Monday, May 05, 2008

In Memoriam: Judge Joseph Lodge

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Joseph Lodge died in his sleep Monday morning with his family by his side.

His passing was announced in an e-mail sent out late this afternoon by his wife Sheila, a former mayor of Santa Barbara.

Judge Lodge, who may very well have served on the bench longer than any other judge in California, had battled lymphoma for the past 10 years.

His obituary, which he wrote himself, appears below:

As fits with my character, I have written my own obituary. I was born February 21, 1932, in St. Paul, MN, and now I have died in Santa Barbara, CA. My peace in life was my wife, Sheila, and my dear children.

My journey, from my 1950’s days as a philosophy major at the University of Michigan, has been the exploration of all the great cosmic questions surrounding our lives. For some years I have felt at peace with the answers and insights I have found. I wish I could pass them on to those I love. It cannot be done. Each of us must find our own pathway through the density and darkness to at last find that you are "back in Kansas", standing where you were, so to speak, with everything so clear and obvious as to make you even question whether in fact you did "journey”.

I now end this with a deliberate (and important) misquote from Dylan Thomas -- I "DO go gentle into that good night."

According to the former mayor; "He DID go gentle into that good night."

In accordance with his wishes, there will be no memorial.

Donations may be made to Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties, 518 Garden Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Lodge family.