DETROIT (WWJ) – One of the longest-serving federal judges, U.S. District Judge John Feikens, died Sunday at age 93.

A judge for more than 40 years, Feikens oversaw the management of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department for decades before helping reach an agreement with the city and suburbs in 2008. 

WWJ Newsradio 950 spoke with U.S .District Judge Gerald Rosen, who said Feikens was tough but fair on the bench.

“I remember when I was a young lawyer practicing. When he came out you thought God had walked through the door. But he was also a compassionate person, and that reflected on his work on the bench,” Rosen said.

Rosen told WWJ Feikens was able to bring stability, and navigated the utility through many challenges.

“There were times when people would disagree with his handling of the case. I think a fair assessment would be he was fair to the city and suburbs and to the customers. He was committed to the community,” Judge Rosen said.

Feikens’ death comes six months after removing himself from the case and taking no new cases at U.S. District Court in Detroit.

Feikens was first nominated to the bench by President Eisenhower in 1960.

No funeral arrangements have been announced.  Details about his death were not immediately released.


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