Chippewa County mourns passing of Judge Elizabeth Church

Chippewa County mourns passing of Judge Elizabeth Church

CHIPPEWA COUNTY, Mi ( WPBN/WGTU) -- Chippewa County Judge Elizabeth Church passed away Sunday after battling breast cancer for several years.

Chippewa County employees are mourning Judge Church's passing.

In the tight knit community, many people who work for the county are also close friends.

Church started her career in Chippewa County as the chief public defender, and in 2009 was elected as the first female judge to the 91st District Court.

As a judge, her colleagues remember her as having a steadfast dedication to being fair and balanced in her rulings.

“She was one of the finest justices that I’ve ever worked with," said Chippewa County Administrator James German. "She was so well balanced, very much looking out for peoples rights. She was loved by everybody in Chippewa County. She was a hero.”

“I think they’d like to remember her as being fair and honest and trying hard to see that both sides of the issue receive fair treatment and that they were listened to by her and that she took her decisions seriously and offered them with compassion and seriousness," said Sharon Kennedy from the Chippewa County Register of Deeds.

In her nearly 20 years of working for the country, many of Church's colleagues became her close friends.

“I’d see her in the hallways and she always had a cheerful smile and always a funny reply to something that was going on in her life," said Kennedy. "I remember her all the way through those years always being so positive and so interested in her community and the work that she was doing."

Judge Church was also known for being involved in the Chippewa County Community, even helping with an initiative through the library to help kids learn how to read.

“Liz invested a lot of herself in our community and so yes of course we’re going to miss her," Kennedy said. "Of course she invested a lot of herself into her family and her friends and we’re all going to miss her."

Judge Church is survived by her husband and four children.

The family is still working on funeral arrangements.

Judge Church retired last May when her cancer came back. She was 50 years old.

Replacing her on the bench is Judge Eric Blubaugh.

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