Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Retired Citrus Municipal Court Judge Robert O. Young Dies at 80
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Retired Citrus Municipal Court Judge Robert O. Young died yesterday at the age of 80.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Thomas Falls, supervising judge of the East District, said the jurist, who sat on assignment as recently as April 18 and was scheduled to do so again next week, apparently succumbed to cancer.
“We talk about people who love their jobs,” Falls said. “He was one of those people.” Young retired in 1995, but has sat on assignment in Pomona and West Covina almost continuously for the past eight years or so, the supervising judge said.
He had previously undergone cancer surgery, Falls said, but appeared to be doing fine. Falls said he did not learn until yesterday that there had been a recurrence of the disease and that Young had rejected chemotherapy.
Young was elected to the court in 1974, defeating a controversial incumbent, Judge Jack Alex, who had been accused of, but was never tried for, taking bribes. Before running for the bench, reportedly at the urging of a number of local lawyers, Young had been president of the Citrus Bar Association and had served four years on the West Covina City Council, including a year as mayor.
Falls, who served on the Covina City Council prior to his own election to the Citrus court, said Young was quite proud of his municipal service.
“I know he enjoyed it far more than I did,” Falls said. “He did a lot of good things for the City of West Covina,” particularly in the area of business development, Falls explained.
That sense of civic-mindedness carried over into his judicial work, the supervising judge added. Many judges who sit on assignment give a list of the kinds of cases they will or will not handle, Falls explained, but “Bob never refused an assignment,” including traffic and small claims.
Young graduated from Pepperdine University in 1954, then went on to earn a master’s degree from UCLA and a law degree from USC. He was a New Mexico native and an Army veteran, and attended the University of New Mexico for a year before moving to California.
Prior to earning his law degree, he taught journalism at Pepperdine, as well as at Cal Poly, Pomona and at USC.
Superior Court Judge Abe Khan, who served with Young on the Citrus court, recalled him yesterday as someone who “loved to work” and was admired by his fellow judges and by lawyers because he was “very reliable and conscientious,” “clearly had loads of experience,” and was “a real nice guy and a real fine judge.”
He was also very dedicated to his church—he was a Presbyterian elder and loved to sing religious songs—and to Azusa Pacific University, Khan said.
Survivors include the judge’s wife of 58 years, the former Sylvia Muradian, and a daughter, Kathryn L. Young. The judge was predeceased by another daughter, Judy L. Young. No information regarding services was available as of last night.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company