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Stanley Roszkowski

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Stanley Roszkowski Obituary
STANLEY J. ROSZKOWSKI ROCKFORD - The Hon. Stanley J. Roszkowski, retired U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Illinois, passed away on Monday, July 7, 2014, at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Rockford, Ill. He was 91. Nominated to the U.S. District Court in 1977, by President Jimmy Carter, Judge Roszkowski was initially assigned to hear cases in Chicago where he served full-time for seven years, while hearing cases on a part-time basis in Rockford. To help better serve residents of northwest Illinois outside of Chicago, Judge Roszkowski advocated for a permanent court in Rockford. Thanks in large part to his efforts, a permanent court was established and he was assigned to become the first full-time district court judge of the Northern District of Illinois' Western Division in November 1984. He served the Western Division on the court until his retirement in 1998. Prior to being appointed to the court, he worked for 22 years as a trial lawyer in Rockford. After his retirement from the bench, he continued to work for many years as a mediator. During his long and distinguished career as a judge and a trial lawyer, Judge Roszkowski earned a reputation as a man of unquestioned integrity, character, honesty, and decency. During his years on the court, he presided over many high profile cases, including the People Who Care school desegregation case in Rockford, a merger case involving local hospitals in Rockford, and a major antitrust case involving the Chicago Bulls, among many others. Born in Boonville, New York to Anna and Joseph Roszkowski on Jan. 27, 1923, he was one of 15 children. He spent most of his childhood years in the southern Illinois town of Royalton, where his father operated a small grocery store. During World War II, he served as a nose gunner on a B-24 bomber for the U.S. Army Air Corps, flying 34 missions in the European Theater. After the war ended, he enrolled at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in 1949, and his law degree in 1954. While in college, he met and married his wife, Cathy, to whom he was married for 61 years until her death in March 2010. In 2009, Sen. Richard J. Durbin introduced legislation to name the United States Courthouse in Rockford, then under construction, for Judge Roszkowski. On Oct. 29, 2011, the federal government dedicated the new Stanley J. Roszkowski U.S. Courthouse in downtown Rockford in his name. To his family he will be remembered as a loving father and grandfather, who instilled in his children and grandchildren the values of personal integrity, honesty, and hard work. He enjoyed golf, sports, current events and was an avid reader. Judge Roszkowski is survived by his four sons, Mark (Christie) Roszkowski, Greg (Pat) Roszkowski, Dan (Lynne) Roszkowski, and John (Maggie) Roszkowski; four grandchildren, Amanda, Alex, Anna, and Marc; his sister, Lovean Barnich; his sister-in-law, Jeanne Claeys; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Cathy; his parents; 13 brothers and sisters; and two brothers-in-law. Visitation will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 11, at the Olson Funeral Home, 2811 N. Main St., in Rockford. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, July 12, at the Second Congregational Church, 318 N. Church St., in Rockford, with Pastor Dan Herman presiding. Burial will follow in Scandinavian Cemetery. A reception will follow the burial at the University Club, 945 N. Main St., in Rockford. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to a in his name. To share a memory or condolence, please visit olsonfh.com.
Published in Rockford Register Star from July 10 to July 11, 2014
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