Kenneth L. Hake, a retired Sacramento Superior Court judge, died April 25 after a brief illness, his family said. He was 71.
A former prosecutor with little name recognition outside the legal community, Judge Hake won competitive races to serve on the bench. He joined the judiciary in 1985 after scoring an upset win for a Municipal Court seat over heavily favored Sam Jackson, who later became Sacramento city attorney.
Three years later, Judge Hake defeated prominent defense lawyer Michael Sands for the Superior Court. He presided over many criminal cases and had a reputation for integrity. He retired in 2005 but continued working as a retired judge until 2009.
Born Feb. 27, 1941, in Janesville, Wis., Judge Hake moved with his family to Southern California. He graduated from Loma Linda University and University of San Diego School of Law.
A Butte County prosecutor before joining the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office in 1968, he was a certified specialist in criminal law and served as a supervising deputy district attorney.
A Fair Oaks resident, he raised Siberian huskies and volunteered at sled-dog races. He was an avid model railroader and enjoyed reading naval history.
Judge Hake is survived by his wife of 49 years, Jeannine; son, Kirkham; daughter, Saacha; and sister, Joyce.
Private services were planned. Memorial donations may be made to the Placer SPCA, 150 Corporation Yard Road, Roseville, CA 95678.