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December 22, 1924 - March 24, 2015 Robert L. Ordin died suddenly on March 24th while being treated in the hospital for pancreatitis. No stranger to hospitals, serious injuries, and surgeries, Robert was expected to recover fully and get back to his computer projects, his exercise regimen (stationary bike, leg lifts and sit-ups), and his real work: the entertainment of family and friends. But time ran out. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he was the son of Barney Ordin of Gomel, Russia, and Bebe Bishop, one of ten children born on New York's Lower East Side. After Los Angeles High School, he attended UCLA until December, 1942, when he was inducted into the Army Air Corps. A B24 pilot, Robert flew 18 missions over Germany and Czechoslovakia. Some 60 years later, he expanded his flight log into a poignant account of his service, which delighted family and friends. Their praise pleased him, but he was most struck by the fact that the 2nd Lieutenant at the book's center was just nineteen years old. Upon returning from service, he applied to the USC School of Law with barely two years of college credit and was accepted. He graduated in 1949, when he began his career as a trial lawyer. Two years later, he married Lois Irene Forburger, a classically trained concert pianist, who became a well-known piano teacher. They raised two children, Allison Elizabeth and Richard Charles. Robert's experience as a trial lawyer put him in good stead when he began his bankruptcy practice at well-known specialty firms. Then as a U.S. Bankruptcy judge, he became nationally known both as a jurist and a scholar, authoring the groundbreaking good faith opinion in Victory Construction. Upon leaving the bench and returning to practice, he wrote Contesting Confirmation: A Creditor's Perspective, which became a standard reference book for practitioners. He was also proud to have had the opportunity to know and mentor many fine young lawyers and law students. Robert married Andrea Sheridan in 1966, then a new California Deputy Attorney General. They spent over fifty years together, years full of surprise, adventure, and love. The first significant surprise was his 1968 announcement that he intended to sail to Hawaii with Andrea, his two children (Allison, 14, and Richard, 7), and an experienced young sailor from the Marina on their 36-foot Angleman ketch. Six months later, the "crew" arrived at Kauai's Hanelei Bay. Over the next 35 years, there would be another trip to Hawaii (1971), numerous passages to Cabo San Lucas and the Sea of Cortez, regular trips to the Channel Islands, and countless trips to Catalina Island. His youngest, Victoria, was born in 1972 and joined the family on many of the Mexico and California adventures. After more than 50 years of active law practice, Robert returned to UCLA to finish the college education cut short by WWII. He completed the English undergraduate curriculum over the next several years, becoming an inspiration to many young scholars, earning an "Honorary English Major" degree created especially for him. Still, his greatest joy was family and friends, who will forever remember and miss his out-sized presence, and never stop repeating "Robert stories," until the laughter gives way to tears. He was fierce, funny, and for many, simply unforgettable. Robert is survived by his beloved wife, Andrea, his cherished children Allison, Richard, and Victoria, his prized granddaughters, Olivia and Helena, his loving sister- and brother-in-law Susan and Robert Harvey, their wonderful extended family, too many friends to name, and Hilma Yolanda Ruiz, who has cared for the family since 1977. There will be a celebration of Robert's life on April 26th at the UCLA Faculty Club. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the UCLA English department.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 28 to Mar. 29, 2015
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