Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Joseph Lodge passed away yesterday evening following a decade-long battle with lymphoma.
The 76-year-old judge was California’s longest still-serving justice, and practiced the law through the end of his life. He taught Political Science 165: Criminal Justice, a popular campus course that provided many Gauchos a window into such diverse topics as drug abuse, incarceration, the plea bargain system and even the transsexual prostitutes who work on Milpas Street downtown.
In recent weeks, Lodge had grown ill, and local prosecutors and other figures in the criminal justice system filled in for his lectures.
“My journey … has been the exploration of all the great cosmic questions surrounding our lives,” Lodge wrote in his obituary. “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.”
In accordance with Lodge’s wishes, no memorial service will take place. However, contributions can be made to Santa Barbara Planned Parenthood.