TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Judge Randy J. Stoker of the 5th Judicial District passed away late Monday morning after a lengthy battle with cancer.
67-year-old Stoker was a Burley native, and attended law school at the University of Idaho.
He was appointed to the district court in 2007 by Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, and reelected in 2014.
His term would have ended in January of 2019.
Shelli Tubbs worked with Stoker every day as the trial court administrator for the 5th Judicial District Court, and said he never let his illness get him down.
"Judge Stoker actually worked right up until about mid-December," she said.
This was just one example of a work ethic she said he always displayed.
"Most people didn't know he was sick, and that he was battling that disease for so long because he was so strong," she said.
Tubbs said Stoker also had a great sense of humor and a way of making people smile.
"I know a lot of people may not have seen that from him on the bench, but he was just so much fun to work with, just a great guy," she said.
Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs remembered the man as someone humble enough to admit he wasn't perfect at the job and who strived to learn from his mistakes.
"To accept that even though he was a judge he might have done something wrong on a case, and that he was still capable of learning and improving," he said.
The death of Judge Stoker leaves two seats open in the 5th district, as Governor Otter has yet to appoint a replacement for Judge Richard Bevan, who he appointed to the state supreme court in August.
"We are now a county with no experienced district judges, and that's going to be a big loss," Loebs said.