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Former municipal judge, legal aid counsel dies

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A former Marion Municipal Court judge and general counsel of the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society died Monday at the age of 93.

Judge Joseph Norwood Myers Sr. was an Indianapolis native who returned to the city after serving in World War II and in Korea. He took the bench of Municipal Court Room 1 in 1952 and served on it for nearly 35 years.

Earning his law degree from the University of Virginia in 1940, he practiced law in Indianapolis and was general counsel for the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society until 1950. He served on the board of directors for the organization for 35 years.

John Floreancig, general counsel at Indianapolis Legal Aid Society, said the judge was still active with the organization up until a few years ago and was a consistent supporter and donor. The judge felt strongly about giving back to the community and was very proud to be a lawyer, Floreancig said.

"He knew exactly the problems that poor folks had and also the problems of raising money, keeping the lights on, doors open, and salaries paid," he said, adding that the judge's work at ILAS gave him a great education early on in his law career.

"He was just a class act, great guy. We're going to miss him," Floreancig said.

Judge Myers was active in the legal community, belonging to the American Judicature Society; Indianapolis, Indiana, and American Bar Associations; the North American Judges Association; and the Indiana Judges Association. He was also involved with the Judicial Study Commission and served as a hearing officer for the Indiana Supreme Court's Disciplinary Commission.

The judge also involved with many community and military organizations including the Central YWCA, Shrine Royal Order of the Jesters, American Legion, and Reserve Officers Association. Judge Myers loved traveling and had visited every continent.

He is survived by his daughter, Margaret Sullivan; sister Katherine Northam Dickson; stepchildren William Calwell, Sally Calwell Gray, and Scott Calwell; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center Broad Ripple, 1305 E. Broad Ripple Ave., Indianapolis, with a memorial service at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations made be made to the Indianapolis Legal Aid Society.

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