08/19/2014 02:55 EDT | Updated 10/19/2014 05:59 EDT

B.C. Appeal Court judge who wrote ruling dismissing Pickton appeal dies

VANCOUVER - A B.C. Appeal Court judge who died while sitting as Canada's longest-serving federally appointed judge is being remembered for his empathy on the job.

Richard Low died Friday following a stroke. He was 74.

Low handled many high-profile cases and wrote the ruling that dismissed the appeal of serial killer Robert Pickton in 2009.

Born in Rock Bay, B.C., he was called to the bar in 1965 after earning a law degree at the University of British Columbia.

He began his career as a student lawyer in Victoria and then practised law in Prince George.

Low was appointed to the County Court of Prince Rupert in 1977, to the Supreme Court of B.C. in 1990, and finally to the B.C. Court of Appeal in 2000.

B.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Richard Bauman had known Low since he was a young law student in Prince George.

"He mentored me and numerous young lawyers and judges over his long judicial career," Bauman said. "For a man appointed at a very young age to the bench he never lost his ability to relate to his greater community, nor his empathy for the people who appeared before him.

"Judge Low was assuredly learned in the law but above all he was rich in common sense and an appreciation for simple justice."

Low will be honoured Wednesday at a service and reception in West Vancouver.