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John F. “Jake” Halpin, Niagara County Family Court judge

Dec. 9, 1930 – Feb. 22, 2016

LEWISTON – John F. “Jake” Halpin, who served for 26 years as a Niagara County Family Court judge, died Monday in Niagara Hospice House, Lockport. He was 85.

Born in Philadelphia, he was a standout athlete at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School. He competed in the Schoolboy Rowing Association American Championships and was honored as most valuable player on the school’s championship football team.

He attended Niagara University on a football scholarship and, after serving in the Air Force during the Korean War, received his bachelor’s degree in 1955.

He earned a juris doctor degree from the University of Buffalo Law School in 1959.

Mr. Halpin served as an assistant Niagara County district attorney and started a private practice before becoming a Family Court judge in 1971. He retired in 1997.

The most prominent case over which he presided involved a paternity suit against John Wayne Bobbitt, a year after Bobbitt’s wife famously sliced off his penis.

He was a member of the Lewiston Kiwanis Club and the Loyal Order of Moose.

He enjoyed sailing and golfing.

Surviving are five daughters, Connie Casillas, Katherine Bennett, Megan Bartolomei, Jacqueline Rapp and Mary Dapkus; and nine grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:15 a.m. Saturday in St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 620 Center St.