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Tribute to Judge Addy

  • AMY ZUBEK/TIMES NEWS A plaque, presented by the Carbon County Bar Association, will be hung in courtroom 2 in the Carbon County Courthouse in Jim Thorpe. The plaque will serve as a memorial to the late Judge David W. Addy, who passed away on Dec. 17…
    AMY ZUBEK/TIMES NEWS A plaque, presented by the Carbon County Bar Association, will be hung in courtroom 2 in the Carbon County Courthouse in Jim Thorpe. The plaque will serve as a memorial to the late Judge David W. Addy, who passed away on Dec. 17, 2009.
Published April 26. 2010 05:00PM

Colleague, teacher, mentor, father, husband, friend.

These were only a few words used to describe the late Carbon County Judge David W. Addy on Friday morning, as county and state officials, lawyers, colleagues and family members gathered in courtroom 1 to remember the man who fought not only for the law he represented, but also for the people he served.

Judge Addy passed away on Dec. 17, 2009, at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia after battling a lengthy illness.

The memorial service began as tipstaff Sandy Flanigan opened court. She introduced the county's three judges, President Judge Roger N. Nanovic and the honorable Steven Serfass and Richard Webb.

Nanovic then welcomed everyone to the service.

"We're here primarily today to receive a resolution from the Carbon County Bar memorializing Judge Addy and his career in Carbon County," he said, adding that there are many fond memories of the late judge within the courthouse walls.

He talked about Addy's career with the county, working his way up from a law clerk, to a lawyer, an assistant district attorney and then Carbon County's 17th judge, a position he held until his death.

"I had the privilege of sitting on the bench with Judge Addy for four years and I know during that time, he loved being a judge," Nanovic said. "He did it for the best of reasons, he wanted to help people. He wanted to make sure the people were treated fairly and justly. I think I can safely say that during his time on the bench he served with humility, with compassion, with intelligence. He also loved children."

Addy served as a driving force in starting the Children's Roundtable in Carbon County, in the hopes of helping its youth.

"Judge Addy's time on the bench as you know, was short," Nanovic said. "It was too short. But I believe without question that Judge Addy lived a full life, had a full career. He will be sorely missed but will not be forgotten."

Nanovic then introduced Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobias, attorney Jean Engler and attorney Michael Garfield, the memorial resolution committee of the Carbon County Bar Association.

Dobias addressed the audience, stating, "It is an honor for me to appear here and pay one last tribute to a lawyer and judge that has made such significant impacts to our judicial system in Carbon County. As a practicing lawyer, as an assistant district attorney, and a judge, Judge Addy brought a rich variety of experiences to this courtroom.

"Judge Dave touched many lives and loved life, but most of all he loved his family."

He then presented the court with a resolution from the Carbon County Bar Association, honoring Addy's life and time as a member of the bar.

Following the presentation, Engler provided some remarks about the man whom she considered family.

She first read a list of memorials and honors that the county bar association has created in honor of their fallen colleague.

They include the establishment of two $1,000 scholarships in Addy's name. One scholarship will be given annually for the next 10 years to a horticulture student at Temple University, Addy's alma mater; while a book scholarship will be awarded for the next 10 years to a student at Villanova Law School, Addy's law alma mater.

In addition to the scholarships, the bar association presented the court with a memorial plaque honoring Addy. It will be hung in Addy's former courtroom in Carbon County, courtroom 2. A tree will also be dedicated to remember the judge who loved trees and horticulture; and a portrait will be created and hung in courtroom 1.

Engler then shared some fond memories of her time serving with and against Addy.

Former Carbon County President Judge John P. Lavelle, who saw a spark and drive in Addy in 1986 when he hired him as his law clerk, then took the stand.

He spoke of his initial meeting with Addy, and then about his dedication to the job and the community he served.

"Without a doubt, he was the hardest working law clerk I ever had," Lavelle said. "I could see in him, a drive that was incredible to behold. David was an amazing worker with a great sense of humor and he energized you by just being around you. He loved the law. He was a man of the people. He loved people, especially children, and he brought that love to work.

"We're all better for having David with us," Lavelle continued. "He was a flaming meteor that burned out much too soon. May he rest in peace."

The floor was then opened to anyone who wished to share stories and memories of Addy.

Numerous colleagues addressed the crowd, sharing memories, emotional moments, tears, and laughter.

Christopher Addy, Judge Dave's son, then spoke about his father's life, his career, and his dedication to his family and friends.

He asked that everyone not grieve too deeply, but rather to remember who Judge Addy was as a person.

Addy was a man who loved life, his career, his colleagues, and his family.

He served the county tirelessly and helped bring a silver lining to any dark cloud. He was a friend and enjoyed making people laugh.

At the age of 52, Addy accomplished more in his short life, than most.

Besides serving as father, husband, and judge, he dedicated his time to serving the people of Carbon County; as well as the area's children by sitting on the county's Children's Roundtable and Child and Family Collaborative.

During his career, he was active in the Carbon County Drug Task Force; served as a specially-appointed deputy attorney general; maintained a private law practice in Lehighton; and served as solicitor to the Borough of Lehighton, the Lehighton Water Authority, Franklin Township Zoning Hearing Board, and home associations in Bear Creek Lakes, Holiday Pocono, and Pleasant Valley West.

On Jan. 3, 2006, Addy was sworn in as the 17th judge to serve Carbon County Court of Common Pleas.

Addy graduated from Temple University in 1983, where he earned an associate degree in horticulture science and a bachelor of arts degree in economics; he then received his juris doctor degree in 1986 from Villanova University School of Law.

At the same time, he began working as a law clerk for Lavelle. He then went on to work as an associate for the law firm of Scott and Webb; and later served as an assistant district attorney in Carbon County for 17 years.

He was the husband of Carol Addy. He had three sons, Christopher, Michael and Jason; and two stepchildren, Ghyslyn and Jason.

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