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Oklahoma Supreme Court justice Marian Opala Dies (Oct 11, 2010)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The chief justice's office of the Oklahoma Supreme Court says Justice Marian Opala has died at age 89.

An official with the Oklahoma Administrative Office of the Courts says Opala died about 1:30 a.m. Monday at an Oklahoma City hospital after suffering a stroke over the weekend.

Deputy Administrator Mike Mayberry says Opala was discovered unconscious at his Warr Acres home on Saturday by police after he didn't respond to telephone calls and knocks at his door. He underwent surgery on Sunday.

The vacancy left by Opala's death will provide outgoing Gov. Brad Henry a fifth appointment to the nine-member court.

According to the court's website, Opala was born in Poland in 1921 and became a U.S. citizen in 1953.

Then-Gov. David Boren appointed Opala to the state Supreme Court in November 1978. Voters approved Opala in 1980 for the remainder of his predecessor's term and retained him for six-year terms in 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000 and 2006.

Opala served as the court's chief justice in 1991 and 1992 and was a member of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame.

He has served as an adjunct professor for Oklahoma's three law schools.

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