PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Ronald R. Lagueux, a U.S. District Court Judge who served the state of Rhode Island for nearly 50 years, died Wednesday at 91, officials announced.

Lagueux was a decision-maker during some of the state’s most historic cases, including the Station nightclub fire.

Lagueux became an associate justice for the Rhode Island Superior Court in 1968. Then, in 1986, the Reagan administration appointed him to the Rhode Island branch of the U.S. District Court, where he served from 1986 until his retirement in 2016.

He also served as chief judge from 1992 to 1999 and assumed senior status in 2001.

“The Judges of the Court are saddened at the death of our dear friend, colleague, and mentor,” Chief Judge John J. McConnell Jr. said. “He was an exceptional jurist and respected by the legal community in Rhode Island. His legacy of public service is an inspiration, and we extend our deepest condolences to his wife, Denise, and his family.”

“I am saddened by the passing of Judge Lagueux, an exemplary, highly-respected public servant,” Sen. Jack Reed said. “Judge Lagueux was known for his integrity and fairness and for being very forthright and thoughtful. He was a plainspoken champion for justice who cared deeply about the integrity of the court and the people of Rhode Island.  He made our state a better place and we extend our condolences to his entire family.”