It's a shame Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge John ''Jack'' Stuard did not get to enjoy retirement longer. After his lifetime of service to this community, he deserved more.
The Honorable Judge Stuard served as a municipal solicitor, criminal defense attorney and city prosecutor before becoming a judge. He also served as a compassionate listener, community supporter and Constitution defender.
Judge Stuard retired in January. He died Feb. 7.
Judge Stuard's generosity, his professionalism, his integrity, his core being was felt by many. That's why hundreds of people withstood a wintry drizzle and high wind for as long as three hours to pay their respects during the judge's calling hours.
As a Civil War buff, Judge Stuard was known for his skill in constructing canons from the period. He and a crew would participate in national shooting competitions with the artillery. He and one of his self-manufactured Civil War canons even appeared in the popular 1993 movie ''Gettysburg.''
But whether it was his spot in the movie starring Tom Berrenger and Martin Sheen or his actions for the betterment of Trumbull County, Judge Stuard always carried on with a modest, unassuming nature.
Central District Court Judge Tom Campbell spoke for many when he said, ''I've known him since I was a baby, and I grew up right down the street from him. He was without a doubt the most passionate and kind and sensitive person you'd ever want to know. I've always said he was my favorite person in the whole legal profession, but beyond that, he's also one of my favorite people ever.''