Heritage Hall of Fame to honor local judge, Nov. 6

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By Debra Talcott
Legal News


Proof that good things continue to happen for good people in their golden years is the upcoming induction of Judge Joseph N. Impastato into the International Heritage Foundation’s historic Heritage Hall of Fame.  The long-time resident of Grosse Pointe Shores will be one of six inductees honored on Thursday, Nov. 6, in a ceremony to be held at the Colony Club in Detroit.

Founded in 1984, the Heritage Hall of Fame recognizes leaders from various ethnic backgrounds for their noteworthy contributions to the American way of life while supporting cultural heritage and ethnic diversity.  When he is inducted, Impastato will join a roster of more than 100 exceptional community leaders. 

Proceeds from the Heritage Hall of Fame celebration will benefit organizations that support immigrant families in their effort to be granted American citizenship and to become contributing members of the community.  Some of the services that are provided include classes in English as a second language, ethnic and cultural education, cultural sensitivity training, and family support.

As a past president of the Italian American Bar Association of Michigan, Impastato received the Greco Award for outstanding service to the legal community.

A 1961 graduate of Wayne State University Law School, Impastato retains his judicial title and will never be called “retired” because he was voted into his position on the Municipal Court of Michigan.  During his years on the bench, he also was free to continue practicing law, and his primary area was personal injury work.

While Impastato is the only recipient of the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity International’s Gold Medallion Award in the State of Michigan in the last 20 years, he enjoys sharing the limelight with his wife, Marian.

“She should be the one getting this award,” he says. “My wife was president of the Lawyers Wives of Michigan and received the Liberty Bell Award from the Michigan Bar Association given annually to a person for outstanding work on behalf of the legal community.  She received the award from Cardinal Maida,” he says, referencing the former Archbishop of Detroit.

Impastato is proud of his Italian heritage and has dedicated himself to promoting the Italian image within the greater community. He enjoys sharing stories about his family’s origins.

“My father immigrated to the United States from the town of Cinisi, outside of Palermo, Sicily. My grandfather had owned 500 acres of land in an area which, translated, means ‘pointy mountain.’ He left the property to his sons, but they ended up selling the land to the Italian government, and it ultimately became the airport there.”

 Active in the Italian-American community for many years, the Impastatos are the only husband and wife ever to receive knighthood from the Italian government.

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