Former Missouri Supreme Court judge Bardgett dies

Monday, December 1, 2008 | 10:26 a.m. CST

ST. LOUIS — A funeral Mass will be Wednesday for former Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice John "Jack" Bardgett Sr.

Bardgett died Saturday of complications from leukemia at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, his family said. He was 81 and lived in Jefferson City.

Bardgett was a circuit judge in St. Louis County when Gov. Warren Hearnes appointed him to the state Supreme Court in April 1970. He served until August 1982, and was chief justice from 1979 to 1981.

Bardgett was born in 1927 in St. Louis and earned his law degree at Saint Louis University in 1951. Before his appointment as a judge, he was an attorney in St. Louis and was the city attorney for the St. Louis County town of Normandy. He returned to private practice after leaving the Supreme Court.

From 1984 to 1987 he was general counsel of the Central States of Southeast and Southwest Health, Welfare and Pension Funds in Chicago. In the mid-1990s, he was one of the founding partners of the firm Blitz, Bardgett & Deutsch, with offices in Clayton and Jefferson City.

Bardgett was president of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys in 1968-69 and was active in several organizations for attorneys. He served in the Navy during World War II.

His family said his legal opinions and interpretation of constitutional law were often called upon by legislative leaders when difficult or politically sensitive issues arose.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, two sons, two daughters, seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

A wake and visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Houser-Millard Funeral Home in Jefferson City. The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Jefferson City.


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