Thursday, September 5, 2002
Retired Superior Court Judge M. Ross Bigelow Dead at 77
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Services have been scheduled for Saturday for retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M. Ross Bigelow, who died Tuesday night at his home in Temecula at age 77.
The cause of death was congestive heart failure, his daughter, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Tricia Ann Bigelow, said.
“He was the biggest inspiration for me to become a judge,” she commented. “He was very dignified and calm in his demeanor, and he worked very hard.”
A rancher’s son, he was born in Hemet and grew up in Long Beach, attending local public schools. He attended Long Beach City College and Caltech, served in the Pacific with the Navy during the World War II, and graduated from USC in 1945.
He earned his law degree at USC in 1950 and began practicing law, following service in the Naval Reserve, in 1952. He had a solo practice in Long Beach before establishing the firm of Bigelow & Sullivan, with offices in Long Beach and later in Lakewood, in 1956.
He was active in civic affairs in Lakewood, and in Republican politics, and was appointed to the Los Cerritos Municipal Court by then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1969. Reagan elevated him to the Superior Court in 1973.
He also taught at the California Judicial College and authored California Judges’ Benchbook—Evidence Objections, published in 1974, and its 1981 second edition.
He retired in 1988, and worked with JAMS as a private judge in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. He also sat on assignment in San Bernardino Superior Court as recently as four years ago, Tricia Bigelow said.
He had the honor of swearing in his daughter when she was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1995—at age 34—and when she was elevated to the Superior Court in 1998.
“He was a great man,” she said yesterday. “I’m going to miss him dearly, but I’m lucky to have been raised by him.”
Saturday’s services are scheduled for 11 a.m. at New Community Lutheran Church, 30470 Pauba Road in Temecula, with burial at Temecula Cemetery following. The family requests that charitable donations be made to the American Heart Association, 1710 Gilbreth Rd., Burlingame CA 94010.
Bigelow’s first wife, Janet Bigelow, died in 1966. Besides Tricia Bigelow, he is survived by his wife of 35 years, Mildred Bigelow, daughters Becky Rice and Jean Shedlock son James Bigelow, and three stepchildren.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company