29 October 2007

Thomas J. Meskill, 1928 - 2007

This morning, former Governor Thomas J. Meskill passed away at the age of 79. Judge Meskill was a great man who served his community, his state and his country as Mayor of New Britain, a Congressman, a Governor and as a federal judge. He led Republicans from the wilderness in 1970, becoming the first Republican Governor since 1955. He instituted many reforms as Governor which streamlined the functions and duties of many agencies.

In 1975 President Ford appointed Meskill to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and despite opposition from the American Bar Association, went on to a distinguished career on the bench. He served as the court's chief judge from 1992–1993, and has held Senior status from June 30, 1993 to the time of his death.

He gave countless Republicans their first chance in politics and government and many of them went on to serve our party in elected and appointed offices. To many, he was just a good friend and someone who gave selflessly.

Our prayers go out to Judge Meskill's family for their loss and ours.

Governor M. Jodi Rell today issued the following statement on the death of former Governor Thomas J. Meskill:

“Thomas Meskill embodied the very best standards of public service. As an Air Force lieutenant, a mayor, a United States Congressman, a Governor and a federal Judge, he served our state and the nation with honor, decency and integrity.
"A Connecticut Yankee born and raised in New Britain , Judge Meskill was respected by all for his intellect and his fairness. His love for Connecticut was returned many times over as he was elected to local, state and national office before his appointment to the bench. His record of accomplishment is remarkable.
“My heart goes out to Judge Meskill’s wife Mary and their family and on behalf of the people of Connecticut I offer my deepest condolences.”
Governor Rell ordered that U.S. and state flags be immediately lowered to half-staff until the day of Judge Meskill’s interment, which has not yet been determined.

The following is the statement issued today by Republican Chairman Chris Healy:

"Tom Meskill was a giant and a legend and a public servant without peer. Judge Meskill served in uniform, as a Mayor, as a Congressman,, as Governor, and a Federal Judge. Tom Meskill reformed state government and was a leader on some many fronts, but most importantly he was a kind man who selflessly gave everything to his community, his state and country. If you were Tom Meskill's friend, and there were many, you were his friend for life. The state and country has lost a great man and Republicans everywhere owe him and his family their prayers and thanks for a life well lived for others."