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Retired Circuit Judge Jack B. Weldy passes away at 87

A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in...
A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg.(Administrative Office of Courts)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 3:23 PM CDT
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HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) -Former Circuit Judge and Supreme Court Magistrate Jack B. Weldy, of Hattiesburg, died on May 10 at the Mississippi Baptist Medical Center. He was 87.

According to his obituary, a memorial service will be held on Friday, May 20, at 2 p.m. at Hulett-Winstead Funeral Home in Hattiesburg. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m.

A private family burial will then be held in Highland Cemetery.

Weldy served two terms on the 12th Circuit Court of Forrest and Perry counties from 1975 to 1983.

He served twice as chairman of the Mississippi Circuit Court Judges Association and served on the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance. He also served on the Joint Committee of Mississippi State and Federal Trial Judges and was a drafter of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure, the Mississippi Uniform Criminal Rules of Circuit Court Practice and the Rules of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance.

“Judge Weldy was an excellent Circuit Judge and the epitome of an honest, ethical, compassionate and hard-working member of our Bar and Judiciary,” said M. Ronald Doleac, retired chancellor, of Hattiesburg.

Chancellor Deborah Gambrell Chambers, of Hattiesburg, recalled her first appointment to represent an indigent defendant in Judge Weldy’s court.

“He sat me down and gave me that lawyerly legal talk about our responsibilities and obligations,” said Gambrell. “He is the judge that taught me that when you take that oath as a lawyer, sometimes the ones that are the most guilty need the best representation.... He kept your feet to the fire when it came to the law, due process and what we were required to do. There were no shortcuts.”

Circuit Judge Jon Mark Weathers practiced before Judge Weldy when Weathers was district attorney. He described Judge Weldy as a bright jurist who knew the law.

“He was always prepared. It was obvious to me that he knew what the law was that applied to a case. I’ve tried to do the same thing,” said Weathers.

In 1990, the Mississippi Supreme Court began its Appellate Magistrate Program to relieve a backlog of appeals and speed up the issuance of decisions. Three magistrates reviewed appeals and submitted recommendations for case decisions.

Weldy served as Senior Magistrate, along with Magistrates Billy Gore and John Fraiser. The Magistrate program served as interim relief for the crowded appellate docket before the Legislature created the Court of Appeals, which began hearing cases in January 1995. It was concluded in May of 1995.

While at the Mississippi Southern College, now known as the University of Mississippi, Weldy met his bride, Peggy Anderson, to whom he was married for 65 years.

After graduation, he entered active duty as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He served in West Germany as a firing platoon commander for a Corporal Missile Unit.

He completed active duty in 1958 and accepted a scholarship to Tulane University School of Law. He graduated in 1961 and was employed by Chevron Oil Company as a staff attorney and landman.

In 1962, he began the private practice of law in Hattiesburg.

According to his obituary, Weldy liked to spend time with his daughters as they participated in horse shows, and he cheered on all his children and grandchildren in their various sports and academic endeavors. He raised and trained Brittany Spaniels for field trials and quail hunting, often taking his children and grandchildren on these adventures.

He was preceded in death by his son Mark Elliot Weldy and sister Dorothy Weldy Dearman. He is survived by his wife, Peggy, son Jack Burkett Weldy Jr. (Susan), daughter Mary Beth Weldy Kruger (Baxter), daughter-in-law Gail Davis Weldy, daughter Amelia Anderson Weldy Craig (Dwayne) and son Michael Lamar Weldy (Leslie). He was also a proud grandfather to ten grandchildren and great-grandfather to six great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Samaritan’s Purse.

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