Judge Robert Cameron Broomfield

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Broomfield, Robert Cameron

A devoted family man and a Senior Judge for the United States District Court of Arizona, passed away on July 10, 2014 at the age of 81.

Judge Broomfield was born on June 18, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan to David Campbell Broomfield and Mabel Margaret Vandeventer. Later, the Broomfield family moved to Sewickley outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Judge Broomfield attended Pennsylvania State University, graduating in 1955 with a B.S. in Business Administration and an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Commission. For the next two years, Judge Broomfield proudly served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force.

While stationed in Arizona, and attending flight gunnery school, Judge Broomfield met the love of his life, Cuma L. Cecil. After returning from military service in Europe, Bob and Cuma were married in 1958. Throughout their 55 years of marriage, Cuma always remained the center of his life. Bob and Cuma were blessed with three children, Robert, Jr., Alyson (Joe) Walters, and Scott; four grandchildren, Cameron, Whitney, Cole and Jackson; and two great grandchildren, Roxi and Odette.

Shortly after they were married, Judge Broomfield enrolled in the University of Arizona School of Law, from which he graduated in 1961. During law school, the first of the Broomfields' three children was born. Also during that time, Judge Broomfield served as a pilot in the Arizona Air National Guard.

Judge Broomfield began his legal career by serving as a clerk for then Superior Court Judge Jack D.H. Hays. In 1962, Judge Broomfield entered private practice and later became a partner with Carson Messinger Elliott Laughlin & Ragan, one of Arizona's oldest law firms. Throughout this time Judge Broomfield also served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

In 1970, Governor Jack Williams appointed Judge Broomfield to the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County. From 1972-1974 Judge Broomfield was Presiding Judge of the Juvenile Division of the Superior Court. In 1974, he became Presiding Judge of the Superior Court in Maricopa County and served in that capacity until 1985.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan appointed Judge Broomfield to the United States District Court, District of Arizona. While serving on the federal bench, Judge Broomfield continued his active dedication to improving the administration of justice. Judge Broomfield served as Chief Judge from 1994-1999. Judge Broomfield was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2002 and served until 2009. During his career, Judge Broomfield also chaired the Security, Space and Facilities Committee, was a member of the Budget Committee of the U.S. Judicial Conference and chaired the Budget Committee's Economy Subcommittee.

During his tenure in both state and federal courts, Judge Broomfield was known as a tireless advocate for delay reduction and an innovative court administrator. A man of many talents, Judge Broomfield also made other contributions to the judiciary. Inheriting a love of construction and design from his grandfather, Judge Broomfield actively oversaw the construction of the Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse, the Central Court Building of the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County, and the Juvenile Court Center.

Judge Broomfield's public service extended far beyond the Judiciary. His commitment to education and the youth of Phoenix is reflected by his service on the Paradise Valley School Board, Crisis Nursery, the Arizona Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America. Judge Broomfield also contributed his tremendous leadership and consensus building skills to Arizona Town Hall and Rotary International.

Only Judge Broomfield's passion and devotion to his family exceeded his commitment to serving his country and community. Through the years, Bob and Cuma shared their love of travel, outdoors and adventure with their children and later with their grandchildren. Together they designed and built a mountain cabin in Prescott. Laboring for many months and years, they created a place where friends and family were always welcome, whether for celebrations or to simply enjoy the beautiful Arizona scenery in quiet companionship with one another. They built it and the family came.

Family time was by no means limited to Arizona. There were countless cross country vacations, including a six week road trip in an 18 foot motor home to visit the Nation's Capitol and the White House. Travel by train was a particular favorite, allowing a day or two stop in New Orleans to enjoy their favorite Cajun cuisine. The Broomfields also delighted in taking the road less traveled, which inevitably led to a treasured antique for their home, adding to their rich family history. Another longstanding family tradition were summer trips to the ocean, made all the more fun by exciting catamaran rafting excursions.

Sports played a significant part in Judge Broomfield's life-whether as a coach, participant or spectator. His daughter recalls that with her father's patient instruction and guidance, the Larks Bunch girls' softball team went from last place in the first season to a championship in their third. Not one to stay on the sidelines, Judge Broomfield and his family enjoyed yearly downhill skiing Christmas vacations. Closer to home, the Broomfield family were ardent Arizona Cardinal fans from the very beginning.

There will be a Special Court Session to celebrate the life and memory of Judge Broomfield on Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. in the Robert C. Broomfield Special Proceedings Courtroom on the second floor of the Sandra Day O'Connor United States Courthouse, 401 W. Washington St, Phoenix, with a reception immediately following.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either Ryan House, 110 West Merrill Street, Phoenix, 85013 or the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Arrangements by Hansen Mortuary. Please visit www.hansenmortuary.com for online condolences.



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Published in The Arizona Republic on July 20, 2014
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