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Tom Chambers(1943 - 2013)

SEATTLE (AP) - Retired Washington state Supreme Court Justice Tom Chambers died Wednesday night at his Issaquah, Wash., home, his older daughter said.

Chambers, who was 70, died of mouth and throat cancer, daughter Jolie Lofink said.

Elected to the state's high court in 2000, he retired last Dec. 31.

Chambers was born and raised in the Yakima Valley, and grew up working on cars in his father's gas station, according to biographical information supplied by family friend Lori Haskell.

On his website, www.tomchambers.com, under the entry for 2000, he wrote, "I am elected to the Washington Supreme Court, the state's highest court. Pinch me. Only in America could all of this happen to a kid raised behind a gas station."

Before his election to the high court, he had served as president of both the Washington State Bar Association and the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association.

He graduated from Washington State University and from the University of Washington School of Law.

"I am advised life is short," Chambers wrote in his 2013 website timeline entry. "My cancer cannot be cured and am told I have 3 to 6 months to live."

He is survived by Judy, his wife of 46 years; three children, including Lofink, daughter Jana Jiwani and son Tom Chambers Jr., and six grandchildren.

A public memorial is planned Jan. 9 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.


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