Joseph William DuRocher

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Joseph William DuRocher Notice
WILLIAM, died peacefully at home surrounded by his wife and children after a short bout with Pancreatic Cancer. Joe was born in Long Beach, California but moved to Pensacola when he was five months old beginning a long love affair with what he considered his home state. Joe was educated in parochial schools in Pensacola and graduated as Valedictorian and President of the Student Body from Bishop Kenny in Jacksonville, Florida. He was awarded a Naval ROTC scholarship and he chose to attend Villanova University in Villanova, PA. In 1960 he graduated from Villanova with Honors and was commissioned an Ensign in the United States Navy. He completed Naval Aviator training in Pensacola and was awarded his wings 18 months later. He served in an antisubmarine warfare squadron in Norfolk, Virginia for the remainder of his time in the Navy. While at Villanova he met his wife, Rosemary Helen Donnelly who was at that time a student at Immaculata College. They were married while he was a flight student. After his Naval service , Joe attended the University of Florida Law school receiving a JD degree and then came to Orlando to open the law firm of Panico and DuRocher. Two years later he was chosen to become the second Director of Legal Aid and two years later Governor Reuben Askew appointed Joe to the Juvenile Court. He was the youngest state court judge in Florida. He sat on the boards of many Community Organizations and used his voice as an advocate for Juvenile concerns. Joe returned to Private practice in the mid 70 but was elected as the Public Defender of Orange and Osceola County in 1980 and for the next twenty years he worked with and trained about 250 lawyers. As someone said, "We came to Joe as baby lawyers and left as competent trail attorneys with a sense of ethics and honor." When he left the office he received many honors including the American Bar Association Dorsey award for exceptional work by a public defender or legal aid lawyer, The Man of the Year from Amnesty International of Orange County and the Foot Soldier of the Constitution award from the Criminal Defense Lawyers of Orange County. After Joe's retirement he was asked to teach at Barry Law school and for the past ten years he has been able to continue his work as part of the Barry Family as both an Adjunct and a Visiting Professor. He has treasured this aspect of his career to work with both the faculty and the "lawyers-to-be". Joe is survived by his wife of 50 years Rosemary; his children Beth and her husband Tim Little of
Eugene, OR; and grandchildren Kalinda Little of Portland, OR and Kenai Little of Eugene, OR; his sons John and Mike of Orlando, FL; also, his brother John and wife Susie of Yorktown, VA; his sisters, Judy and her husband John
Wolgamott of Palm Desert, CA and Anne and her husband Wilfredo Melgajeo of Glendale, CA, and his sister-in-law Dr. Karen Cherewatuck of Northfield, MN. He was predeceased by his parents Kay and Joe DuRocher and his brother Dr. Richard DuRocher. Contributions can be made to the Legal Aid Society of the O.C.B.A., 100 E. Robinson St., Orlando, FL 32801 or the Earth Law Center, 1819 E Central Blvd, Orlando, FL 32803. Arrangements by American Family
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on May 24, 2012
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