|
|
|
The Daily American - West Frankfort, IL
  • Judge Loren P. Lewis retires

  • Judge Loren P. Lewis ended his tenure with the Second Judicial Circuit on Friday, but he knows he has some special duties still ahead of him.

    “I’ll be doing some serious work in the grandchildren department!‚” Lewis told officials, co-workers, friends and family members during a reception in his honor at the Benton Elks Lodge.


    • email print
  • Judge Loren P. Lewis ended his tenure with the Second Judicial Circuit on Friday, but he knows he has some special duties still ahead of him.
    “I’ll be doing some serious work in the grandchildren department!‚” Lewis told officials, co-workers, friends and family members during a reception in his honor at the Benton Elks Lodge.
    Lewis was joined by his wife of 38 years, Ruth, and their daughters, Rachel Lewis, Sharon and Andy Claar, and Susan and Mike Mace, along with grandchildren Mara, 4; Grant, 3, and Hannah Mace, 10 months.
    The Claars also are expecting, Ruth Lewis noted, and the new grandbaby will likely be part of further adventures with his or her cousins and grandpa “who most recently enjoyed a picnic in the Lewises” Yukon.
    “He’s earned his parole, released to family and friends,‚” Linda Hutchcraft of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department read from a poem she had written in Judge Lewis’ honor.
    Lewis took the bench in January 1978. Over the years, he earned a reputation as being “fairly unflappable,“ except when it comes to T-shirts!” said Chief Judge E. Kyle Vantrease, one of several jurists who spoke during the ceremony.
    “He’s the only judge who’s ever gotten 100 percent in the judicial advisory poll,” Vantrease said.
    “The Illinois Bar poll of judges and attorneys includes integrity, impartiality, legal ability, temperament, court management and sensitivity,” Jefferson County Judge Terry Gamber said.
     “To receive 100 percent on the poll is incredible, but those are the qualities Judge Lewis has displayed over the years.”
    Gamber said it was fitting that Lewis was retiring on Nov. 21, 2008‚ “the 88th birthday of the greatest Cardinal of all, Stan Musial.”
    “The plaque at Stan Musial’s statue reads, ‘Here stands baseball’s perfect warrior. Here stands baseball’s perfect knight,’” Gamber said.
    “We could put up a statue here in Judge Lewis’ honor that said, ‘Here stands the Second Judicial Circuit’s perfect warrior. Here stands our perfect knight.’”
    Court reporter Amy Haught said that although she “rarely saw Judge Lewis lose his temper, he did not tolerate disrespect for the courtroom.”
    “I‚ barely survived my first day. Judge Lewis had a reputation for scaring the bejesus out of court reporters ‚ myself included,” Haught said.
     “He became my fierce protector, inside and outside the courtroom.”
    Deputy D.T. Richardson said his life was one of many affected by Lewis’ decisions.
    “About 30 years ago, I went before Judge Lewis and was the first child ever taken from a family and put into foster care,” Richardson said.
    “Judges do touch peoples’ lives in positive ways. I have great respect for you, Judge Lewis, and I thank you.”
    Lewis thanked those in attendance and introduced his family members.
    Page 2 of 2 - He said he has had “real neat job for 31 years. Being a judge is a great job for a country lawyer to do.”
    “I’ve been around lawyers who have worked hours and hours and are at the top of their game.
    “It’s been like going to law school every day,” he said.
    “I’ve worked with five different sheriffs, five state’s attorneys, four circuit clerks, and an untold number of deputy clerks and deputy sheriffs, and it’s really been a great experience.
    “The Franklin County Courthouse has been like a big family,” he added, “but at this time, we’re going to take a recess
      • calendar