December 3, 1930 - October 3, 2019 The Honorable Julius A. Rousseau Jr., 88, retired senior resident Superior Court judge for the 23rd Judicial District (Wilkes, Ashe, Alleghany and Yadkin counties), died Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, at Kate B. Reynolds Hospice Home in Winston-Salem. A celebration of life service will be held at noon Saturday, October 12, 2019, at First United Methodist Church of North Wilkesboro, with Dr. Tim Roberts and Dr. William T. Medlin, III officiating. The Rousseau family will receive friends following the service in the Faith Center. Born in North Wilkesboro on Dec. 3 1930, Judge Rousseau was the son of the Honorable Julius A. and Gertrude Hall Rousseau. Julius A. Rousseau Sr. was an N.C. Superior Court judge from 1935-1958. Combined, the father and son served as N.C. Superior Court judges for more than 50 years. The younger Judge Rousseau was also an emergency Superior Court judge, a part-time position appointed by the governor, from 1999-2015. He first became a judge when named to fill the unexpired term of Resident Senior Superior Court Judge Robert M. Gambill in 1972. He was subsequently elected to eight-year terms in 1974, 1982, and 1990. He had the longest tenure of any Superior Court judge in the state when he retired in late 1998. He and the former Gary Maxwell were married in August 1955, and they had one son, Julius A. Rousseau III, an attorney in New York City who is married to Sharon Campbell Rousseau. The couple lived in Wilkesboro until they moved to Arbor Acres United Methodist Retirement Community in Winston-Salem a few years ago. Judge Rousseau is survived by his wife, son and daughter-in-law, adopted grandchildren; Daniel, Jay and Stephanie Shinaman, Neal and Jackson Smith and special friends; Dr. and Mrs. Brad Shinaman and Mr. and Mrs. Brian Smith. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by three sisters, Nelle Rousseau Bailey, Frances Rousseau Alspaugh and Nancy Rousseau Kern. Judge Rousseau graduated from North Wilkesboro High School in 1949, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (where he played football as a walk-on) with an undergraduate degree in 1953 and from the UNC School of Law in 1956. He had a solo law practice in North Wilkesboro from 1956-1962, and was a partner in Moore & Rousseau in Wilkesboro from 1963 until 1972, when he became a Superior Court judge. Judge Rousseau was chairman of the Wilkes County Democratic Party Executive Committee from 1961-1968. Judge Rousseau was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of North Wilkesboro, where he served on the church's board of trustees and was a member of the Men's Bible Class. He also was a member of the North Wilkesboro Kiwanis Club and North Wilkesboro's Elks Lodge. He served for about 20 years with other trial judges on the state's Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, a volunteer body that creates annual supplements to judges' instructions to juries, based on changes in statutory and case law. He also was president of the N.C. Conference of Superior Court Judges. He was a member of the committee that designed the current Wilkes County Courthouse in Wilkesboro, which opened the same year he retired as a senior resident Superior Court judge. N.C. Supreme Court Justice Sarah Parker presented Judge Rousseau the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, one of top awards given by the governor, in 2012. In a newspaper interview in late 1998, Judge Rousseau said he simply wanted to be remembered as fair. He continued, "I've tried to be the best judge I know how.to do what is right regardless of who or what a person was. I made some people mad in the process, but I have been able to put my head down and go to sleep each night." The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to Wilkes ADAP PO Box 968 North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, First United Methodist Church of North Wilkesboro Memorial Fund PO Box 1145 North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 or to the donor's choice. Online condolences may be made at www.reinssturdivant.com. Reins Sturdivant Funeral Home PO Box 1428 North Wilkesboro, NC 28697
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