Retired District Judge Paul V. Gadola, Jr. dies at 85

Retried U.S. District Judge Paul V. Gadola, Jr., died Dec. 26, 2014. He was 85.

Gadola was appointed to the bench of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan on Oct. 17, 1988, by President Ronald Reagan, filling a seat vacated by Judge John Feikens who had assumed senior status. Gadola had retired from the bench in 2008.

Gadola received his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University in 1951 and his law degree from the University of Michigan in 1953. He was a lifelong and avid supporter of the Michigan State football team and the Spartan Marching Band.

Following graduation, Gadola served in the Army for two years and was then in private practice in Genesee County from 1955 until he was appointed to the federal bench.

Prior to taking the bench, Gadola was very active in the Flint community and was a founding member of the American Civil Liberties Union of Greater Michigan, Flint Branch. He was also an elected member of the Board of Trustees of Mott Community College and served as President of the Urban League of Flint.

Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton tells The Flint Journal that Gadola was "very, very adept at getting the lawyers to hone in on the critical issues, understand the weaknesses in their cases, and get them to settle" before trial.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dan Kildee of Flint says Gadola "was warm-hearted, kind and respectful to everyone he worked with."

"With the passing of Judge Paul Gadola, our court family has lost a dear friend and treasured colleague," said Chief Judge Gerald Rosen. "Paul was a devoted judge who loved his judicial service. He possessed all of those traits that we admire in a judge: keen intellect and scholarship, fair-mindedness, even-temper and calm demeanor, patience, and compassion. But beyond his work on our bench, he was a wonderfully warm colleague who was beloved by his many friends on our Court. While we will miss Paul, we take some solace from the fact that he lived long enough to learn that his son, Michael, has been appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals and will follow in the family tradition of judicial service begun by Paul's father and continued by Paul's brother and nephew. All of Paul's colleagues join me sending his family our most heartfelt condolences during this difficult period."

Funeral arrangements for Judge Gadola are pending.

Published: Tue, Dec 30, 2014