DeKalb County judge loved justice and animals

Anne Workman, 63, of Decatur, died at Hospice Atlanta

Friends and colleagues of Judge Anne Workman remember her as a capable and well-qualified jurist with a strong desire for justice.

“She was a true public servant who served DeKalb County and the State of Georgia very well for many years” Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Carol Hunstein said. “She was a terrific person you could always depend on.”

Anne Workman of Decatur, died Friday at Hospice Atlanta after a brief battle with melanoma. She was 63. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church at Emory University. A graveside service will be held in Woodruff, S.C. on Saturday. A. S. Turner & Sons is in charge of arrangements.

At the time of her death, Judge Workman was a senior judge for the Superior Courts of Georgia. She heard her last case in May, said her former staff attorney, Glenda Cucher. Judge Workman also was on the Board of Governors of the Georgia Bar Association.

Judge Workman enjoyed working with the Bar, her friends and peers said.

“She was very interested in the administrative side of the court,” said Wayne Purdom, chief judge of the State Court of DeKalb County. “She wanted to make sure things were done correctly.”

Some of Judge Workman's many accomplishments were history-making. In 1973 she became the first female prosecutor in DeKalb County. Later, Judge Workman’s appointment to DeKalb’s Magistrate Division of Recorders Court made her the first female judge in the county, Mrs. Cucher recalled. She was also the first woman elected as president of the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia.

“She had a profound ability to be in a man’s world, and while still very feminine, have the strength and wisdom to fit in,” Chief Justice Hunstein said. “And she did that very, very well.”

During her career, Judge Workman was a judge in the DeKalb County State Court and was elected to the DeKalb County Superior Court, where she became Chief Judge. She also was an Administrative Judge for the Fourth Judicial Administrative District.

But law did not consume her life. She had a passion for animals, especially those that had been rescued.

“I don’t think there was a time, since she was a child that she didn’t have a pet in her life,” Mrs. Cucher said. “She loved animals and she liked calling her friends saying, ‘I’ve found the best animal for you,’ when she’d see a new listing online.”

Her love for pets and her penchant for justice were intertwined, Mrs. Cucher said.

“The thing about being a judge is, your judgment is based on the principles of law, but then in the criminal setting, you sentence based on your experience, your sense of the person and what the law requires,” she said. “Her innate judgment was extraordinary. Her sense of both justice and people was unique.”

Judge Workman is survived by her siblings, brother Dr. B.J. Workman, Jr., and sister Margaret Hudson, both of South Carolina, and two generations of nieces and nephews.