With deep sorrow, we inform our members and friends that our beloved State Supreme Court Justice Louis B. York, a past president of Community Free Democrats, passed away on Sunday, Nov. 16, at age 76. He had been in declining health the past year.

The CFD family extends our heartfelt condolences to his wife Judy Bader York and their daughter Elizabeth, as well as to his court colleagues who were like family to him. Another great light of the Upper West Side has been extinguished and we feel a great loss.

His funeral will be held at 9:15 a.m., Thursday, Nov. 20, at the Plaza Funeral Home, 630 Amsterdam Ave. (at West 91st Street), Manhattan. Shiva will be held at their home, 320 Central Park West, Apt. #6-H (southwest corner of West 92nd Street:

Thursday, Nov. 20, 5 to 9 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 21, 2 to 9 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 22, 5 to 9 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 23, 2 to 8 p.m

Many of us have meaningful personal memories of Lou. He officiated at many of our weddings, and we all have stories to share about him that span four decades or more.

Lou’s successful race for Civil Court in a Countywide race in 1986 made for a hot heyday summer of CFD campaigning that represented the best of what a progressive political club can achieve. You couldn’t miss the colorful subway ads that lined the #1 train platforms. They read, simply, “Lou York for New York.” It was all CFD hands on deck – led by Assemblyman Jerry Nadler, District Leader Scott Stringer and president Linda B. Rosenthal – in a tough battle that went into a Board of Elections recount. We all shared in Lou’s victory and delivered a great gift to the New York bench. But the greatest gift was working beside Lou and getting to know his upbeat personality, quick wit, discerning mind and patient temperament.

A graduate of City College, Cornell Law School (JD) and New York University (LLM), Lou worked at the Federal Trade Commission and several law firms, before becoming Chief Counsel to Manhattan Legal Services and then going into private practice with partner Eugene Prosnitz. In 1987, Lou assumed the Civil Court bench, was appointed as an acting Justice in 1995, and was elected to State Supreme Court in 2005.

In a statement, John Werner, Chief Clerk, NY County Supreme Court, Civil Branch, said: Lou loved the court, was devoted to all of his colleagues on the bench and was always supportive of the staff. “If he ever raised his voice, he must have done it while alone. Always modest and self-effacing, Lou long served with quiet dignity, seriousness of purpose, and in the finest traditions of the New York State Supreme Court.”

Compiled by Joan Paylo, District Leader