Christian and Taney county commissioners joined together Dec. 31 to thank nearly 20 area judges who helped keep the wheels of justice turning after Judge Mark Orr died June 1.

“We all recall the sad day last June when the honorable Judge Mark Orr passed away,” Christian County Presiding Commissioner Lou Lapaglia said. “...In the wake of a very trying year, we are most grateful to the judges for giving their time and talents for the 38th Circuit ... As a token of honor and respect, we present each judge with a proclamation.”

Taney County Presiding Commissioner Ronald Houseman also thanked the judges.

“Unless you have served as an elected official, it’s hard to describe what all goes on as an elected official. We can only wonder what (judges do),” he said. “Thank you so much for stepping up to the plate at a time it was so badly needed.”

The commissioners thanked a long list of people in the court systems for helping in the time of need, saying, “the support from underneath is what kept us functioning.” Judges from Webster, Greene, Douglas, Stone and Barry counties all helped during the last six months.

Taney County Associate Circuit Division 2 Judge James Justus said he was just doing his job, but the senior judges are who deserve the real honor.

“I want to thank the senior judges that came down to Taney County. We couldn’t have done it without you,” he said.

Christian County Associate Circuit Division 1 Judge Larry Luna agreed.

“Us sitting judges were doing our jobs. But the senior judges came in for little or no pay,” he said.

Sr. Judge Carr Woods said it was a privilege.

“I think I speak for all the senior judges — it was a privilege. There were lots of unsung heroes,” he said.

Sr. Judge William Roberts said Orr would have done the same.

“If the situation had been reversed, Judge Orr would’ve been there for us,” he said.

Lapaglia presented each of the judges with a proclamation, thanking them for the assistance.

“The county was really hurting. I just admire them and their willingness to serve in the justice system,” Lapaglia said.

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