Daily Journal Article Obit for Commissioner Donald W. Pike by vpynchon

VIEWS: 2,767 PAGES: 1

									    Donald W. Pike 1924-2008
   Jurist Fought for Gay Rights Before It Was Popular
    By Noah Barron
   Daily Journal Staff Writer                                                            a commissioner, from 1973 to the
                                                                                           "He was a good friend and great
   Los ANGELES - Superior
    . Cöurt Commissioner Donald                                                          colleague. He left a big hole whèn
   W. Pike was a self-made millon-                                                       he left the bench," Chernow said.
   aire, a self-taught thiner who went                                                    Pike is survived by his wife,
   to law   school but never college,                                                   Juanita; his two daughters Sharon
   an adventurer and a legal pioneer                                                    Lawrence and Victoria Pynchon;
   who broke ground on gay marriage                                                     and two grandchildren. Four of his
   rights three decades before it was                                                   nine siblings are stil alive, Oscar,
   fashiönable. He died in his Los                                                      Lois, Dorothy and Kenneth Pike.
  Angeles home on his 84th birthday                                                      Private memorial services will be
  on June 9 from complications from                                                     held in Pynchon's Los          Angeles home.
  Parkinson's disease.                                                                  Instead of flowers, the famly asks
    Back in 1982, the Daily Journal                                                     donations be made in Pike's memory
  profiled Pike, setting down in print                                                 to the Aliance for Chidren's Rights
  many of the stories that came to                                                     at ww.kids-allance.org.
  form the man: his impoverished
  beginnings in Nebraska, the fifth of                                                 noah_barronlidailyjournal.com
  nine children, his family's "Grapes
  of Wrath"-esque exodus to Califor-
  nia and his early jobs as a child of 14     Los   Angeles County Superior Court
  working as a farm laborer.                  Commissioner David W. Pike,                 Reprints
    Before he was appointed commis-           shown in an undated photo, had a           For Reprints, E.Prints and Frames
  sioner to the Los Angeles County            legal sensibilty that was ahead of         of articles in The Daily Journal,
  Superior Court bench, he was a              his time, his nephew said.                 please contact Jeremy Ells at je
 milkman, an insurance' salesman,                                                        remye(gscooprepri ntsource.com,
                                             his family, Pike said, "I was terribly
 a merchant marine in World War                                                          (800) 767.3263 Ex. 307 or online
                                             guilty."                                    at ww.scoopreprintsource.com.
 II and a lawyer, and then in his 60s
                                                Pike was 35 before he earned his
 became a milionaire through his             high school equivalency. When he
 real estate investments.
                                             set out to startove( in his 30s, he                   Los Angeles Dally Journal
   "I am ridiculously proud of my            visited a a psychologist whose IQ                         (ISSN:0362-5575)
 father," Pike's daughter, Victoria                                                       Established as a daily newspaper in 1888.
                                             test told him for the first time that      Offcial nêwsp~per of the City of Los Angeles
 Pike Pynchon, said. "He took                                                           and the County of Los Angeles.
                                             he was intellgent.                          Published daily except Saturdays, Sunday
 every opportunity to improve his
                                               "I thought the rich were smart           and New Year's Day, Dr. Martin Luther King
 station in life and improve the fu-         and the poor were dumb," he said           Jr. Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day,
 ture of his children. But he didn't         in a 1982 interview.
                                                                                        Independence 'Day, labor Day, Thanksgiving
                                                                                        Day and Christmas Day by Daily Journal
 accomplish these things alone. No
                                                "He lived in fear of poverty," his      Corporation. 915 East First Street, Los
 one does."                                                                            Angeles, Calif., 90012. (213) 229-5300.
                                             daughter said.                              Pêriodicals postage paid at Los Angeles,
   Pike's marriage collapsed in 1962           Pike wasted no time, passing a          California. Adjudicated a newspaper of general
 and he moved from Los Angeles to            college equivalency test offered by
                                                                                       circulation, Los Angeles Superior Court No.
                                                                                       59775 and B-33522. Additionally adjudicated
 Sacramento to start a new life.            the State Bar and then attending           on June 5, 1954, in Case No. 599382.
   Later, presiding over domestic
                                            McGeorge School of Law by night             SUBSCRIPTION RATES: One month $85,
                                                                                       three months $228, six months $403 one
cases in Los Angeles, he would say          while delivering Dad's Root Beer           year $680, plus applicable sales tax.
that his failed marriage gave him           by day, sending support checks              POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
special insight into family woes.           home all the while. He passed the          Los Angeles Daiiy Journal, P.. Box 54026, Los
                                                                                       Angeles, California 90054-026.
  "Having had two marriages helps
                                            Bar Exam on his first attempt.              Filings are taken from public records as
me understand family law," he said            Gary Pike, the commissioner's            a convenience for our subscribers and
in a 1982 Daily Journal profile.            nephew, said that while Pike was
                                                                                       republished without prejudice or liabilit.
                                                                                      The Los Angeles Daily Journal is not
  Pynchon said she was deeply               practicing civil law, he drafted          responsible for errors and omissions. Under
hurt. when Pike left home but re-           contracts for gay men and women
                                                                                      no circumstances wil any matter of record be
                                                                                      withheld from publication in this paper.
connected with him as an adult,             that emulated the rights of married        This newspaper does not assume
becoming a lawyer herself and               couples.
                                                                                      responsibilty for the views expressed in
                                                                                      published correspondence or contributed
watching him on the bench. She                The work reflected a legal sen-          notes or articles.
said he sometimes grew emotional            sibilty decades ahead of its time,          Material published in the Los Angeles Daily
                                                                                      Journal is compiled at substantial expense and
dUring custody battles.                     Gary Pike said.                           is for the sole ahd exclusive use of subscribers.
  "He would call a recess whenever            Retired Los Angeles County              The material may not be republished, resold, or
                                                                                      used in any manner, in whole or in part, without
he was going to burst into tears/'          Superior Court Judge Eli Chernow          the consent of the publisher. Any infringement
she said. In describing his leaving         worked with Pike when Pike was            will be SUbject of legal redress.


To top