November 25, 2020

South Mississippi federal court judge dies at age 81

A veteran judge who served for 18 years on South Mississippi’s federal court has died.

U.S. Senior District Judge Walter J. Gex III, of Diamondhead, died Thursday at the age of 81, WLOX-TV reports.

Born in 1939 in Bay St. Louis, Gex earned his law degree from the University of Mississippi Law School in 1963. He was in private practice in offices in Jackson and Bay St. Louis from 1963 to 1986.

In 1986, Gex was nominated by former President Ronald Reagan to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. He served as federal judge for 18 years. In 2004, he opted to take senior status, a form of semi-retirement for U.S federal court judges that allows them to continue to work part-time.

In a statement Friday, U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst expressed his condolences for Gex’s wife, Kathleen, and his family.

“Judge Gex was an incredible jurist with a giant personality, a consummate professional and a proud Mississippian and outdoorsman. But most of all, he was always kind and fair, treating people with dignity and respect both inside and outside his courtroom,” said Hurst, who also serves Mississippi’s Southern District. “He served his country well, and I am grateful to have known him and practiced before him.”

Services for Gex will take place on Saturday, Nov. 21 beginning at 10 a.m. at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Pass Christian. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at the church, according to WLOX.