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Former Allen County judge dies

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Allen County has lost a former judge who served with distinction in the military's legal arm in the 1950s and returned to serve the county's legal community for four decades as an attorney and jurist.

Senior Allen Superior Judge Vern E. Sheldon, who retired in 1998 after more than a decade on the bench, died in his home Sunday after a short illness. He was 77.

Judge Sheldon was appointed to the bench in 1985 and elected in 1990, then re-elected without opposition in 1996 before retiring two years later. Judge Sheldon worked in the court's civil division, was primarily assigned the responsibility of supervising trials of complex and delicate legal issues, and served as chief judge from 1989 to 1991.

After earning his law degree in 1956 from Indiana University in Bloomington, he worked in the Lafayette law firm of Stuart Devol Branigin & Ricks until his commission as a 1st lieutenant in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army in 1957. He served with distinction for three years as the post judge advocate of the Pine Bluff Arsenal Troop. After his service, he worked as a trial lawyer for the Fort Wayne law firm now known as Rothberg Logan & Warsco for 25 years. Prior to his appointment as judge, he'd also served as Allen County Bar Association president for a year.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 W. Wayne St., Fort Wayne, with calling one hour prior. Calling will also be from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at D.O. McComb & Sons Covington Knolls Funeral Home, 8325 Covington Road, with lodge service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Franklin College, 431 Foundation, and Visiting Nurse & Hospice Home or Turnstone.
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