Don Ross Work (July 1, 1928 - May 14, 2001)

Associate Justice, August 22, 1980 - May 14, 2001

Don Ross Work was born in Columbus, Ohio on July 1, 1928. He attended Ohio schools, including Galena High School and Parker School of Bellefontaine. The Korean War interrupted his education, as he served as a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1954. After his military service, he resumed his education, graduating from Ohio State University in 1955 and from its School of Law three years later. He was admitted to the California Bar on January 7, 1959. He moved to Imperial County, where he served as a deputy district attorney from January 1959 to July 1960. He then entered private practice where he remained until his appointment to the Imperial County Superior Court on January 12, 1976, by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. During the interim, he served on the California Regional Water Quality Board from 1968 to 1971, the Imperial County Bar Association Board (President, 1963), the Imperial Unified School District Board of Trustees from 1973 to 1976, California State Bar Commission for Specialization - Criminal Law from 1973 to 1974, the State Bar Criminal Law and Procedure Committee from 1969 to 1972, and the El Centro Lions Club (Host, 1959-1984; President, 1963). He was a certified specialist in criminal law as of 1973. After serving approximately 4 1/2 years on the Superior Court, Governor Brown elevated him to a newly created position on Division One of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District on July 1, 1980. Following an August 11 hearing confirming the appointment, the oath of office was administered on August 22, 1980. He remained on the Court until his death on May 14, 2001 - a tenure only shorter than that of Presiding Justices Charles Barnard, Lloyd Griffin and Gerald Brown. Following the lead of Associate Justice Howard Wiener, he obtained his Masters of Laws Degree in judicial process in 1986 from the University of Virginia Law School in Charlottesville, Virginia. He continued his service to the Lions while on the Court, serving as President of the Lakeside Lions Club from 1985 to 1986, District Governor of San Diego and Imperial Counties from 1994 to 1995, and Chair of the Council of Governors for California and Nevada from 1995 to 1996. He also traveled to Bosnia on behalf of Lions. Before his death, Lions awarded him the International President's Leadership Medal.