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Former King County Judge and Renton City Attorney Gerard Shellan Passes Away

April 6, 2017

City of Renton Contact
Preeti Shridhar, Deputy Public Affairs Administrator, 425-430-6569
RENTON, WA – Former Renton City Attorney Gerard M. Shellan passed away in Palm Springs on April 1. He was 94 years old. Shellan served as Renton’s City Attorney for 27 years, and worked for five mayors and 11 city councils.

During his tenure as Renton City Attorney, Shellan negotiated with BNSF, Boeing and the Monohan family for the acquisition of the first 20 acres of land that we enjoy today as Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park. He was honored for his services to Renton with a proclamation and key to the city on July 14, 2014.

“We will always remember Judge Shellan’s contribution to Renton and he will be sorely missed for his legal knowledge and great personality,” said Mayor Denis Law.

Gerard M. Shellan was appointed to the King County Superior Court in 1977 by governor Dixy Lee Ray and was twice elected by his fellow judges as the presiding judge of the King County Superior Court. He founded the Family Law department in King County Superior Court and was involved in the expansion of the court to include five new courtrooms with new judicial positions. He earned several awards during his time with King County Superior Court including the Louis Brandeis Award, the Outstanding Judge Award and Washington Jurist Award.

Judge Shellan left the King County Superior Court and joined the Judicial Arbitration and Mediations services in 1989 where he distinguished himself as a mediator and arbitrator.

Former City Attorney Larry Warren worked for Shellan while he (Shellan) was Renton’s City Attorney. Zanetta Fontes, who recently retired and served as the city’s Deputy City Attorney clerked for Shellan while he served as Superior Court Judge.

The family has not announced plans for a memorial service.

About the City of Renton

The City of Renton, Washington, with a population of 101,300 (2016), is located on the southeast shore of Lake Washington, just south of Seattle. Renton's strong economic base, diverse marketplace and favorable business climate have attracted the attention of nationally recognized companies that are providing employees and their families an outstanding quality of life. Renton is the home of Boeing, PACCAR, IKEA, the Seattle Seahawks, and the eternal resting place of Jimi Hendrix. More information can be found on our website (, Facebook page (CityofRenton) and Twitter (@CityofRenton).