Longtime Circuit Judge George Corsiglia dies at 87

Longtime Allegan County Circuit Court Judge George Richard Corsiglia, age 87, of the Saugatuck-Douglas area, died Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Clark Home in Grand Rapids, after a two-year period of failing health.

Born and raised in Kalamazoo to Italian immigrants, Anthonio and Rosa, he became enamored with law as a young man, often veering off his paper route to visit the courtrooms in the Kalamazoo Courthouse to watch the proceedings. There he developed a true passion for the law. He followed through with his dream of becoming a lawyer, starting his education at St. John’s University, where his studies were interrupted when called to serve in the U.S. Army.

After fulfilling that service, he then finished his undergraduate studies the University of Michigan, then went on to earn his juris doctorate in 1960 from the Detroit College of Law. His professional career was established after joining the law firm of Morris & Culver in Kalamazoo, soon becoming a partner. He enjoyed the general practice of law, but also served as assistant city attorney, practicing prosecutorial law for the City of Kalamazoo, and general law for the Cities of Plainwell, Otsego and Fennville.

In 1972, he was appointed District Judge, by Governor Milliken, to the 57th District Court in Allegan; then again, in 1974, to the newly-established 48th Circuit Court, where he continued in the position of Circuit Judge for 36 years, retiring at the end of 2010. He was recognized as one of the longest sitting Circuit judges in Michigan.

Outside of the courtroom, George’s life was simple. He had a passion for reading, and he loved animals, having enjoyed the companionship of pets for the entirety of his life.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sandra (“Sandy”), his sister, Irene English of Grand Rapids, and several nieces, nephews and grand- and great-grand nieces and -nephews.

George was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings; Donald, Joseph, Louise and Jeanette; also a nephew, Jim DeYoung and a great-nephew, Jimmie Guthrie.

A private Catholic mass (family only) will be celebrated. There will be no visitation. A private burial will take place in Kalamazoo.

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