PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Retired Rhode Island Family Court Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr. has died, a spokesperson for the state judiciary confirmed Monday.
Jeremiah died Sunday at the age of 80.
The details surrounding his death were not available.
Jeremiah was appointed associate justice of the Family Court in 1986, and a year later was sworn in as chief judge. He retired in June 2010.
Prior to becoming a judge, Jeremiah served in the Cranston City Solicitor’s office for more than two decades, and as the governor’s executive counsel from 1984 to 1986.
Several state leaders offered their condolences Monday.Attorney General Peter Kilmartin:
Judge Jeremiah transformed the Family Court system in how we treat juvenile offenders. He was a fair and deliberate jurist who strived not merely to punish, but to teach juveniles how to be productive members of our community. Recognizing that there are often underlying mental health and substance abuse issues that may cause a young person to break the law, Judge Jeremiah established the Juvenile Drug Court, the Family Treatment Court, and the Mental Health Court Clinic; programs that have helped thousands of juveniles by addressing the fundamental causes of their issues. There are countless juveniles whom he has helped through his compassionate support and ‘tough love’ approach. On behalf of the Office of Attorney General, I extend my deepest sympathies to his family on their loss.”
President of the Senate M. Teresa Paiva Weed:
The Senate is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Judge Jeremiah. He recognized the unique power of the Family Court to help change lives for the better. Judge Jeremiah’s innovations led not just the state but the nation to find new ways to address problems. He helped countless Rhode Islanders through the establishment of programs such as the Family Treatment Drug Court, the Mental Health Court Clinic, and the Truancy Court. The thoughts and prayers of the Senate are with Judge Jeremiah’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Chief Judge Jeremiah. As a young attorney, I was fortunate enough to practice before him. I found him to be tough but fair to all the parties involved and he was extremely knowledgeable about the issues. He helped countless families work their way through difficulties and helped improve the lives of countless children. He was a great jurist and will be missed by all of us in the legal community. The House of Representatives is saddened and we will keep his family in our thoughts and prayers.”
Senator Jack Reed:
“Growing up in Cranston, I came to know Jerry Jeremiah as an honest, fair, decent and compassionate man. Later, as Chief Family Court Judge, he demonstrated all these qualities and more as someone who always placed the well-being of children and families above all else. I will miss him and extend my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. We are truly grateful for all the remarkable work Judge Jeremiah did to strengthen our communities and make our state a better place.”
Jeremiah’s funeral will be held Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Swan Point Cemetery, Historic Chapel, located at 585 Blackstone Boulevard in Providence.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. in The Butterfield Home and Chapel, located at 500 Pontiac Avenue in Cranston.