Monday, November 24, 2014

Obituary for Judge Lynn Silvertooth

(Here is the Sarasota Herald Tribune article about naming the courthouse after Judge Silvertooth)

Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth, 91, of Sarasota, FL passed away peacefully at his home on November, 23, 2014.  He was born October 26, 1923 in Fayetteville, Tennessee and moved to Sarasota when he was approximately three months old.

He attended Sarasota High School and graduated from Manatee High School where he played on the football team but more importantly, met his future wife, Betty Wilson. He joined the Marines where he served our country with valor in South Pacific.  He was on the island of Guam when the end of the war was declared.  After returning from World War II, Lynn married Betty in 1946, enrolled in the University of Florida and after graduating, entered the University of Florida Law School where he graduated in 1949.

Lynn returned to Sarasota after law school where he started work for attorney Clyde H. Wilson.  Two years later, the Governor appointed him to be an assistant state attorney, covering the area from Manatee County down to Collier County.  After going into private practice for approximately four years, Florida Governor Ferris Bryant appointed Lynn to the 12th Judicial Circuit Court in 1964.  During his time on the bench, Judge Silvertooth served as Chief Judge of the Circuit and handled many high profile cases both here and in other areas of the state.  He was also instrumental in allowing cameras in the courtrooms for the first time.  He retired in 1988 though he continued working as a senior judge. 

In 2006, the Sarasota County Judicial Center was renamed the Judge Lynn N. Silvertooth Judicial Center in his honor.  As then-Chief Judge Robert Bennett remarked, "For generations of lawyers, he epitomized what a judge and court system ought to be about.  He stands as a mold not only for me but for other judges, and hopefully judges to come." He truly led a hero's life.  

In his private life, Lynn was an avid fisherman.  He knew all the best fishing spots in this area and often went to the Florida Keys to fish with his friends.  

Lynn is survived by his beautiful wife, Betty, his beloved cat Garfield, his son Jim and Jim's wife Lisa and their two beautiful daughters, Shelby and Nikki, his son-in-law Gordon and grandsons Robert and James.  Lynn was predeceased by his wonderful and beautiful daughter, Sandy, in 2013.

A service celebrating Lynn's life will be held on Monday, December 1 at 11a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota, 2050 Oak Street, Sarasota, FL 34237.  A reception following the service will be held in an adjoining room.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hospice of Sarasota.

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