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Judge Magistrate Denise K. LaRue

1958 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Judge Magistrate Denise K. LaRue Obituary
Magistrate Judge Denise K. LaRue

59, Indianapolis, peacefully completed the final leg of her life's journey on Wednesday, August 3 surrounded by the love of her family. She was born on March 31, 1958 to Robert and Jewell LaRue of Indianapolis.Judge LaRue was born in Indianapolis where she attended schools and graduated from North Central High School in 1976.

She attended Indiana University, Bloomington where she received her B.S. from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA). While a student at Indiana University, Judge LaRue worked as a salaried intern with the Indiana Education Employment Relations Board (IEERB).

As an intern, Judge LaRue's responsibilities included the analysis of employment contracts/agreements as well as benefit and salary comparison salaries. After graduating from Indiana University, Judge LaRue became Personnel Manager for Lazarus Department Store.

In November 1984, Judge LaRue became Human Resources Administrator for All State Insurance, Indianapolis, where she handled all types of employee relations matters.

While working at All State, Judge LaRue decided to pursue her longtime dream of attending law school on a part-time basis to further her own effectiveness in the area of labor relations. During her last year of law school, Judge LaRue decided to pursue law school full time.

In 1989, Judge LaRue graduated cum laude from Indiana University's Robert H. McKinney School of Law. After graduating, Judge LaRue worked as a staff attorney at the Indiana Civil Rights Commission. She subsequently entered private practice as an associate at what became Haskin & LaRue, LLP in 1994 and was named a partner two years later.

While in private practice, Judge LaRue gained extensive experience litigating employment-related matters involving discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII; the Americans with Disabilities Act; the Family & Medical Leave Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. She also handled claims asserting various constitutional violations of due process rights, free speech, and political association violations; wage and hour violations; and claims under an array of federal labor acts.

On May 11, 2011, Judge LaRue was appointed to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana as a Magistrate Judge by the Judicial Conference of the United States. As a Magistrate Judge, she was adept at bringing complex cases to settlement, guiding both parties and attorneys to find an outcome acceptable to both sides.

Her colleagues have said that Judge LaRue's demeanor both in chambers and on the bench was calm, encouraging, and fair. She would address all who appeared in her court with patience and equanimity.

In addition to judicial responsibilities, Judge LaRue served on the Local Rules Advisory Committee and Pro Bono Committee for the Southern District of Indiana. She was also a member of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, 7th Circuit Bar Association and a Master with the Indianapolis American Inn of Court (President 2014-2016). She was a life member of the Marion County Bar Association. She served as a frequent speaker for continuing legal education courses, including a course on Civility in the Profession for the IBA's Applied Professionalism Course.

Judge LaRue served the IU SPEA Distinguished Alumni Council and the IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law Board of Visitors and was an Indianapolis Bar Foundation Distinguished Fellow, a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, a Diamond Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. A member of the Indianapolis Chapter of Links, Inc. and an Associate member of Jack & Jill of America.

She also became the 2007 Antionette Dakin Leach Award recipient from the Indianapolis Bar Association Women in Law Division.

An avid reader, Judge LaRue prided herself in completing several novels during family vacations. She also loved the friendships and the book discussions during her monthly book club "BookLovers" meetings.

A 50 year plus member of Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, Judge LaRue has deep ties to her church and has been involved in many aspects of Church services from the youth ministry as a teenager to a member of the finance committee, capital campaign committee, chair of the Women's Day luncheon for two years and currently an Elder.

She was the 2007, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ) Indiana Super Lawyer and appeared in the Who's Who of Black Indianapolis for several years. In 2012, Judge LaRue was nominated as a "Break Through Woman" from the 100 National Coalition of Black Women and also received the achievement in public service award from the Center for Leadership Development.

Judge LaRue was most proud when she was installed in the North Central High School Alumni Hall of Fame in recognition of her outstanding achievements.

In 2013, Judge LaRue, removed her robe to model for a Dress for Success fundraiser during "Stepping out in Style" as one of their models.

Judge LaRue is a fantastic artist and has created many pieces of art which are displayed in her home. A love for travel, good food, dancing, singing and family, Judge LaRue enjoyed every aspect of her life. Most of all she enjoyed watching and comparing notes about the TV show "Game of Thrones" with son Robert.

Judge LaRue is survived by her loving parents, Robert and Jewell LaRue, her son, Robert Ragland, her sister, Collette Duvalle (Reginald), niece Lauryn Duvalle and nephew Reggie Duvalle and special friend, George Brown and a host of relatives and friends.

Judge LaRue will be truly missed by all those who knew her.

Visitation will be held on Friday, August 11, 2017 from 4 - 8 p.m. with a memorial service for The Links Inc beginning at 7 p.m. and the Omega Omega ceremony for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. at 7:30 p.m. The Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2017 with visitation from 10 - 11 a.m. and service starting at 11 a.m. Both will take place at Witherspoon Presbyterian Church, 5136 Michigan Rd, Indianapolis, IN. Interment at Crown Hill Cemetery.

Expressions of condolence should be directed to Donations may be made to Witherspoon Presbyterian Church in the name of Judge Denise LaRue.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Stuart Mortuary, Inc. Expressions of condolence and sympathy should be directed to:
Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Aug. 10, 2017
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