Ira John Uhrig
Due to respiratory failure while fighting Non-Hodgkins’ Lymphoma. A native of Bellingham, Washington, he was a Superior Court Judge for Whatcom Co., Washington. Survived by his wife of 30 years, five children, a brother, Uncle, and two Aunts. Ira and his wife were married in 1989 in Bellingham.
Ira earned his BA at Seattle Pacific University in American Studies, and his JD at the University of Washington School of Law in 1981. He practiced family law. Declared his candidacy for 42nd District Representative in 1986, (he lost) During the campaign he got to know Judge Ross, and whenever a judge pro tempore was needed to fill in at District court, Ira was called. By 1993 he was working full-time on the bench. In 2000 Ira won the election to the District Court bench. At the same time, he was appointed as a Federal Magistrate for US District Court for Western Washington. Ira created the first Federal night court in America and presided over it for 12 years. He went on to win five more elections, including four for Superior Court. He continued to work full-time through eight years of chemotherapy.
Ira was the Pipe Major for the Bellingham Bagpipe Band and was well known for his Scottish Military History display at the Bellingham Games at Hovander Park for 20 years. He played pipes, clarinet, and saxophone at weddings, funerals, parades, graduations, and veterans events. Ira was an inventor of musical gadgets and held two patents. He owned Manna Music with friend Jamie Fraser for 25 years, and was the co-owner of Yeager’s Sporting Goods, founded by his grandfather in 1921. For many years Ira played country-western, dance hall music with ‘The Lost Highway Band’, under the nickname “Johnny Waco”, with his friend, Ron Hardesty. His large American Flag guitar display to honor military veterans will be seen at the Northwest Washington Fair this summer. His legacy to the community, his wise judicial leadership, his musical prowess, his faith, his disarming wit, and constant joy will be greatly missed by all who knew him.