James Edward Work passed away April 18, 2011 in Oklahoma City. Jim was born January 16, 1927 to E.P. and Emma Meadows Work in Wewoka, Oklahoma. The family moved to Oklahoma City in 1929. Jim was educated at Gatewood Elementary School, Taft Junior High and Classen High School. Jim served during World War II in the United States Navy as a member of the Naval Expeditionary Force stationed in the Philippines and received the Philippine Liberation Award. Upon discharge, Jim returned to the University of Oklahoma to complete his Bachelor's Degree in Government in 1950. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1953. During his college years he joined the Sigma Nu Fraternity. He married his college sweetheart, Dorothy Duffy, in 1950 and they had three children, Cindy, Kelly and Tom. Jim's legal practice began in 1953 at the Oklahoma City law firm of Gilliland, Withington and Shirk, and continued for 57 years at the Shirk Law Firm until his passing. Jim served the legal profession and his community in many capacities. He served as Vice President of the Oklahoma Bar Association and, by appointment of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, on the Board of Bar Examiners for ten years. He served as General Counsel to Judicial Reform, Inc. which led the way on judicial reform in Oklahoma. As a result of these efforts, Jim was elected as a director of the American Judicature Society. He served for many years as pro bono General Counsel for the Oklahoma Art Center and the Allied Arts Foundation in Oklahoma City. He served as President of the Legal Aid Society of Oklahoma County. Jim also served on the Boards of Directors of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, of the Traveler's Aid Society of Oklahoma County, and of the Oklahoma County Bar Association. He was also an original founder of the Association of Responsible Government in Oklahoma City. He was elected to the American College of Bond Counsel. Jim is survived by his daughter, Cindy, and her husband Greg Abell, son, Kelly, and his wife, Janis Powers, son, Tom and by his beloved grandchildren, Kelley and Andrew Abell, and Michael and Elizabeth Work. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Virginia Edgington and his nieces and nephews, Dian Williams, Dan Donnell, David Donnell and Debbie Brownrigg, and their families.He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother, E.P. Work, Jr., and his beloved wife of 57 years, Dorothy. Visitation will be Thursday, April 21, 2011 from 8:00am until 9:00pm. Friends are encouraged to leave messages and share memories online at www.hahncookfuneral.com A memorial service will be held on Friday, April 22, 2011, at 11:00am at Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper, 6600 Broadway Extension, Oklahoma City. There will be a reception at Hahn-Cook immediately following the service. Gifts may be made to the University of Oklahoma Foundation in his memory.
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Published in The Oklahoman from Apr. 20 to Apr. 21, 2011