Judge embraces his Upper Peninsula roots

By Johanna Boyle The Mining Journal MARQUETTE (AP) -- Judge R. Allan Edgar's distinguished career path has led him home to the Upper Peninsula. He was born in Munising and spent his childhood in Marquette, but the U.S. District Court Judge spent most of his career in Tennessee. Now, after splitting time between Tennessee and Marquette since 2005, Edgar and his wife, Gail, have permanently moved to their property in Big Bay. A senior-status U.S. District Court judge, Edgar now hears a number of cases at the Marquette Federal Courthouse. "As a kid, I just loved it up here," Edgar said of the U.P. Born to parents who met at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in Big Bay, Edgar grew up in a home on West Magnetic Street in Marquette. "Our house is now a hospital parking lot," he said. In 1953, when Edgar was 13, his father took a job in Tennessee, where the family moved, returning to the U.P. during the summer months to visit grandparents. During that time, Edgar spent the summer months working at the Huron Mountain Club, where he met Gail. He attended Davidson College in North Carolina and then the Duke University School of Law. After serving in Vietnam, he married Gail in Ishpeming in 1968. Most of Edgar's career so far has been spent in Tennessee, working first as an attorney and then becoming a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He was appointed a U.S. District judge in 1985 by then-President Ronald Reagan. He has always kept ties with the U.P., however. "My favorite summer pastime was trout fishing," Edgar said. Ready to stop splitting their time between the two communities, Edgar and his wife decided on Marquette. "It got to be too much to carry dockets in two places," he said. "We just decided we like it up here. In a lot of ways it's home to us." When not hearing cases, Edgar said he hoped to fish and play golf, as well as trying his hand at photography. "It's a beautiful place to take pictures," he said of Marquette County. Published: Fri, Jul 22, 2011