Hon. Earl H. Carroll
1925 - 2017
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Hon. Earl H. Carroll

The family of United States District Judge Earl H. Carroll is very sad to announce his passing on February 3, 2017. Born in Tucson on March 26, 1925 to parents John and Ruby Carroll, Earl Carroll lived a very full life of 91 years, including more than 30 years as a federal judge. He spent his early years near Wickenburg, on a gold mine called the Silver Flag. His lifelong appreciation for public education began on that remote mine site, with live-in teachers sent by the state to educate rural students such as Earl and his older brother, John. Later in life, Earl was known to quote long passages of poetry, such as The Charge of the Light Brigade, along with wise (or witty) sayings in Latin. He also developed an early appreciation for a good dictionary. Earl continued his education in Tucson and Phoenix, graduating from Phoenix Union High School, where he first met Louise Rowlands, who became his beloved wife in 1952.

Earl Carroll enlisted in the United States Navy in 1943, and was part of the Navy's V-12 officer training program, providing him cherished opportunities to study at Arizona State Teacher's College in Flagstaff (now Northern Arizona University), UCLA, and Harvard. He served as an ensign in the Navy from 1943 to 1946, with service in the Pacific. After the Navy, he completed a business degree at the University of Arizona (1948), where he also earned his law degree (1951), graduating second in his class.

He began his legal career clerking for The Honorable Evo DeConcini of the Arizona Supreme Court. He joined the law firm of Evans, Hull, Kitchel and Jenckes in 1952, becoming a partner in 1955 with special expertise in public utility, transportation and mining law. During his time in private practice, Earl also served as counsel for the city of Tombstone. In 1980, Earl Carroll was nominated to the federal district court in Phoenix by President Jimmy Carter. Taking senior status in 1994 opened a position to be filled by The Honorable Roslyn Silver, although Judge Carroll continued to be active on the court until his retirement in 2011.

Among the highlights of Judge Carroll's life were his service on the Arizona Board of Regents (1978-1980) and his role in presiding over naturalization ceremonies for new U.S. citizens and challenging cases such as "The Sanctuary Trial" and the long-running Navajo-Hopi dispute. Judge Carroll believed in fidelity to the rule of law, tempered with compassion for individuals. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist appointed Judge Carroll to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 1993 and he was named chief judge of the federal Alien Terrorist Removal Court in 1996.

He regularly supported educational programs for Arizona's universities, including co-establishing a public service scholarship for law students with his long-time friend, Tucson attorney Thomas Chandler, at the University of Arizona College of Law. His public service included election to the Phoenix Elementary School Board, serving for 12 years, as well as support for U of A's College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, Red Cross, Camp Fire Girls, the Valley of the Sun YMCA, Chapel Rock - the AZ Church Conference Center, and his college fraternity, Sigma Chi.

Judge Carroll is survived by his wife of 64 years, Louise, and his daughters, Margaret Carroll and Katherine C. Pearson. His daughters continue their parents' deep commitment to education, public service and respect for justice. Judge Carroll's extended legal family includes his colleagues on the bench, his talented court staff, and dozens of "assistant judges," his law clerks and interns, selected from law schools across the county, including U of A, Arizona State University, Penn State's Dickinson Law, and Harvard. Judge Carroll's entire family is especially grateful for the thoughtful care provided by Huger Mercy Living Center and Hospice of the Valley.

One of Judge Carroll's favorite lines of poetry, by Robert Browning: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?"

Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to the Carroll-Chandler Public Service Fund at U of A College of Law (Law-Alumni/Development, 1201 E. Speedway, Tucson AZ 85721 or www.law.arizona.edu/give), or to educational institutions of the donor's choice. A private graveside service at the Arizona National Veteran's Cemetery will be followed by a Memorial Service in mid-March, with details to be available through Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Feb. 9 to Feb. 12, 2017.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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17 entries
July 28, 2020
Judge Carroll was an inspiration to me. He expected that lawyers—whether prosecutors or defense lawyers—in criminal case had an obligation to be prepared, knowledgeable about the law, and compassionate. Even within the adversarial system that so often obscures the human issues of cases, Judge Carroll knew that lives were affected and that lawyers should never forget that. He was a humanitarian, a man of faith, and a fantastic scholar and teacher.
Ivan Abrams
March 21, 2017
Working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons as the Community Corrections Manager for Arizona and the Southern District of California from 1992 to 2005 I got to know and work with Judge Carroll. He was tough but always a courteous Judge who challenged me to do my best. I greatly appreciated his guidance and mentoring. He always showed my staff and I the greatest respect and appreciated our service to the court. I will never forget him.
Leonard Lipsutz
March 3, 2017
Dear Louise and familyI just heard this news tonight and wanted to express what I hope you already know. Judge Carroll was a larger than life presence here at the College of Law, and we are so proud of his many gifts to our profession and our students. We also are deeply grateful for his friendship over the decades. He was an alumnus extraordinaireJerry and I send our heart felt sympathy to all of you. We know we are joined by countless fellow alums, his McCormick Society friends, his clerks, and so many others. May the memories of his wit, spirit and good heart comfort you, and may he live on in your heartsToni MassaroCollege of Law
Toni Massaro
February 12, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
D. Psalms 90:9,10 Andrews
February 12, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
"We are HIS people" Psalms 100:3
February 11, 2017
My sincerest condolences to the family for your loss. I pray that you have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding (Phillipians 4:6,7)
Maria Augusta
February 10, 2017
So sorry to hear of Judge Carroll's passing. Although I met him just a couple of times, I was struck by what a "nice guy" he was.
Pat Ten Eyck
February 10, 2017
My condolences to Judge Carroll family. May the joyous memories you shared together bring to peace. May God keep sustaining you during this difficult time. -Jeremiah 29:11.
February 10, 2017
May the many memories Judge Carroll helped create find root in your hearts and bring clear recollection to your minds as you both mourn and celebrate his wonderful life... and may God bless you as you deal with his passing.
Bernald Porter
February 10, 2017
Hearing about your loss has deeply sadden me. Although no words can take the pain away, I hope the words recorded at Jeremiah 29:1,12 brings comforts your heart.
February 9, 2017
I remember Earl most (and there is much to remember) for his loyalty and kindness to Agnes Holesapple, his devoted secretary of many years. Agnes was a lonely widow whose skills began to flag in her later years. When she could no longer keep apace with Earl's practice and duties on the bench, Earl still kept Agnes on, quietly slipping the work she couldn't handle to other secretaries, and (perhaps) even subsidizing her salary. Agnes kept her dignity. I would say they adored each other.

And, Earl, as your younger and still-in-awe partner at Evans, Kitchel & Jenckes, I hope you know that we, your colleagues, all loved you.

Gary Fry
Hereford, Az
Gary Fry
February 9, 2017
I'm so sorry for your loss. May you gain comfort and strength by pouring out your heart in prayer to God. Please accept my sincere condolences.
February 9, 2017
Judge Carroll was a jurist of great talent. He was intelligent, insightful and fair. I appeared before him from time to time and always left his court room with more respect for him than when I had arrived. His service to our State and Nation was superlative . May God Bless him in Eternity.....Frank Parks......Scottsdale
Frank Parks
February 9, 2017
I worked as a court reporter in Federal Court during the mid to late '90s and had the pleasure of occasionally working with Judge Carroll. He was a tough judge who always expected the best from people appearing before him, and his toughness was matched by his fairness and great judicial mind. He was always kind to me when we worked together, and I consider it a privilege to have known him. His example as a judge and a citizen will serve as an inspiration all.

Mike Benitez
February 9, 2017
My deepest condolences and sympathy to Louise, Katherine, and Margaret. Judge Carroll was a remarkable man.
Sarah Carlson
February 9, 2017
To the Carroll Family: My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends during this difficult time. I hope that the promise in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 can bring comfort. Knowing that there's a hope for the ones we have lost in death can be so reassuring.
February 9, 2017
Tom Tom Pikul
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