PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Retired Rhode Island District Court Associate Judge Michael Higgins has died, the Rhode Island Judiciary announced Thursday.

Higgins served on the bench from 1980 to 2010. He was appointed as administrative judge in 2000 and served as acting chief judge from 2008 until his retirement.

“The entire Judiciary is deeply saddened by Judge Higgins’ passing,” Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul A. Suttell said. “He served the Court and the people of Rhode Island with great distinction for twenty-nine years. We are grateful for his years of service and send our condolences to his family.”

Attorney General Peter Neronha wrote that he had many fond memories of Judge Higgins and that he knew him since becoming a District Court prosecutor in 1996.

“I spent hundreds of hours in his chambers and in his courtroom and watched as he dispensed justice with wisdom and grace,” Neronha said. “He loved the law, sports, and his family most of all. I will miss him very much, and will keep a thought for all his family.”

Higgins’s wake will be held Tuesday, April 11, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Fagan-Quinn Funeral Home in North Kingstown. The funeral Mass will be the following day at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi in Wakefield.

The judiciary said district court calendars will be cleared on Wednesday for the funeral.