HONESDALE—Local Magisterial District Judges (MDJ) Linus Myers, Bonnie Carney and Ronald Edwards honored the surviving children of former Judge Dorothy Laabs in memory of her commitment and many years of service to the county on June 14.
Laabs' son Steve explained that she had been a part of the Hawley community since attending high school there after moving from her Brooklyn birthplace.
Laabs was married in 1952 and remained in the area raising her four children and helping to raise her two grandchildren, Steve stated.
“She loved to travel, she was a good cook and she loved her grandchildren,” he added.
Laabs' daughter Donna Sanders said of her mother “she loved to be involved in the community and law enforcement.”
Laabs passed away at the end of September 2016. She was 83 years old.
Donna Sanders, Steve Laabs and their brother Mitchell Laabs were all present to receive the judges' memorial honors. Their youngest brother Brett had unfortunately passed away in 2013.
“We just wanted to say on behalf of the Wayne County Judiciary, we acknowledge Dorothy's service to the county and to the state,” said Myers.
Laabs began her service to the county as a secretary in the office of Judge Alan Canfield. In 1980, she was elected to serve as MDJ in Hawley where she was dedicated to the community for 22 years.
Myers said she served “with great distinction and integrity in the Hawley area and she always treated me personally even though I was young …
“She always treated me personally in my probation days with great respect and great understanding and I always appreciated that.”
In recounting Laabs' service to the community, Meyers said, “She went to great lengths to establish … the overall integrity and the reputation that the minor judiciary has here.”
Myers explained that the plaque they presented to Laabs' children came from the State Special Court Judges Association of Pennsylvania.
Reading aloud from the plaque, Myers stated, “A Magisterial District Judge works tirelessly to promote equal opportunity access to justice within our communities, leaving a legacy of compassion and fairness resonating long after service ends.”
Sitting Hawley Magistrate Bonnie Carney stated that while she did not know Laabs personally, “I feel that she was a very important part along with the other MDJs of Wayne County in maintaining a very high level of service and integrity of the judiciary of the county.”
Judge Raymond Hamill intended to attend as well, but was held up in court that morning. Meyers stated Hamill sent his regrets.