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Funeral held for Illinois judge who died weeks into new job

Judge John Schmidt, age 52, of Springfield, passed away on Dec. 19 at Memorial Medical Center's Emergency Room. (WICS File Photo)

Funeral services have been held in Springfield for an Illinois appellate judge who died unexpectedly at age 52 just weeks into his new job on the bench.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the funeral procession for John Schmidt Thursday passed the Sangamon County Complex, where Schmidt worked as state's attorney and a circuit judge. Employees stood outside to pay their respects as the hearse carrying his coffin went by.

Schmidt died of natural causes on Dec. 19. The Illinois Supreme Court just two months before announced he'd replace a retiring justice on the 4th District Appellate Court.

Shortly after his death, Supreme Court Justice Rita Garman called Schmidt "a distinguished judge ... who will be sorely missed."

He is survived by his wife, Robin, and a 14-year-old son.

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