Remembering Judge Lee Roy West

Lee Roy West made several thousand friends in over 40 years of public service as a law teacher, state court judge, member of the Civil Aeronautics Board, federal judge, and breeder and trainer of national champion bird dogs. Born in Clayton, Oklahoma, Judge West graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree and a law degree. He was a Marine Corp Lieutenant and earned his Master of Laws Degree from Harvard. West’s major contribution to Oklahoma, and the nation, may be his teaching that life is supposed to be fun. It’s not just okay to have fun–it’s required. Many of his happiest days were spent riding a horse, chasing bird dogs through the frost. He swore there is no greater therapist than a warm puppy.

Judge West was 90 years old when he died April 24th, 2020.

“I would like to be remembered as someone who was very competent as a judge and enjoyed what he was doing and loved doing it. I’ve got a good friend in Austin, a lawyer by the name of John Harmony. He said, “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth doing.” That’s pretty profound as far as I’m concerned. So I have always—even at the risk of sometimes behaving a little ridiculously— tried to enjoy what I was doing and I’ve tried to make the people around me enjoy it as much as possible—lawyers and litigants and everyone else.”

Listen to Judge West in his very entertaining way talk about his father’s Rainbow Inn, Bud Wilkinson, a snake stunt, and the Penn Square Debacle here.

Our thoughts are with Judge West’s family as we share this recording of his story with you. Thank you for listening.

Record your family history, you will be glad you did.