A historic occasion occurred Friday in Marquette County, with the figurative passing of the gavel from retiring Marquette County Probate Court Judge Michael Anderegg to his successor, Cheryl Hill, the first woman to hold the judgeship in the county's history.
Anderegg has been on the bench since Jan. 1, 1977, and he has been re-elected five times, running without opposition. The county's longest-serving probate court judge, Anderegg will surely be missed.
Anderegg said he expects to remain involved with juvenile court issues during his retirement, along with devoting time to his family and recreational activities.
"My work has been an engaging and important part of my life," he said when he announced his retirement early this year. "I don't expect I'll just walk away from it completely."
We hope he does stay involved as his expertise, knowledge and temperament would be great assets to any related endeavor he chooses to pursue.
Succession, especially after a long tenure on the bench or in office, can be difficult for staff, the public and the process of the law. However, we think Hill will make the transition as seamless as possible, having a great deal of experience already with Marquette County and its courts.
In her most recent positions with the county -chief assistant prosecuting attorney and county civil counsel- Hill has shown herself to be able, proficient and wise.
We share in the confidence Judge Anderegg, Marquette County Prosecutor Matthew Wiese, former county attorney Harley Andrews and others, including the voters of Marquette County, have placed in Hill's personal and professional abilities to fulfill the role well she is about to undertake.
With the passing of the gavel, the fate of those Hill plans to seek justice for in her courtroom seems secure.
"I want to give back. I really believe in this community and I am so happy that this community has given me that opportunity by electing me to be your next probate judge," Hill said. "I really, really can follow in those big footsteps and I know that I can do good for this community."
We agree. Congratulations to both Judge Anderegg on a fine legacy and Judge Hill on her installment as the 15th person to fill the county's probate court bench and all that future holds.