Remembering Richard F. Scholz Jr
Judge Richard F. Scholz, 87, husband of Ellen W. Scholz passed away on April 20, 2016. Judge Scholz attended St. Ambrose and the University of Illinois and received his law degree from Mercer University. While at the Walter F. George School of Law in Macon Georgia, he met and married Ellen. They shared 58 years together before her passing in 2009 and he adored her giving spirit and gentle southern nature. Their offspring include Richard (Riff) F. III and his wife Susan, George and his wife Lynne, Tom and his wife Lisa, Beth and Joe and his wife, Kris as well as four dear grandchildren, Corey, Brittany and her husband Ethan, Sarah, and Ryan. Richard’s amazing extended family included sisters, Peggy Bartsch and her husband Tom and Pat McCulla and her husband, Jim, a slew of nieces and nephews and loads of thoughtful, loving friends and a lot of compassionate clinicians and caregivers.
After law school, Richard returned to Quincy with his bride and first born to practice law with his father, Richard F. Scholz Sr. and brother, Charles. In 1958, he was elected judge of the 8th Judicial Circuit. He served as Chief Judge from 1975 to 1979 and spent 24 years on the bench. When he retired, he returned to private practice for ten years. During his time on the bench, Judge Scholz contributed significantly to the formation of numerous task forces, panels, programs and championed services on a local and national level to advocate for and support children and their families. Judge Scholz’s greatest passion throughout his professional life was providing a voice for the underprivileged. He worked tirelessly with community leaders and the State of Illinois to build the Adams County Youth Home, which is now the Adams County Juvenile Detention Center. He was celebrated in courts for his thoughtful, decisive and judicious manner. Judge Scholz had a keen appreciation for the human condition and was distressed by the failings of society.
During his life, Judge Scholz was recognized and honored by many civic organizations, community groups and public service agencies but it was his one on one experience with individuals who had been involved in the court system that gave him the most pleasure. Judge Scholz welcomed and encouraged follow up reports and visits from people who went through the judicial system. He was a true stalwart for children and families and was a champion of both. A sign above the doorway at the Scholz Farm read “you will only be a stranger here but once”. That was true to his nature and served him in his work, personal life, community and the world. He had a remarkable memory for names and connections. Judge Scholz loved people and believed that getting the right people involved in the right way was the formula for reducing recidivism and building strong communities. He supported and empowered social justice at the local level. Richard teamed with leaders in the communities, colleagues on the bench, probation officers, schools and countless counselors, social workers and clinicians to design programs and initiatives to support and serve the individual and community.
Judge Scholz enjoyed his family, his wide circle of friends and colleagues, politics, his numerous collections, tinkering at the Scholz Farm and in his children's homes and yards, working on his many projects and treasures in his garage. Judge Scholz was an avid sportsman and hunter and took great pleasure in participating as well as watching sports. He was a member of St. Francis Church, the Democratic Party and reached the 4th Degree of the Knights of Columbus.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Ellen, father; Richard, mother Cleopha Molz Scholz, brother, Charles and sister in law, Nancy Wright Scholz.
In honor of Judge Scholz and his lifetime of service, please take a minute to make a difference and show kindness to a stranger today.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday morning at 10:00 in St. Francis Solanus Catholic Church with Rev. Donald Blaeser, Rev. Roy Bauer, Monsignor Michael Kuse and Monsignor Leo Enlow officiating. Burial will be Calvary Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Sunday evening from 4:30 until 7:30 at the church with a Wake Service to follow.
The Zehender Robinson Stormer Cookson Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Memorials may be made to St. Francis School, Notre Dame High School or to the charity of the donor's choice.