North Carolina’s longest-serving female judge dies at 54

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Courtesy of Ballotpedia

BOLIVIA, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina judge who was the state’s longest-serving woman on the bench has died after a two-year cancer fight.

Brunswick County Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis died Sunday at her Bolivia home, according to a state lawmaker who was the judge’s godfather. She was 54.

A rare form of liver cancer was the cause of Lewis’ death, according to a news release that the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office sent on behalf of state Sen. Bill Rabon.

 The (Wilmington) StarNews reported that Lewis had been diagnosed with the disease in 2017 and had been treated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

“She will be missed,” Rabon told the newspaper on Monday. “Not a week went by when we didn’t speak.”

Lewis had been a judge since 1993, making her the longest-serving woman on the bench in North Carolina, according to the news release.

She was appointed a district court judge in 1993 after serving as an assistant district attorney. She served as a special superior court judge from 2000 to 2002 before her election as a superior court judge in 2002. In 2014, she lost a bid for a seat on the state Supreme Court.

Lewis was a graduate of Fayetteville State University and earned her law degree from North Carolina Central University School of Law.

She is survived by her husband, Reginald Holley; her mother, Doris Lewis; and her brother, Cliff Lewis. Funeral arrangements weren’t immediately announced.

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