CALEDONIA - Friends and colleagues remembered former Judge Jon B. Skow as a principled man whose life was changed by the loss of a son.
Skow died Wednesday at 66. He was elected to the position of Racine County Circuit Court judge in 1977, only a few years after graduating law school, and was re-elected twice more.
George Iverson of Union Grove, who worked in maintenance and engineering at the courthouse during Skow's tenure, said the judge had an appreciation for the job that most law enforcement officers do. Iverson delivered kringle to Caledonia police for Skow, who did not drive in his later years.
"Each assignment is important, but Jon was particularly attentive to criminal law matters," retired Judge Dennis Flynn said Sunday.
Skow joined a group of judges who were elected early in their careers, including Flynn, who first donned the robe in 1976. That gave the court some needed stability, Flynn said.
"We were all part of a group of young men," he said. "We had good energy."
Those who worked in the court system said Skow was deeply affected by the death of his oldest son, Jon Jr., from cancer in 1990. At one point, he walked out of the trial of a man accused of sexually assaulting a young child. The state Supreme Court removed Skow from the bench in the early 1990s, determining that his stress and depression were permanent disabilities.
"None of us are perfect human beings, and that really touched the inner soul of Jon," Flynn said.
Friends said he was a private but generous man. When he was a member of the Kiwanis Club of Greater Racine, Skow actively helped plan the annual Pancake Day, said Wayne Kavaliauskas, a longtime member.
According to Skow's obituary, a public visitation is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. Monday at Wilson Funeral Home, 1212 Lathrop Ave., with the burial planned for Tuesday.