TWIN FALLS — She was smart and beautiful. ZoeAnn Warberg Shaub — a former Miss Idaho — was the first woman to serve as a judge in south-central Idaho’s 5th Judicial District.
Shaub, 83, died Sept. 13 in a tragic car accident south of Jackpot, Nev.
Shaub was born in 1934 in Twin Falls, and, with the exception of college and law school, lived here all of her life.
Her daughter Jill Elam said she was a determined woman.
“She was very giving, humble, and didn’t brag about her accomplishments,” Elam said.
Not only was Shaub the first female judge in the 5th Judicial District, she was the only woman to serve on the bench until Nicole Cannon was picked in 2011.
In her youth, Shaub dreamed of being a lawyer and worked for an attorney while attending high school. She graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1952, the same year she was crowned as the first Miss Twin Falls. She then won the title of Miss Idaho with her speech, “The Sacred Duty of the American to Vote.”
She went on to compete in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., and won the talent competition with her speech, which resulted in a college scholarship that allowed her to follow her dream.
She was one of only six women in her graduating class at Stanford University Law School and was admitted to the California State Bar in January 1960 before returning to Twin Falls to practice law. She was admitted to the Idaho State Bar in May that year.
She ran for probate judge at age 26 and beat out the incumbent J. Dean Mosher in a landslide victory in the November 1960 general election, to become the 13th female judge in Idaho.
Shaub appeared on the television game show “To Tell the Truth” in April 1961 as the youngest judge in Idaho and the youngest female judge in the U.S.
She married Roy Schaub, a young doctor at the Twin Falls Clinic, in 1962. The two had met while skiing in Sun Valley. Both were athletes who enjoyed the outdoors.
After eight years, she left the bench to raise a family — and she never looked back. She and her husband had three children.
“She gave it all up for us,” Elam said.
Paul Smith, a retired attorney and former magistrate judge, came to Twin Falls after Shaub had made her mark.
“We were at a party,” Smith said Thursday. “She came in and introduced herself.
“’I’m ZoeAnn Shaub, and you have my old job,’ she said.”
Women in law were rare at that time, said Smith, who joined the bench in 1984.
“When I went to law school, there were only two women out of 105 students,” he said.
Shaub is featured in the book “First 50 Woman in Idaho Law, 1895—1975” published by the Idaho State Bar.
“As a judge, she touched so many lives,” Elam said, adding that her mother believed in handing out seconded chances.
“So many have told me, ‘Your mom changed my life.’”