, China, he was dropped off at Pearl Harbor, and Doris was able to join him in March of 1946. They then enjoyed 18 months of a belated honeymoon. The two returned to Santa Monica in 1949 upon Rex’s separation from the Marines with a child and many dreams.
Rex went to college and law school at Loyola. He started a law practice in the old Bay Cities building. Doris was often his secretary. By 1955, he was a member of the Santa Monica City Council, and he served as Mayor of Santa Monica from 1963 to 1967. He was a longtime member of the Rotary Club of Santa Monica.
Rex served as a Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner from 1968 to 1971, at which time he was selected by Governor Ronald Reagan to serve as a judge of the Santa Monica Municipal Court. He served in that capacity until January 2000. He became a Superior Court judge when the municipal courts and the superior court were consolidated. After his retirement in 2000, Rex served as an assigned judge throughout California until his complete retirement in 2012. In addition to Los Angeles County, he served as far north as Redding, and as far south as Imperial County. One of his last jury trials was in Independence, located in Inyo County.
Both Rex and Doris have been avid aviators since 1948. Doris is still a member of the Ninety-Nines, Inc., the international organization of women pilots. She has participated in eight trans-continental air races, and together, they have flown to Alaska, Quebec, Belize, the Florida Keys and 2000 miles around Australia. Doris served as a member of the Santa Monica Airport Commission and was its chairperson for two years. She also served two years as a volunteer surveillance pilot for the Santa Monica Police Department.
Rex and Doris have three children: Christie Thobe, a teacher in Santa Monica; Laurie McGinnity, a manager of a scribe program for five hospitals in the Vancouver, Washington, and Portland, Oregon area; and Thomas Minter M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Tacoma, Washington. They also have eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Two of their grandchildren are physicians, and one is an emergency room nurse.
Rex and Doris renewed their marriage vows on their 50th anniversary in a Mass officiated by Monsignor Lloyd Torgerson at St. Monica’s Church.
My parents, Rex and Doris, are still crazy about each other, and they live life in the fullest every day.
By Christie Thobe