The smiling face of Senior U.S. District Judge John T. Curtin was a welcome sight to his co-workers at federal court Monday.
Curtin, 83, who has been off on sick leave since suffering a stroke and heart attack last October, said he is returning to work on a limited basis.
"I'm still moving a little slowly and going to physical therapy, (but) I feel ready to work again," Curtin said. "I found that I really miss the people in the courthouse and the work we do here."
Appointed to a judgeship in 1967, Curtin is the longest-tenured federal court employee in Buffalo. As a senior -- or semi-retired -- judge, he is allowed to set his own hours, working as much or as little as he wants.
Friday, Curtin received a community service award from the University at Buffalo Alumni Association, the latest of many honors in his long legal career.
During a lengthy Florida vacation with his wife, Jane, Curtin went to physical therapy five days a week, trying to improve his ability to move his arms and hands. Curtin said he will "play it by ear," based on how he feels physically, in determining his workload in the months ahead.