Eileen Hanson O’Kane, beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend and judge, passed away peacefully on April 4, surrounded by her husband, children and siblings. Eileen and her husband of nearly 45 years, John Joseph O’Kane III, were longtime residents of La Cañada Flintridge.
Eileen was born on Dec. 31, 1950, the eldest daughter of Joseph Patrick Hanson and Eileen Cavanaugh Hanson of Rhode Island. She was raised in Pawtucket, then earned her bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America. She excelled on the national debate team, where she met her husband, then a student coach. They married in June 1974.
Upon graduation, Eileen joined the U.S. Department of State as an emergency services consular affairs officer. While working there full time, Eileen obtained her law degree with honors from the George Mason University School of Law, where she served as an editor of the law review. The couple relocated to California in 1980, eventually settling and raising their children in LCF.
A devoted mother, Eileen set her professional life on hold for a decade to raise her kids. She returned as a trial lawyer for the State Compensation Insurance Fund. She became a specialist, then an administrative law judge. Eventually, Eileen rose to become the presiding judge of the Los Angeles Workers Compensation Board.
Eileen was blessed with a brilliant mind, Irish charm and an ambassador’s touch. She loved competitive games, political conversation, good music and her family. Eileen is survived by her husband, John; daughter Meghan, son Johnny and his wife, Lillian; and siblings Dennis, Tom and Maureen. Services will be held at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church in LCF at 10 a.m. today, April 11. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to any cancer-related charitable organization.