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Montgomery Village Justice dies

November 14th, 2012

Montgomery Village Justice David G. Roepe died Monday after suffering a heart attack while driving on State Route 208 in Montgomery. He was 76.

Judge David Roepe and his daughter, Sarah, at a March surprise party marking his 40 years as a village justice.

Roepe’s car left the roadway and struck a tree near the intersection of Coleman Road. The Town of Montgomery Police Department responded to the scene.

First responders determined that Roepe had suffered a heart attack and expired prior to the crash. Efforts were made to resuscitate him by first responders and personnel at St. Luke’s Hospital, to no avail.

Deputy Mayor Joann Scheels said Tuesday that Judge Roepe had stated earlier in the day that he was not feeling well. He was on his way to his doctor’s office when he had the heart attack.

“Nobody had any inkling,” said Scheels.

Scheels said Judge Roepe did not have a history of illness and while he did undergo a heart bypass surgery about 20 years ago, no one was aware of any problems since then.

The son of Edward George Roepe and Mariba Mae Rusk Roepe, he was born in Brooklyn. Raised in New City, NY, he attended Congers High School graduating in 1953. In 1958 he was married to Hazelann Kerr Roepe. After graduating from Saint Lawrence University, he achieved a Law Degree from Brooklyn Law School in June of 1962. He has remained a practicing attorney for more than 50 years in Orange and Rockland Counties.

Roepe was first elected to the position of village justice for the Village of Montgomery on March 23, 1972. Earlier this year, on the 40th anniversary of his first election, a surprise celebration was held for him in the village courtroom.
Scheels stated that the village has arranged for Acting Judge Harry Mills to cover the next two or three court dates to give them some time to figure out what they will do.

Scheels said Roepe had never been sick, so they “don’t have someone out there waiting in the wings.” He was their only judge and was on call 24/7, responding even in the middle of the night.

“He was very community-minded,” said Scheels.

Survivors include his wife HazelAnn at home; daughter Rebecca Roepe and her husband Benjamin Rosenfeld of Ridgefield, CT; son Paul David Roepe and wife Sally Hamilton of Rockville, MD; son Timothy Roepe of Montgomery; daughter Sarah Roepe of Montgomery; son Jonathon Roepe and wife Amy of Pine Bush; son Andrew Roepe of Montgomery; son Caleb Roepe and wife Cindy Ashmore of Somers; son James Roepe and wife Sheila Marhamati; son Edward George Roepe of Montgomery; 12 grandchildren Noah, Joshua, Rachel, Madeline, Luke, Mason, Naomi, Caleb James, Rowan, Jonah, Kayan and Morgan; brother Thomas Roepe of Queensbury; and sister Marcia Holbrook of Hoosick Falls, NY

He was predeceased by sister Naomi.

Visitation will be Friday, November 16, 2012 from 2-4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Overhiser Funeral Home, 78 Union St. Montgomery.

Funeral services will be Saturday November 17, at 11 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, 74 Wallkill Ave., Montgomery. Rev. Peg Sullivan will officiate. Cremation will be at Cedar Hill Crematory in Newburgh, NY.

Arrangements were made by Overhiser Funeral Home/Millspaugh Funeral Directors.

By Rachel Coleman

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