Eric Z. Lucas
1954 - 2021


Eric Zebedee Lucas was born on April 16, 1954, to Moyes Sr. and Murphy Lucas at Fairchild Air Force Base. He grew up in Spokane until his family moved to Everett when he was 12 years old. Eric attended Mukilteo schools and graduated in the first graduating class of Mariner High School in 1972. After graduation he attended Stanford University, graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English and a teaching certificate, and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1986.


Eric started his law career as a King County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. He went into private practice where he was the City Attorney and eventually the City Administrator for Langley, WA. Eric then served as an Administrative Appeals Judge for the Washington State Department of Ecology. During that time, he served as a Pro Tem Judge for Snohomish County Superior Court. Eric ran for Superior Court Judge and was the first African-American elected to the bench in the fall of 2004. He considered it an honor to serve the citizens of Snohomish County and did so until he retired in December 2020.


Eric was more than his legal career. He was a musician. Eric played the trumpet and guitar and loved to sing. He was a writer who started writing poetry in high school and had his poems published while he was in college later incorporating his poetry into the music he created. But Eric found his voice in his love of writing books. His children's book, Island Horse, was published first. Eric's second published book was a memoir called The Tao of Public Service. He had numerous articles published online and a new children's book was completed.


Eric was also a curious, open minded, and respectful traveler. His trip to Valbella, Switzerland, where he attended a Transcendental Meditation teacher training course in his teen years, was just one of the places that greatly impacted his life. Paris, Madrid, St. Sebastian, Bologna, Florence, Rome and his favorite city in world, Venice…everywhere he went, he breathed in the culture, reflected on the history, and let these experiences enrich and transform him. A person who firmly believed in the daily practice of prayer and meditation, Eric continued to study the spiritual path his entire life and we know his journey continues.


Eric believed in being active in the community. He coached all his sons' soccer, basketball and baseball teams. Over his adult life, Eric was on various boards and commissions for SnoCo Mental Health, Planned Parenthood, Mukilteo Boys and Girls Club, the YMCA, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, Snohomish County NAACP, Snohomish County Legal Services, and Homage. As a judge he served on the State Superior Court Judges Association's Equality and Fairness committee for 16 years and on the Washington State Supreme Court Gender and Justice Commission for 5 years. Eric was particularly proud of his work in the Domestic Violence Work Groups with the State Judges and State Legislature and his mentoring of high school students of color.


After a very brief illness Eric passed away on September 11, 2021. He leaves his wife, Beth, his sons and daughters, Joel, Jared, Laurel, Benjamin, Julia, and Peter. Eric leaves behind the loves of his life, his grandchildren, Lily and Everett. He leaves his siblings Moyes (Aya) Lucas Jr., Cheryl (Charlie) Jackson, and Mark Lucas along with his brothers-in-law, Les Wahl, Kermit (Francie) Cohn and Reuel (Valarie) Cohn, sister-in-law, Beverly Brown, and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Eric also leaves behind special friends Judge Richard and Rita Okrent and John Lengenfelder. Then there are the members of his family of the heart: Ross Kronberg, Diane Coles, Ashley Salazar, Megan Colonna, Monet Bletson, Amanda (Effertz), Charles and Imogen Clark, Nancy Albert, Jana Ferris, Diana Umetsu, Javier Ortiz, Corey Patton, Sarah Johnson, Rachel Hammond, his other law clerks and all his basketball teams players he coached.


Eric was preceded in death by his parents, Moyes and Murphy Lucas, sister, Gwendolyn Barnes, father and mother-in-law, Ed and Dorothy Cohn, sister-in-law, Barbara Westover, and brother-in-law, Phil Wahl.


Eric touched many lives with his laughter, humor, love, and ideals of justice. He was more than a lawyer and judge, he was a civic leader and a brave pioneer to go where no other would. But ultimately he was a loving husband, a proud father and a doting grandpa. His legacy to the world is in his sons and his grandchildren. There will be a memorial held at a later time. The family asks that in lieu of flowers to please make a donation to the Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County.


April 16, 1954 - September 11, 2021
Published by The Herald (Everett) from Sep. 19 to Sep. 20, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
Memorial service
First Presbyterian Church of Everett
2936 Wetmore Avenue, Everett, WA
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18 Entries
Eric was a bottomless well of enthusiasm, kindness and hope. What a loss we have all suffered! I try to follow his lead--we all should.
Bruce A Keithly
November 28, 2021
I am sad to hear about Eric's passing. Knowing him in only the early years I was not surprised to hear of his accomplishments and read the great things people have written about him. I am proud to have known him and call him my friend.
Bill Ward
November 22, 2021
I just heard about Eric´s passing. I will always remember Eric with respect, and awe. The community has lost one of the good guys. My condolences to his family and friends.
Kathleen Noonan Pallansch
October 25, 2021
God be with you till we meet again. Love, peace & happiness. Aunt Jean
Erma Jean McKoy
October 9, 2021
The Board and Staff of Homage are deeply saddened at the loss of Judge Eric Lucas. He recently joined our Board of Directors and we were looking forward to his wisdom and insight. We recognize his contributions to the community and especially those who are aging and those with disabilities. Our heartfelt sympathies are extended to Beth and the entire family.
Steve McGraw, Homage CEO
September 27, 2021
I was extremely saddened to hear of Judge Lucas' passing. I feel fortunate to have worked with him for 11 years. During this time our little department grew quite close. We shared births of grandchildren and major life events. Judge Lucas always made every holiday and our birthdays special. I can still hear his little giggle of joy at our celebrations, and will never forget how special he made each one, especially our annual Christmas dinner. Eric contributed so much to our community. He had such concern for people, especially children. He agonized over decisions on the bench that would affect people's lives. He was very analytical in his thought process, but would still consider the personal impact to those he had to pass judgement on. He cared so much about the impacts those decisions made. He had so much more left to give to society as well as to his family. He was taken too soon. I send my deepest sympathies to the entire family. I hope that you find some comfort at this time that your husband/father/grandfather made such positive impacts to society, more so than most people, that his legacy will live on in our community.
Diana Umetsu
September 26, 2021
Eric had a full and blessed life that he so richly deserved. He had a zest for life that touched many, our high school years were enriched by knowing him. Beth, hold onto all the wonderful memories your family had together.
Russ and Diane Van Wyngarden
September 25, 2021
I graduated with Eric and Beth from high school. My condolences at this difficult time.
Roxanne Rolston Shields
September 23, 2021
My heart goes out to the family and loved ones of Judge Lucas. I was awed and humbled to read about the remarkable and brave path his life took. My condolences in this difficult time.
Meredith Haines Spacie
September 21, 2021
When my brother James notified me of Eric's passing, I was saddened. I graduated high school with Eric & Beth and they were high school sweethearts. My bro was Eric's best man at their wedding. Our deepest condolences go out to Beth and her family.....
Teri & James Janner
September 21, 2021
My heartfelt sympathies are extended to all of Eric's family.
Thomas Wynne
September 21, 2021
I met Eric in high school. He was a kind person and always had interesting things to share. I was inspired by his accomplishments throughout his life and proud to have known him.
Susan (Salisbury) Springer
September 21, 2021
Beth and Family ... Jim and I were so saddened by the news of Eric's death. Our hearts are heavy and we want you to know that we care and that we keep you in our prayers. Eric was respected personally and professionally. His accomplishments were many, and I know how proud you are of him. May you find some comfort in your wonderful memories of your shared time together. Sending love ...
Carole Peters
September 21, 2021
Such a loss for our community. Eric was such a wonderful, inspiring person and so much fun to be around. Will remember him always as my son, Trevor's, kind and enthusiastic basketball coach, serving on Mukilteo Boys and Girls Club Parent Board, many years of sorting bid sheets with him at Boys and Girls Club Luau and Auctions and then later enjoying his published books. He will be missed. Healing thoughts and love to Beth and family.
Toni Stockton
September 21, 2021
Shocked & sadddened to learn of this man's passing. I met Eric Lucas the first year he was in Everett. I was playing 3rd trumpet in the Everett Youth Symphony , it was 1967 or 68. He showed up for rehearsal at Floral Hall playing a well used silver cornet...but even at that age it was obvious he had musical talent. Doesn't surprise me at all that he succeeded in all that he tried or was involved in. Although our lives took decidedly different paths and never intersected again, I had often wondered what his life path was like. It pleases me very much that it was a good one that helped people greatly. My sincerest condolences to his family...He is in Heaven with Our Father now...
Vince Turner
September 20, 2021
I didn't know Judge Lucas personally, however, he was my Superior Court Judge in my divorce trial last November. His wisdom, insight, character and ruling were pivotal in my life. He set the pathway for healing and recovery for me and my children and was a deliverer sent from God for us. I am shocked and deeply saddened by his death. His life role for that short two day trial left an imprint on my life I will always be grateful for. His presence in our Superior Courts will forever be missed. Thankful for his life and his service. Praying for comfort and healing for his family and friends, as well as, for the many lives he has touched.
Tracy Grayson
September 20, 2021
Eric, Your patience and wisdom will still inspire, until we meet again. Rest in Peace my friend!
John Lengenfelder
September 19, 2021
A friend from High School, I knew he was always someone with integrity, ambition, and had a heart full of love. Rest In Peace old friend.
Lori Fischer (Young)
September 19, 2021
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